Barrett Wendel was a Professor of English at Harvard, and taught English composition and literature from 1880 until his retirement in 1917. He had graduated from Harvard in 1877. From 1877 until 1880 he probably was a graduate student at Harvard and earned his PhD around the time they hired him as an instructor in English. He did not receive his official faculty appointment until 1888, when his title became Assistant Professor. In 1898 he was promoted to Professor by Harvard.
Wendell became Professor Emeritus upon his retirement in 1917. He did not enjoy it for long. He passed away on February 8, 1921 at the rather young age of 65. The New York Times referred to him as “one of the most brilliant research men in letters”.
Among Wendell’s contemporary college students, he was best known for his textbook “English Composition”. For the literary world he was known for “Studies of Cotton Mather and William Shakespeare”, “A Literary History of America”, “The France of Today”, and “The Traditions of European Literature”, among numerous other academic publications.
Wendell was apparently highly regarded by his academic peers. He was awarded honorary degrees from Harvard, Columbia and an honorary LLD from the University of Strasbourg, France. In addition Harvard elected him to the Harvard Board of Overseers.
During his academic career, probably during a sabbatical, he lectured at Cambridge University in England, the Sorbonne at Paris and at other French universities.
During his academic career he was a Trustee of the Boston Atheneum and a Fellow of the American Academy of Sciences.
New York Times, Obituary of Barrett Wendell, February 9, 1921
The following web site was also consulted.
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