James H. Walton, professor emeritus of English at the University of Notre Dame, died Saturday after a brief illness. He was 74 years old.
A native of Blue Island, Ill., Walton was graduated from Notre Dame in 1959 and earned master’s and doctoral degrees in English from Northwestern University in 1960 and 1963, respectively.
He joined the Notre Dame faculty in 1963, teaching popular courses on the English novel and 18th-century literature until his retirement in 2003. A few years earlier, he had jokingly summarized his career at Notre Dame with what he called “painful brevity: I’ve taught British fiction from Defoe to Joyce for 25 years without once being solicited by ‘Who’s Who.’”