I learned yesterday of the death of historian and manuscript scholar Richard Sharpe, who passed away unexpectedly on Sunday at the age of 65. I heard that he had told friends he wasn't feeling well on Saturday, but the cause of death remained undetermined as of yesterday.
A friend of mine said he had an appropriate family name, and certainly he was an extremely acute scholar. I was in greater contact with him during the 1990s when our scholarly interests at the time intersected in the area of Latin hagiography of Irish saints. He was open with his criticism, but he was usually right. As one example, I saw that he was correct in redating the Battle of Druim Cett, even though other scholars still cling to the Annals of Ulster dating.
Sharpe was not a "warm fuzzy," and some who were on the receiving end of his scholarly criticisms took them far more personally than they were ever intended. But he was able quickly to clear the thickets of source criticism surrounding various manuscripts, seeing the light of day where others still groped in the darkness. His scholarship will continue to be consulted for generations to come.