Spurgeon, Caroline F.E. (1869–1942)

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Spurgeon, Caroline F.E. (1869–1942)

English educator and authority on Chaucer and Shakespeare. Born Caroline Frances Eleanor Spurgeon in Punjab, India, in 1869; died on October 24, 1942; educated at Cheltenham College, England; Oxford University, B.A., 1899.

Caroline F.E. Spurgeon was born in Punjab, India, in 1869. From 1901 to 1906, she was a lecturer at England's Bedford College for Women, and head of its English literature department from 1913 to 1929. From 1906 to 1913, she was a lecturer at the University of London, before becoming the first woman to hold a professorship (1913–29) there. While a visiting professor at Barnard College in New York City from 1920 to 1921, Spurgeon helped organize the International Federation of University Women and became its first president (1920–24). Her major writings include Mysticism in English Literature (1913), Five Hundred Years of Chaucer Criticism and Allusion (1920–25), Keats's Shakespeare (1928), and Shakespeare's Imagery, and What It Tells Us (1935). In 1939, ill health caused Spurgeon to move to Tucson, Arizona, where she died three years later.


The New York Times (obituary). October 25, 1942, p. 44.