All Scholars

ANDERSON, Frank Eustace

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  • Date of Birth: November 02, 1844
  • Born City: Goff's Falls
  • Born State/Country: NH
  • Date of Death: July 15, 1880
  • Death City: Leipzig
  • Death State/Country: Germany
  • Education:

    A.B. Harvard, 1865; M.A. Cambridge (Trinity College), 1869; study at Heidelberg and Berlin.

  • Professional Experience:

    Tutor, Harvard, 1870-3; asst. prof., 1873-8.

  • Publications:

    "Goodwin's Greek Grammar," North American Review no. 231 (Apr. 1871)426-9.

  • Notes:

    Frank E. Anderson, Paul Shorey's favorite Greek instructor at Harvard, had a tragically short but brilliant career. After graduating with high honors from Harvard, he went off to Cambridge, where, as William Everett (1839-1910), son of Gettysburg orator and Göttingen Ph.D. Edward Everett (1794-1865), wrote, "His single-hearted devotion to classical study was somewhat weakened by the fascinating social atmosphere of Trinity, and he paid much attention to the philosophical and social problems of the day, as investigated in the famous club of the Cambridge 'Apostles' " (AJP 1 [1880] 511-512). Everett was Anderson's patron in the Cambridge Apostles group when they were both at Trinity College, Cambridge. Anderson's family was well-to-do, but after his parent's ugly divorce, he broke with his father and had to depend on Everett for his expenses at Trinity. Though his brilliance was noted by no less than Henry Jackson (1839-1921), vice-master of Trinity and Regius Professor of Greek, he did not test well. He left Cambridge for Germany to study philology and then with Everett's help, secured position as tutor at Harvard, which he extended to an assistant professorship. Of his teaching, Everett wrote, "Greek as taught by him was not a dead language. It was alive, not through any gushing aestheticism, or uncritical perusal; but alive because taught thoroughly, and brought in all its parts—critical, grammatical, literary, historical—right to the inmost minds of his pupils." He also championed American classical study abroad, and it was "unquestionably through him that the Hellenists of England first became aware of the immense addition to their resources made by Professor [William Watson] Goodwin, and convinced of the serious defects in their own training." His teaching exacted a physical and psychological toll on him and when his father's business was destroyed by a fire, Anderson collapsed. Emerging from his breakdown, he attempted a business career, but failed and went to Leipzig, where, depressed and alone, he died at 35, his youthful promise came to nothing while the man was still young.

  • Sources:

    William Everett, "The Late Frank Eustace Anderson" AJP 1 (1880) 511-2, reprinted from the Boston Daily Advertiser, reprinted by Everett in the Harvard College Class of 1865 (6th Report) (Cambridge, 1885); W.C. Lubenow, The Cambridge Apostles, 1820-1914: Liberalism, Imagination, and Friendship in British Intellectual and Professional Life (Cambridge: Cambridge U. Press, 1998) 311-12.

  • Author: John Francis Latimer