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Roelker, Nancy Lyman (1915–1993) - French History

professor university massachusetts paris

Nancy Lyman Roelker was born on June 15, 1915, in Warwick, Rhode Island, to William Greene Roelker, a historian, and Anna (Koues) Roelker. She received an A.B. from Radcliffe College in 1936, an A.M. from Harvard University in 1937, and a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1953. She taught European history from 1937 to 1941 at Concord Academy in Concord, Massachusetts, and from 1941 to 1963 at Winsor School in Boston, Massachusetts. She was assistant professor at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, from 1963 to 1965, associate professor from 1965 to 1969, and professor from 1969 to 1971. She then became professor of European history at Boston University. Roelker retired in 1980. In 1960 and 1970 she received research grants from the American Philosophical Society, and in 1965–66 she was a Guggenheim fellow. She received the Distinguished Achievement Medal from the Radcliffe Graduate Society in 1970. In 1985 she was awarded the Gold Medal of Paris for contributions to that city’s history.

Roelker translated and edited The Paris of Henry of Navarre by Pierre de L’Estoile in 1958, was contributing editor and translator of In Search of France in 1963, and was editor and translator of Jean-Batiste Duroselle, From Wilson to Roosevelt: American Foreign Policy, 1913–1945 , that same year. In 1965 she was editor of Raymond Aron’s The Great Debate: Theories of Nuclear Strategy , and in 1968 she wrote Queen of Navarre: Jeanne d’Albret, 1529–1572 . She returned to editing and translating with Correspondence of Jeanne d’Albret, 1541–1572 , and her last book, One King, One Faith: The Parliament of Paris and the Reformations of the Sixteenth Century , was scheduled for publication when she died in December 1993; it was placed on the University of California Press’s centennial roster of the 100 most distinguished books published by the press since 1895.

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