In Response to: A Ritchie Boy

Professor Victor Brombert (“A Ritchie Boy,” November issue) was my thesis adviser, and it was a privilege and an honor to work with him. As the world’s leading expert on Gustave Flaubert, he was perfect for guiding me through my work on Madame Bovary; but it is his gentle warmth, wisdom, and humor that I remember best. I am particularly struck by your comment about his lifelong ability to read beyond the words and the language to what lies beneath. Studying literature with Professor Brombert helped me develop those skills in my own work as a professor and author. 

I only wish I had known of his background then, but I was cautious about revealing my Jewishness on campus in those days; through your article, I am still learning life lessons from Victor Brombert.

Jane Elizabeth (Spivak) Hughes ’77
Centerville, Mass.