It is my sincere honor to have been George Kubler’s last graduate student (and Mary Ellen Miller’s first) at Yale, from 1980 to 1987. Kubler (which was what everyone called him, including his wife, Betty) was cutting back his teaching to one seminar a year but remained a productive scholar for quite some time, until dementia set in, sadly. Back in the 1980s people often asked me if he was “all there,” but he was just a quintessential absentminded professor, deep in thought most of the time. My whole first year he called me Esther and I didn’t dare correct him!

The sheer quantity of knowledge he achieved in his long and illustrious career, beginning at Yale in 1939, was always apparent, albeit delivered in his characteristically slow and gravelly voice. He was not a thrilling speaker himself, oddly...

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