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Remembering Lois Boe Hyslop
Patricia A. Ward
Lois Boe Hyslop, a long-time member of the advisory board of Nineteenth-Century French Studies, died in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on December 22, 2003, at the age of 95. A member of a distinguished South Dakota family (her brother, Nils Boe was governor), Lois Hyslop was a graduate of Augustana College and the University of Wisconsin, graduating with a Ph.D. in 1935. After serving at Susquehanna University and Skidmore College, she joined the faculty at the Pennsylvania University, University Park, in 1948, where she served until her retirement in 1974. At Penn State she was a pioneering woman faculty member and was the first woman to be named a senior fellow of the Institute for the Arts and Humanistic Studies.
Although she was the author of one volume on Henry Becque (1972), Lois Hyslop was known primarily as a Baudelaire specialist. Like W.T. Bandy, in some sense one of her models, she made an important contribution to Baudelaire studies by stressing for American readers hitherto unappreciated aspects of the poet's work. Often working in collaboration with her husband Francis Hyslop, an art historian, she emphasized Baudelaire's literary criticism and gave more detailed analyses of Baudelaire's relationship to nineteenth-century art. Useful volumes include the edition and translation, Baudelaire as a Literary Critic (1964), as well as Baudelaire as a Love Poet (1969), and Charles Baudelaire Revisited (new edition, 1990). Her balanced and judicious account of Baudelaire's interaction with the nineteenth-century world, Baudelaire, Man of His Time (Yale, 1980), constitutes a summary of Lois Boe Hyslop's scholarly interest in presenting a full portrait of Baudelaire's wide-ranging intellectual and artistic interests.