Beverly Boyd

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Beverly Boyd, Professor Emerita of English at the University of Kansas, died January 26, 2019, at Brandon Woods at Alvamar. She was born 93 years ago in Brooklyn, N.Y., the daughter of James Gray Boyd and Elspeth Mossop Boyd. A graduate of New Dorp High School on Staten Island, she received her B.A. from Brooklyn College (who gave her a Distinguished Alumna Award in 1979) and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University. Prof. Boyd enjoyed a long career as a scholar of medieval literature, especially in Chaucer studies.

After receiving her Ph.D., Prof. Boyd taught at the University of Texas at Austin (1955-59) and Radford College (1959-62), before taking a position at the University of Kansas. Her many publications include articles in such journals as Medium Aevum, Modern Language Quarterly, Mystics Quarterly, and Manuscripta. Her first book, The Middle English Miracles of the Virgin, was followed by Chaucer and the Liturgy, Chaucer according to William Caxton, and Chaucer and the Medieval Book, written with support of a Guggenheim Fellowship awarded in 1969. She edited Chaucer's Prioress's Tale, in the major Chaucer editing project, A Variorum Edition of the Works of Geoffrey Chaucer. Her Chaucer and the Taverners of Ipswich appeared in 2014 after she was invited to the commemoration ceremony in Ipswich, England, of the tavern owned by Chaucer's family. She had worked successfully to have this site recognized as a historic landmark. For this and other Chaucer biographical work she received the Millennium Medal of Honor from the American Biographical Institute. Her scholarship also received support from the ACLS, the American Philosophical Society, and the Huntington Library. She retired in 2007.

In the 1980s Professor Boyd began working toward the canonization of Rose Philippine Duchesne, a French nun who served with a missionary order in St. Charles, MO, and in old age, in 1841, came to work with the Potawatomi Nation near Mound City, KS. Boyd was invited to the canonization ceremony in Rome for her work, which was written up in The Leaven, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Kansas City, KS on 12 December 2008. Some of Beverly's poetry appears in her collection, Philippine's Windows and Other Poems (1987). Until quite recently she was active in the Haskell Catholic Center community.
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Published in Lawrence Journal-World from Jan. 27 to Jan. 31, 2019
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