Index of Posts: Slices of Shona's Life
Memories of Shona

Thank you so much for all your memories and thoughts. If you have something to post, or you have photos to post, you can get to me via the "Contact" page. - Maggi, Shona's sister.


From Christina Neilson

Dear Maggi,

We had the conference in Shona's memory at the end of last week at the University of Manitoba and it went very well. We had 8 papers from people working in many different fields of Renaissance studies (history of literature, science, and politics, social history, and art and architectural history) and many of us had known Shona from our time with her at I Tatti. Shona came up a lot during the conference. At the beginning of the conference Roisin explained how the event had come about and how Shona had been one of the original organisers, and she went on to talk about Shona's work and how it engaged with many of the issues we would be talking about at the conference. Many people mentioned Shona during their talks and how their interactions with her had affected their thinking (for instance, Filippo de Vivo, one of the other organisers, explained how he had been moved to include a discussion of gender in his consideration of the experience of walking in the Renaissance city because of conversations he had had with Shona). On the final evening we had dinner at Roisin's house and we made a point of remembering Shona together. Roisin began by telling those people who were there and did not know Shona something about her. After that many of us talked about Shona and how she had influenced us or a funny story about an interaction we had had with her. Her droll sense of humour was mentioned more than once.

Something we were all happy about was the quality of the conference papers, which we plan on submitting to I Tatti Studies as a special issue, dedicated to Shona's memory. The high quality of the articles will be a fitting tribute to Shona's own remarkable talents as a scholar.  

I think of Shona often and I, like many, was very sad at the conference that she could not be there. She was very much missed, as she is in my life in general.


From Costantino Marmo

Shona on my mind

Today (July 20, 2013) a really weird and moving thing happend to me.

I was thinking of Shona, as often happens, and suddenly the name of a friend of her, Ashley, came to my mind, a friend to whom Shona introduced me many years ago, here in Bologna. At that time she was finding her way in the world of music as singer. Shona, later on, gave me also some tapes of her second album - that I can’t find anymore, by the way -    and I could appreciate her wonderful voice and beautiful songs.
“What did happen to her?” I was wondering and so decided to google “Ashley + Shona Kelly”: one of the result was simply astonishing. The link led me to a page of a small music store on line (, where The Blessed Rain, a CD released in 1998 by Ashley Maher (that was finally her family name!), was reviewed by Shona: her voice (in my mind) told me that she loved this CD “The beauty and complexity of Ashley's music is astounding. I never tire of the rich poety of her lyrics sung with her honeyed voice and intricate rhythms. The deep emotions, intelligence, and diversity of her music on this cd are so satisfying. It's why we want music in our lives.” I could not believe it, was almost in tears. I finally downloaded all the CDs by Ahsley and got in touch with her on FB.

Listening to her songs I could still share something precious with Shona.


From John Cochran

What a wonderful person

I just want to express my deepest sympathies to all who know and love Dr. Wray.  I had her for only one class, but it was the last class I took at UMKC before earning my MA.  Brilliance, sense of humor..everyone reading knows this of her.  God's blessing


From Joelle Rollo Koster

New book dedicated to Shona

Greetings, the new book that Kay Reyerson and I edited, a collection of essays on women and last wills in medieval and early-modern France is out electronically. It is dedicated to Shona. I know that she liked the project, we had discussed it so this is for her. This volume is in an open access format.  You can find more info by following the links below including the address to download the book for free.

all best, Joëlle


From Jan Kelly

Shona Elizabeth Marshall Kelly Wray was my niece, the elder daughter of my brother Jim, who went off to continue his studies at Brown, Rhode Island in 1955(?).  It was only for two years but  the next time we saw him was in June 1963.  He and Celia, pregnant with Shona, visited us in Hamilton.  I actually met Shona 3 years later.  I still remember her being rather suspicious of me when we were introduced but in no time at all we were good friends and remained so, despite not being together very often over the years.  Scotland and California are far apart, but it was always so easy to slip back with her and Maggi whenever we met up.
I have so many memories of Shona, none of them earth-shattering.  I have been looking back at photographs and other souvenirs , since Jim's devastating news.  Shona was a great correspondent: post cards (she knew, like my mother, her gran, how much I enjoyed receiving them), letters, emails and phone calls, always full of information about the family, whom she adored.  Shona was a wonderful cook, one of the few people I know who could create a terrific meal out of what many would think impossible.  (I like to think she inherited the genes from our mother, although Celia is a great cook, so who knows!)
I didn't know Shona the scholar and teacher very well, but now I do know how much admired and loved she was in that sphere too.
Shona's smile and laughter have been commented on by so many.  The smile lit the room.  The laugh could be rather naughty but after all she was from the Kelly family.  My grandmother (our father's mother) was apparently renowned for this sort of thing!
Unfortunately Shona did not really know her grandmother. I know it was a loss for our mother, who refused to travel to California, but she always loved to hear about the girls and all their activities.  Dad was rather reticent, maybe seeming disinterested, but this was not so. He too was very proud of his family.
My thoughts are, of course, with all of Shona's beloved familly, Randy, Shane and Alina.
Shona achieved so much in such a short time, loved and admired by so many in so many spheres.