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Jean Marquard was born 4 September 1941 in Cape Town, educated at St. Cyprian's School, Cape Town, where she matriculated 1st class; Stellenbosch University, attaining her B.A. with distinction in English; B.A. Hons. , cum laude; M.A., cum laude; B. Phil. on nineteenth century literature, Oxford University (Oxon); D. Phil. on W.C. Scully at the University of the Witwatersrand.
She lectured in the Department of English in the universities of Stellenbosch, Pretoria and the Witwatersrand. At the University of the Witwatersrand she was involved with extra-mural teaching with the Institute for Adult Education, tutored students working through UNISA and the Jewish Teachers Training College.
Her research consisted of an anthology of South African short stories; The Theme of Renunciation in the Novels of Henry James and a Critical History of the South African Short Story in English.
She published 'A Century of South African Short Stories' and edited a reprint of 'Kafir Stories' by W.C. Scully (Donker), with introduction. She wrote many articles, short stories, reviews and review articles, and radio interviews. Her creative writing consisted of poetry and short stories. She attended many conferences and was elected chairman of the Association of University English Teachers in Southern Africa (AUETSA).
Jean Marquard was married three times and had two sons. She died of cancer at the early age of 43 in 1984.