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Tribute to Jane Martin

Jane Martin

We are very sorry to report that Jane Martin, the Review's administrator for many years, passed away on September 26, 2009, after a long illness. As a tribute to her, we reproduce here a short extract from a reading at her funeral service:

Since 1997, Jane was the administrator and production editor for the Review of Economic Studies. In that post she blossomed, and with her literary and technical skills, her goodwill, quick wit, helpfulness and sense of humour became the hub for the ever-changing cast of editors, referees and authors. I knew Jane more-or-less from when she joined the journal, first as one of her editors and more recently as Chairman of the journal.

Although physically frail, Jane had a strong and unflappable personality. She must have corresponded with an astonishing number of people over the years, many of whom had large egos and - if they had received a rejection letter from the editors, say - were not necessarily on their best behaviour. Jane invariably calmed the stormy waters. The fact that the journal has such a loyal community of board members, authors and referees is due in very large part to her sure touch at the helm. I never did hear a critical word about Jane from anyone.

By chance, many of us at the journal had the chance to say goodbye to Jane recently, although we didn't know that that's what we were doing. We had our 2009 annual meeting on September 25 and 26 in London, which Jane organized with her customary efficiency and warmth. One thing the two of us discussed beforehand was the location of the dinner. She had the imaginative idea of us going to the Royal Air Force Club for a change. I timidly opted for something more anodyne, mainly because I wasn't sure that having paintings of spitfires bearing down on us would make for a fully relaxing evening (especially for some of our colleagues from the Continent). Our world will surely be a duller and colder one without her.

Let me mention just a couple of extracts from the many messages I received from people when they heard about Jane.

The editor who originally recruited her in Oxford wrote: "Jane had a good sense of what academic work was about and valued being associated with the Review. She settled into her role smoothly from the very beginning. Over the years, Jane became the face of the Review, and we were very lucky to have her."

Another editor: "I just remember her charm and warmth. She had a beautifully cultured voice and way of expressing herself."

Our publisher: "I've known Jane for about ten years, having first worked with her on the production side, and always found her to be a wonderful person to work with. Everyone here who came into contact with Jane was I think touched by her combination of graciousness and professionalism."

A foreign editor: "I never met Jane, but I just wanted to express that I had so many pleasant interactions with her over the years that I somehow thought of her as a dear friend. She was very highly appreciated, I'm sure, not just by me but by all the people she communicated with over the years."

Finally, a friend and colleague wrote: "I would like to say that Jane was a loyal and generous friend, someone who enjoyed listening and helping others if she could. She could also be very funny, and her love for her family always showed. Jane loved writing and liked to share her pieces of work with me. Her commitment to the journal was total, even when she was in hospital after an accident in 2007, and though she was in a lot of pain she was still replying to journal emails."

Mark Armstrong
St. Giles-in-the-Fields, London
15th October 2009

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