The death of Ellen McDonald Gumperz in the midst of her period of mature scholarship and professional recognition was a loss not only to John Gumperz, her family, children and friends, but to those working in the many areas her studies probed. Her last research touched two of her basic interests: the area of Maharashtra in India and the structure of nineteenth century modernization. A planned study of communications systems was frustrated by her illness and by the paucity of local records. However, she left a number of studies which reveal a fine analytical mind and a lucid writing style and which break new ground in examining structures and in using modern quantitative methods in Indian history.

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