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With the death of Barbara Packer, ESQ has lost from its editorial circle one of its finest and most dependable readers of manuscripts, one whose rare sympathy and critical insights, conveyed in rich and carefully attentive reports, improved the quality of countless submissions. Her impeccable scholarship, enlivened by humor and imagination, seemed, from the time she joined the board in 1989, always to be on call. It will come as no surprise to her many friends across the country that she was so adept at entering into the purposes of other scholars; no surprise that she could so intelligently and gracefully assist writers, whether graduate students or full professors, in realizing their aims. This is precisely what she did for her students at UCLA, as her many teaching awards attest; what she did so often as a reader for university presses, providing solid help to younger scholars; and what she did, with remarkable generosity, for her confiding friends. Many veteran Emerson scholars, the undersigned included, have said that they tried to write to Barbara's standard (no mean feat!), or with her in mind as the imagined audience. This we did, not merely out of our respect for her work in the smart and beautifully written Emerson's Fall: A New Interpretation of the Major Essays (Continuum, 1982) or her lucid and accessible history The Transcendentalists (Georgia, 2007), but even more perhaps out of an effort to capture the joy that belonged to all her writing, the joy she took in literature as such, and which her students easily detected in courses she taught in Chaucer and Milton as well as in the American Renaissance. It was Barbara Packer's highest accomplishment that she so clearly represented to us all the best possibilities of the profession of literary scholarship. [End Page iii]



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