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Faverty, Frederic E. (Frederic Everett), 1902-1981



  • Existence: 1902-1981


Frederic E. Faverty was born September 29, 1902 in Sparta, Illinois, the son of Clarence Walter and Amelia (Riemer) Faverty. Faverty joined the faculty of the English department at Northwestern University in 1930, where he remained until retirement in 1971. Faverty's research interests centered on English philology and he was a noted authority on the literature of Victorian England. However, much of his early research and writing focused on Medieval English literature.

He graduated from East St. Louis (Illinois) High School in 1920 after which he attended Washington University, receiving a B.A. degree and becoming a member of Phi Beta Kappa honorary fraternity in 1924. Between 1925 and 1928 Faverty served as an instructor of English at Adelbert College of Western Reserve University. Harvard awarded him both the M.A. (1929) and Ph.D. (1930) degrees in English. His doctoral dissertation was entitled, “Legends of Joseph, the Hebrew Patriarch, in European Literature of the Middle Ages.”

Faverty joined the faculty of Northwestern University as an instructor of English in 1930. Subsequently he earned promotions to assistant professor (1933-39), associate professor (1939-1945), and professor (1945-1971). Upon Faverty's retirement from teaching, Northwestern accorded him emeritus status. Faverty was chairman of Northwestern's English department between 1945 and 1958 and again during the summer of 1967. He held the Morrison Professorship of English from 1958 to his retirement. Also while at Northwestern, Faverty chaired the university's Lecture Coordinating Committee and Harris Lecture Committee. From 1945 to 1950 he served as editor of the Northwestern University Press and from 1936 through 1948 he edited the university's annual publication, Summaries of Doctoral Dissertations.

Faverty was active in numerous professional and scholarly organizations. He was a member of the American Association of University Professors and chaired the Public Relations Committee of the National Council of Teachers of English. Faverty was president of Northwestern's chapter of Phi Beta Kappa in 1946 and was a member (1957-1960) and chairman (1960) of the national organization's Christian Gauss Award Committee. He served on the evaluation panel of the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities (1966) and as a consultant on Victorian literature to the Modern Language Association of America. He was a member of the Society of Midland Authors and on the English department visiting committee for the Harvard Board of Overseers (1957-1961). Faverty also served on a doctoral examining committee for the University of Toronto (1967), on the editorial board of Victorian Poetry, and on the advisory board for Victorian Studies.

Faverty's research interests centered on English philology and he was a noted authority on the literature of Victorian England although much of his early research and writing focused on Medieval English literature. He wrote numerous journal, encyclopedia, and newspaper articles on literary topics as well as co-edited the Victorian Bibliographies appearing annually in Modern Philology from 1932 through 1936. Faverty was widely known for the scores of reviews and essays he wrote for the Chicago Tribune Magazine of Books between 1952 and 1972. From 1956 through 1959 Faverty was the author of a series of articles on literary classics, again published by the Chicago Tribune Magazine of Books. Many of these articles, grouped under the series title, “Our Literary Heritage,” were republished in Faverty's book, Your Literary Heritage (J.B. Lippincott Company, 1959). Faverty's other major publications include Matthew Arnold the Ethnologist (Northwestern University Press, 1951) and The Victorian Poets, A Guide to Research (Harvard University Press, 1956; second edition, 1968).

Faverty married Margaret Ellen Beckett on June 20, 1934. The Favertys had two children: Kathleen Margaret and Richard Beckett. Professor Faverty died on August 9, 1981.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Frederic E. Faverty (1902-1981) Papers

Identifier: 11/3/11/16

The Frederic E. Faverty Papers are arranged in nineteen and one-half boxes and one oversize package. They span the period 1920-1982. The Papers are organized into eight subseries: biographical materials, general correspondence, Harvard University materials, Northwestern University materials, teaching materials and lecture notes, graduate student records, subject files, and publications files.

Dates: 1920-1982