Acomb, Frances (Dorothy) 1907-1984

views updated

* Indicates that a listing has been compiled from secondary sources believed to be reliable, but has not been personally verified for this edition by the author sketched.

ACOMB, Frances (Dorothy) 1907-1984

PERSONAL: Born October 15, 1907, in Donora, PA; died 1984. Education: Wellesley College, A.B. 1928; Smith College, A.M., 1932; University of Chicago, Ph.D., 1943.

CAREER: High school teacher, 1929-36; University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, research assistant, 1936-43; New York State Teachers College, Albany, instructor, after 1943; Duke University, Durham, NC, assistant professor then professor, 1945-75, professor emerita of history, beginning 1975. Wartime service: War Department historian during World War II.


Anti-English Opinion in France (thesis), University of Chicago Library (Chicago, IL), 1943.

Anglophobia in France, 1763-1789: An Essay in the History of Constitutionalism and Nationalism, Duke University Press (Durham, NC), 1950.

Statistical Control in the Army Air Forces, History Division, U.S. Air Force (Colorado Springs, CO), 1952.

Mallet du Pan, 1749-1800: A Career in Political Journalism, Duke University Press (Durham, NC), 1973.

SIDELIGHTS: Frances Acomb was an American historian whose study Anglophobia in France, 1763-1789: An Essay in the History of Constitutionalism and Nationalism examines political relations between Great Britain and France during the twenty-five years before the French Revolution. In the book Acomb discusses how French writers of the period alternately admired and disliked the English, depending on political allegiances and current events. In general, French conservatives who supported the divine-right monarchy criticized English institutions, while liberals were pro-English. A reviewer for United States Quarterly Book List commented, "In her study, Miss Acomb has combined careful scholarship with a persistent attempt to look behind accepted interpretations, and has consequently produced a carefully documented but not pedantic study." An American Historical Review critic called the book a "scholarly little volume....Though a bit dull in style . . . the book reveals wide research, command of nearly all pertinent material, and should make unnecessary another study of the same subject."

Subsequent publications by Acomb include Statistical Control in the Army Air Forces, and Mallet du Pan, 1749-1800: A Career in Political Journalism.



Scanlon, Jennifer, and Shaaron Cosner, American Women Historians, 1700s-1990s: A Biographical Dictionary, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1996.


American Historical Review, October, 1950, p. 190.

United States Quarterly Booklist, September, 1950, p. 327.*