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Philip J. Ford (1949–2013)

Posted By Ingrid De Smet, Tuesday, July 16, 2013

In Memoriam Philip J. Ford (1949-2013)

Prof. Philip J. Ford, FBA died on 8 April 2013, aged just 64. Educated at the University of Cambridge, where he pursued most of his professional career, Philip Ford was an internationally distinguished specialist of sixteenth-century French and Neo-Latin poetry. The Scottish humanist George Buchanan and French poet Pierre de Ronsard constituted particular foci of research; however, Philip Ford also explored the broader correlation between humanism and writing; Renaissance mythography; and the reception of Ancient Latin and Greek literature, particularly Homer.

Philip published five monographs, two critical editions, as well as numerous articles; he was also the editor or co-editor of a staggering fourteen collective volumes, including the ‘Cambridge French Colloquia’ series. His latest book The Judgment of Palaemon. The Contest between Neo-Latin and Vernacular Poetry in Renaissance France (Leiden, 2013) is a particularly apposite witness to his long-standing interest in the interaction between the two competing modes of literary expression in the Renaissance.

Vice-President of the Société Française pour l’étude du Seizième Siècle (2006-2009), and President of the Fédération internationale des Instituts et Société pour l’Étude de la Renaissance (2007-2013), Philip Ford served on the Executive Board of the of the International Association for Neo-Latin Studies for fifteen years (IANLS President, 2006-2009). He tirelessly organised conferences and workshops at Cambridge and elsewhere and coordinated panels at several RSA meetings. Philip Ford is remembered for his dedication, energy and critical poise as a scholar, but also for his fine human qualities, including his love of languages and the genuine interest and encouragement he extended to many a student and early career researcher.

Ingrid De Smet – July 2012

For more and fuller obituaries, see http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/professor-philip-ford-scholar-of-the-renaissance-8616082.html (M. Moriarty); http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/obituaries/article3795350.ece (John O’Brien); obituaries by Ingrid De Smet are in press in Renaissance, Humanisme, Réforme (in French) and the Neulateinisches Jahrbuch (in English).

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