Rachel Bromwich was an incredibly hard-working, open minded scholar. Her seminal work was The Welsh Triads, a collection of pnemonic devices used by medieval bards in their telling of stories, construction of poems, and the performance of their many duties.
To complete it, she not only had to become an expert on the manuscripts that contained the triads, manuscript dating in general, and Medieval Welsh, but she went several steps further. She researched every name she found in all of the triads, beginning with the Welsh genealogies and continuing through an extensive search of all historical, legendary, and mythological materials that were available to her. She then went on to make comparisons and draw references to the continental Arthurian romances.
I met her once. As a nervous third-year graduate student, I had begun writing her for advice and guidance on my thesis. Eventually, either because she was impressed with my love of the subject or just out of pity, she invited me to come visit her in Aberystwyth. We spent hours discussing my thesis, the subject of King Arthur, scholars, and Welsh history and literature in general. More than guiding me through the more difficult aspects of my dissertation, she re-enthused me with her passion for the subject. It is a gift which I will forever be grateful.