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Who was Terry Teachout’s wife Hilary Dyson, as WSJ mourns late author?

Bruno Cooke January 14, 2022
Who was Terry Teachout’s wife Hilary Dyson, as WSJ mourns late author?

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Prolific biographer and essayist, and Wall Street Journal drama critic Terry Teachout died on Thursday, 13 January, the Journal reported yesterday – who was his wife, Hilary Teachout (née Dyson)? And who is Cheril Mulligan to Terry Teachout?

When and how did Terry Teachout meet his wife Hilary?

In a memoir article commemorating her death (in March 2020), published in the online opinion magazine Commentary – of which he was the editor at large – Terry Teachout wrote lovingly of his wife of 15 years, Hilary Dyson Teachout.

“When I met Hilary, my wife-to-be, we were of mature age”, he wrote. They both turned 50 three months later. They met in late 2005. Terry was 49.

“I found out within days of meeting her that she had only recently been diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension”. Her years numbered two or three.

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Source: YouTube [Big Think]

At the time, Teachout was also “seriously ill” – he wound up in hospital a month after their first meeting. They’d planned their first date for three days later. They were supposed to see Samuel Beckett’s Waiting For Godot, but instead she “visited me in my hospital room”.

“Two nights after that, a nurse came into the room and caught us kissing ardently, unfazed by the oxygen cannula in my nose.”

When did they marry?

Terry Teachout and Hilary Dyson married two years later, in 2007 or thereabouts. They were together for 15 years, thanks to “treatments that promised to give her a chance at more life”.

Even during her last two years, when she was unable to get around without assistance, they “relished each other’s company”.

“When she died on the last day of March,” Teachout wrote – the article published the following June – “I knew, […] that the light had gone out of my life.”

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On the day she died, Terry wrote on his blog, About Last Night, that his wife Hilary Dyson Teachout had “faced death as she faced life, with indomitable courage”.

Her death came shortly after a double lung transplant.

International Arts Movement grants honour late wife of Terry Teachout

In April 2020, the International Arts Movement (IAM) launched a new covid-19 artist relief grant in honour of Hilary Teachout.

Her love for the performing arts, Terry wrote in a statement online at the time, “was boundless – no audience ever had a more enthusiastic member”.

“It is deeply gratifying to me to know that this grant will honour her blessed memory.”

At time of launch, the grants were limited to $500 payments. For instructions on how to apply, visit I Am Culture Care here.

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Who is Cheril Mulligan to Terry Teachout?

Teachout introduced his companion, Cheril Mulligan, in an October 14, 2021 post on his blog, About Last night, titled New Face.

He announced that he had fallen in love. 

“What’s she like? Smart, funny, kind, caring, and beautiful.”

“My late wife Hilary,” he wrote, “to whom I was wholly devoted, wanted me to find a new partner as soon as possible after she died, so much so that she brought up the subject more than once in her last months.”

“I didn’t think it possible that I would get so lucky twice in a lifetime, especially in the midst of a pandemic, and four months later, I’m still stunned by my good fortune.”

“Having her in my life is an unmixed blessing.”

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com.