Remembering Robert Cottrell
It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Robert D. Cottrell on July 22, 2021. Formerly a professor at Ohio State University where he also served as chair, he retired in 2000. The new generation of Marguerite de Navarre scholars may know him only through his groundbreaking work on Marguerite, a listing of which can be found on the PMLA online website, along with the scores of other articles on other early modern authors. His 1986 The Grammar of Silence: A Reading of Marguerite de Navarre’s Poetry was at the forefront of generating renewed interest in Marguerite’s poetry. Not many books published in English are translated into French by a French publishing house, but Honoré Champion saw its importance and in 1995 came out with the French language edition of the book. His articles on the Heptameron combined close readings and critical theory in analyses that have stood the test of time. Before he turned to Marguerite he made a ground-breaking contribution to Montaigne studies with Sexuality/Textuality: A Study of the Fabric of Montaigne’s Essays (1981). He also published biographies of Brantôme (1970), Colette (1974), and Simone de Beauvoir (1975). Those of us who knew him were struck by his collegiality, sense of humor, and generosity when it came to contributing to a volume or to discussing works in progress. Modest and unassuming, Bob Cottrell embodied a love of learning and sharing that serves as a model for all of us who knew him personally.
Mary B. McKinley & Dora E. Polachek
*If you happen to be in Paris this February, I would encourage you to see this performance: