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

From Filippo De Vivo

We all loved spending time with Shona at I Tatti. She was happy, witty, and sensible; she was generous, friendly, and funny. In Italian you sum up the combination of these traits with one word: "solare", sunny - and that's exactly how you felt about her. She was clearly very happy about life in Florence, enthusiastic about her research and always eager to hear about colleagues' work, ready to discuss theoretical takes and archival findings. I felt very profoundly that she was the ideal colleague: as enthusiastic about the history of Bologna as about family matters, she had always a kind word for people around her, and you sensed distinctly that she was genuinely generous. We had a strong common interest for notaries and notarial records and, together with Christina Neilson, also a fellow of VIT, we were planning a conference together - it makes us extremely sad that she's not with us to take matters forward anymore, and we sincerely hope to go ahead in her memory.

On a personal level, Shona visited me and my family at home only once. She brought dessert, a sweet schiacciata that she said she loved but rarely ate. Ever since, she was always incredibly warm about family matters and children. Sometime in April, I was telling her how we'd discovered lice in the hair of our children (5 and 3). She was full of recommendations for us and for the school, and she seriously offered to come and help unpick the "lousy lice" herself. I felt that kind of matter-of-fact generosity was typical of her. She had that kind of strong sense of material life connected with a loud laugh that would cheer the spirit. I would like her family to know that I and everyone else at I Tatti are extremely proud to have met her and that the time we all spent together here was a very happy one.

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