Bernhard Egidius Konrad ten Brink - Encyclopedia




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BERNHARD EGIDIUS KONRAD TEN BRINK (1841-1892), German philologist, of Dutch origin, was born at Amsterdam on the 12th of January 1841, but was sent to school at Dusseldorf, and afterwards studied at Munster, and later under Diez and Delius at Bonn. In 1866 he began to lecture at the Munster Academy on the philology of the English and Romance languages. In 1870 he became professor of modern languages at Marburg, and after the reconstitution of Strassburg University was appointed professor of English there in 1873. In 1874 he began to edit, in conjunction with W. Scherer, E. Martin and E. Schmidt, Quellen and Forschungen zur Sprache and Kulturgeschichte der germanischen Volker. He devoted himself for many years to the study of Chaucer. In 1877 he published Chaucer: Studien zur Geschichte seiner Entwickelung and zur Chronologie seiner Schriften; in 1884, Chaucers Sprache and Verskunst. He also published critical editions of the Prologue and the Compleynte to Pitc. Ten Brink's work in this direction stimulated a revival of Chaucer study in the United Kingdom as well as in Germany, and to him was indirectly due the foundation of the English Chaucer Society. His BeowulfUntersuchungen (1888) proved a hardly less valuable contribution to the study of Early English literature. His best known work is his Geschichte der englischen Literatur (1889-93), (English by H. Kennedy in Bohn's Standard Library), which was unfortunately never completed, and broke off just before the Elizabethan period. It was his intense admiration of Shakespeare that first attracted him to the study of English, and five lectures on Shakespeare delivered at Frankfort were published after his death (1893). Ten Brink died at Strassburg on the 29th of January 1892. He was a great teacher as well as an accurate and brilliant writer, and from many countries students flocked to his lecture-room.

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