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Boyesen, Hjalmar Hjorth (23 September 1848–04 October 1895), author and educator, was born in Fredriksvaern, Norway, the son of Sarolf Boyesen, a mathematics instructor in the naval academy there, and Hanna (or Helga) Tveten Hjorth, the foster daughter of Judge Hjorth of Systrand. In 1854 Sarolf Boyesen, out of favor because he had joined the Swedenborgian church, sent his family to Judge Hjorth and entered the American army, for a period of two years. Hjalmar Boyesen loved the natural setting of Systrand, relished the servants’ folktales there, was sad when he was sent away to school, and found consolation in reading and writing. He attended Latin school at Drammen and Gymnasium at Christiania and graduated from the Royal Fredriks University in 1868—adept in several languages. He obtained family permission to go to the United States, which his father had extolled as the land of freedom and opportunity....

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Brooks, Cleanth (16 October 1906–10 May 1994), teacher, critic, and scholar, was born in Murray, Kentucky, the son of Cleanth Brooks, Sr., an Episcopalian minister, and Bessie Lee Witherspoon. The family soon moved to Tennessee where his father served a number of parishes near Memphis. Despite their peripatetic lifestyle, Cleanth’s parents helped their shy, precocious son to find the stability that he needed by encouraging in him a devotion to the great literature of the world. Eventually, Cleanth attended the Mc Tyeire School, where, in addition to the standard academic fare of the era, he learned Greek and Latin and continued the education in classical literature that had begun at age five with his father’s present of a collections of tales from the ...

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Canby, Henry Seidel (06 September 1878–05 April 1961), educator, author, and editor, was born in Wilmington, Delaware, the son of Edward Tatnell Canby, a founder and president of the Delaware Trust Company, and Ella Augusta Seidel. Though reared in an Episcopalian family, Canby attended Quaker schools and then entered Yale, where he edited two undergraduate literary papers and earned his Ph.B. in 1899. While studying for his Ph.D. in English literature (1905) and afterward, he taught at Yale (1900–1916). He was the first professor at Yale to offer courses in American literature. Early in his career, he championed the work of ...

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Child, Francis James (01 February 1825–11 September 1896), philologist and editor, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Joseph Child, a sailmaker, and Mary James. After attending the Boston Latin School, he matriculated at Harvard College; he ranked first in his class and was elected class orator. Following his graduation in 1846, he became a tutor in mathematics at his alma mater and then, in 1848, in history and political economy. Also in 1848 he published his edition of ...

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Dykes, Eva Beatrice (13 August 1893–29 October 1986), scholar and educator, was born in Washington, D.C., the daughter of James Stanley Dykes and Martha Ann Howard. Eva Dykes graduated from M. Street High (later Paul Laurence Dunbar High School) in 1910. As valedictorian of her class, she won from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority a $10 scholarship to attend Howard University, where she graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in English in 1914. After a year of teaching Latin and English at the now defunct Walden University in Nashville, Tennessee, and for another year elsewhere, she was urged by James Howard, a physician and uncle on her mother’s side, to enter Radcliffe College in 1916. Subsequently, she earned a second B.A. in English, magna cum laude, in 1917. Elected Phi Beta Kappa, she received an M.A. in English in 1918 and a Ph.D. in English philology in 1921. Her dissertation was titled “Pope and His Influence in America from 1715 to 1850.”...

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Folger, Emily Jordan (15 May 1858–21 February 1936), student and collector of Shakespeareana, was born in Ironton, Ohio, the daughter of Augusta Woodbury Ricker and Edward Jordan, a newspaper editor, lawyer, and solicitor of the U.S. Treasury under Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson...

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Follett, Wilson (21 March 1887–07 January 1963), author and editor, was born Roy Wilson Follett in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, the son of Charles William Follett, a worker in a jewelry-manufacturing shop, and Cordelia Adelaide White Follett, a former teacher. After attending public schools in North Attleboro, he was an exemplary student at Harvard College, earning his B.A. in 1909, with a major in English and valuable study under ...

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Giamatti, Bart (04 April 1938–01 September 1989), scholar, college president, and baseball executive, was born Angelo Bartlett Giamatti in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Valentine Giamatti, a professor of Romance languages at Mount Holyoke College, and Mary Claybaugh Walton. Raised in South Hadley, Giamatti acquired a love for both books and baseball from his father. Much better at academics than athletics, he graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and Yale University, where he received a B.A. in English magna cum laude in 1960 and, as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, earned a Ph.D. in comparative literature in 1964. In 1960 he had married Toni Smith, with whom he had three children....

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Greenlaw, Edwin Almiron (06 April 1874–10 September 1931), Renaissance scholar and educator, was born in Flora, Illinois, the son of Thomas Brewer Greenlaw, educator and newspaper publisher, and Emma Julia Leverich. At age twelve he entered Chester High School and quickly became its top student, graduating two years later. He studied at Chester High School for an additional year after graduation, then taught classes in telegraphy, shorthand, literature, and business at Orchard City College. He entered Illinois College in 1893 but interrupted his education after a year to accept the presidency of Orchard City College. After serving two years at Orchard, he entered Northwestern University in February 1896, graduating with an A.B. in history in 1897 and an M.A. in history in 1898. In September 1898 he married Mary Elizabeth Durland; they had three children....

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Hart, James D. (18 April 1911–23 July 1990), author, editor and college and library administrator, was born James David Hart in San Francisco, California, the son of Julien Hart, the owner of a silk company, and Helen Neustadter. He grew up in San Francisco, where his mother died when he was ten. He received his degrees in English: an A.B. from Stanford University in 1932, and an M.A. (1933) and Ph.D. (1936) from Harvard University. Before moving back to his native state, Hart taught at Amherst College in Massachusetts for one semester. He then became an instructor of English at the University of California at Berkeley from 1936 to 1941; he later became assistant professor (1941–1947), associate professor (1947–1951), and finally professor, a position he held for thirty-nine years. Hart served as department chairman twice, from 1955 to 1957 and 1965 to 1969 and as vice chancellor of the university from 1957 to 1960....

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Hubbell, Jay Broadus (08 May 1885–13 February 1979), university teacher and literary historian, was born in Smyth County, Virginia, the son of David Shelton Hubbell, a Baptist minister, and Ruth Eller. He was educated at Richmond College (B.A., 1905), Harvard University (M.A., 1908), and Columbia University (Ph.D., 1922), teaching in the meantime at the University of North Carolina (1908–1909), Wake Forest College (1911–1914), and Southern Methodist University (1915–1927), with time out for service in World War I as a first lieutenant in the field artillery (1918–1919). In 1918 he married Lucinda Smith of Dallas, Texas, one of his students at Southern Methodist University (SMU) and the daughter of a well-known attorney. The couple had two sons, Jay Broadus Hubbell, Jr., who frequently served as his father’s research assistant, and David Smith Hubbell, a physician. After his return from the war, Hubbell became chair of the Department of English and E. A. Lilly Professor of English at SMU and edited the ...

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Isham, Ralph Heyward (02 July 1890–13 June 1955), literary collector, was born in New York City, the son of Henry Heyward Isham, a banker and financier, and Juliet Calhoun Marsh. Isham attended Cornell and Yale Universities, where his interest in eighteenth-century literature was first aroused. He then pursued a variety of activities, ranging from journalism to big-game shooting in Malaya and Mexico. He also began his collection of antiquarian books....

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Jakobson, Roman Osipovich (11 October 1896–18 July 1982), linguist, literary historian, and theorist, was born in Moscow, Russia, the son of Jewish parents, Osip Jakobson, a chemical engineer and industrialist, and Anna Volpert. Jakobson’s high school education was at the Lazarev Institute of Oriental Languages in Moscow, where he obtained his diploma with silver medal in 1914. During this period he started to collect and study Russian folklore, legends, and choral and ritual songs. In 1915, together with six other students, Jakobson founded the Moscow Linguistic Circle, the purpose of which was to elucidate linguistic problems of poetics, folklore, and ethnology. He served as president until 1920. In 1917 he spent a semester at Petersburg University, studying Sanskrit. In 1918 he received his master’s degree and was appointed research associate at Moscow University, a position he held until 1920....

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Lord, Albert Bates (15 September 1912–29 July 1991), folklorist, Slavist, and comparatist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Robert Whiting Lord, a manufacturer of candy, and Corinne Bates Lord. After his high school years at Boston Public Latin School, he entered Harvard University, earning an A.B. in classics (cum laude, 1934) and an M.A. (1936) and Ph.D. (1949) in comparative literature, with graduate specialties in medieval English, ancient Greek, and Serbo-Croatian. On 24 August 1950 he married Mary Louise Carlson, later the long-time chair of Classics at Connecticut College, with whom he had two children: Nathan Eliot Lord, a high school English teacher, and Mark Edwards Lord, a potter and woodworker....

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Lounsbury, Thomas Raynesford (01 January 1838–09 April 1915), literary historian and linguist, was born in Ovid, New York, the son of Thomas Lounsbury, a Presbyterian minister, and Mary Janette Woodward. Admitted to Yale in 1855, he excelled in his studies, earned Phi Beta Kappa honors, and received a B.A. in 1859. He won prizes in English composition, debate, and oratory and served on the editorial staff of the ...

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Matthiessen, F. O. (19 February 1902–01 April 1950), educator, literary critic, and scholar, was born Francis Otto Matthiessen in Pasadena, California, the son of Frederic William Matthiessen, Jr., and Lucy Orne Pratt. Matthiessen’s grandfather had emigrated from Germany to La Salle, Illinois, founded the Western Clock Corporation (later the Westclox Corporation), and died in 1918, leaving an estate of approximately $10 million. Matthiessen’s father was spoiled as a youth and unsettled as an adult, became a spendthrift and a philanderer, deserted his wife and their four children in 1907, and was divorced in 1915. Matthiessen’s mother lived with her children during some of these years in her father-in-law’s La Salle home....

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Miller, Perry (25 February 1905–09 December 1963), intellectual historian and scholar of American literature, was born Perry Gilbert Eddy Miller in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Dr. Eben Perry Sturgis Miller, a physician, and Gertrude Eddy. Miller attended the Tilton School and the Austin School, and matriculated at the University of Chicago in 1922. The following year he dropped out, headed west, where he lived for a time in a Colorado mountain shack, then reversed direction to try New York City, where he picked up acting jobs in several small repertory companies. His theatrical career peaked with a walk-on role in the original production of ...

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Parry, Milman (20 June 1902–03 December 1935), scholar, was born in Oakland, California, the son of Isaac Milman Parry, a pharmacist, and Alice Emerson. Although he entered the University of California at Berkeley in 1918 to study chemistry, he graduated in 1922 with a B.A. in classics, followed the next year by an M.A. in classics. In 1923 he married Marian Thanhauser, with whom he had two children: Marian Parry (Feld), an artist, and Adam Milman Parry, also a classicist, who taught at Yale University and edited his father’s collected works....

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Pattee, Fred Lewis (22 March 1863–06 May 1950), educator and author, was born on Pattee Hill, his paternal grandfather’s farm near Bristol, New Hampshire, the son of Lewis Franklin Pattee, a farmer, and Mary Philbrick Ingalls, a former mill worker. He attended public schools in Bristol and nearby South Alexandria. From May to October 1879 Pattee worked for a Bristol lawyer who had a sizable library where he read many books. He worked as a printer’s devil for a Bristol weekly until 1882, then studied at New Hampton Institution, a few miles outside Bristol, graduating in 1883. He worked on Block Island, Rhode Island, as a printer and waiter until 1884 and then entered Dartmouth College. He helped finance his education by teaching part-time in Candia, New Hampshire, and Bowdoinham, Maine. During his senior year he edited the ...

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Pottle, Frederick Albert (03 August 1897–16 May 1987), literary scholar, author, and academician, was born in Center Lovell, Maine, the son of Fred Leroy Pottle and Annette Kemp. Raised on a farm in Otisfield, Maine, Pottle received his primary education in an ungraded one-room schoolhouse. He attended Colby College in Waterville, Maine, where he fell under the spell of literature, notably the work of the English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Graduating in 1917, Pottle volunteered during World War I as a surgical assistant with an evacuation hospital unit and served in France and Germany....