SALLY Dugan, author, academic, teacher and journalist, has died aged 64.

Mrs Dugan, who lived in Brightwell-cum-Sotwell for 38 years, started in journalism as a reporter at The Oxford Mail in 1976.

She edited The Oxford Times’ feature pages two years later under the title women’s editor, and wrote many of interviews herself, profiling bestselling authors such as Dick Francis and Penelope Lively.

When she left the job pregnant with her first child in 1980, a man was appointed to the same role with the title features editor.

When her two children were young she freelanced, writing poetry reviews for the Oxford Times and taking courses in the history of art and architecture.

After her husband David’s work in television took the family to Boston, Massachusetts, in 1986, she was a regular contributor to The Times and The Radio Times.

Back in Britain she freelanced for several years before retraining as a teacher at Oxford University and teaching English at Wychwood school from 1993 until 2002.

While teaching she wrote several books to accompany television history series, including Men of Iron; Commando and, with Mr Dugan she wrote The Day The World Took Off, on the industrial revolution.

She left teaching to go into academia. She already had a masters in Victorian studies from Birkbeck, which she completed in 1990 after attending evening classes.

She returned to Birkbeck full-time in 2005 to embark on a PhD in 'Baroness Orczy, Englishness and The Scarlet Pimpernel'.

She lectured in literature at Oxford Brookes, Middlesex and Birkbeck and did a research fellowship at the University of London.

Before she died she was working on a book about literature in 1922.

Sarah Duncan, known as Sally, was born in Hove, Sussex, on January 25, 1954, the second of four daughters to doctors Gillian and Kenneth Duncan.

After short stints in Bath and Lymm, the family settled in an old farm in Steeple Aston, north Oxfordshire, in 1959. She went to Headington Junior School and then Bicester School.

She loved books and studied English literature at York. From there she enrolled on a post-graduate journalism course at Cardiff University in 1975, where she met her husband, David Dugan.

They were married in Steeple Aston in 1977 and eventually settled in Brightwell-cum-Sotwell, where they brought up two children, Christopher, born in 1980, and Emily, who followed in 1983.

She was involved in many aspects of community life including chairing the primary school governors, editing the village website, campaigning for affordable housing, editing the village plan, helping run Brightwell Supporting Refugees, organising allotments and ringing church bells.

She also volunteered in Oxford, teaching refugees English with the Asylum Welcome project and giving tours of the Bodleian library.

She is survived by her husband David, her children Christopher and Emily and her sisters, Janet, Mary and Lucy.

A service to celebrate her life will be held at St Agatha’s Church, Brightwell-cum-Sotwell, on Friday, June 29, at 2pm.