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Sir Herbert Grierson (Sir Herbert John Clifford Grierson) Biography

(1866–1960), (Sir Herbert John Clifford Grierson), The Cambridge History of English Literature

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British editor and critic, born in Quendale on the southern tip of Shetland, educated at King's College, the University of Aberdeen, and Christ Church, Oxford. In 1894 he became the first Professor of English Literature at Aberdeen and was subsequently Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature at the University of Edinburgh. Following his contribution of the chapter on John Donne to The Cambridge History of English Literature (edited by A. W. Ward and A. R. Waller, thirteen volumes, 190716), he produced his edition of The Poems of John Donne (two volumes, 1912). This work and his edition of Metaphysical Lyrics and Poems of the Seventeenth Century (1921), T. S. Eliot's review of which gave rise to the celebrated phrase ‘dissociation of sensibility’, were strongly influential in the growth of critical interest in metaphysical poetry during the 1920s. His other publications include the critical study Cross Currents in the Literature of the XVII Century (1929) and the biography Walter Scott, Bart. (1938). He was knighted in 1936 for his services to literature.

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