Hyder Edward Rollins
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Hyder Edward Rollins

Hyder Edward Rollins (8 November 1889 - 25 July 1958) was an American scholar and English professor. He was a prolific author of articles and books on Elizabethan poetry, broadside ballads, and Romantic poets. He was an internationally recognized scholar on John Keats, and he edited the authoritative two-volume edition of Keats' letters.


Rollins was born in Abilene, Texas, to Nathaniel G. and Elva (Hyder) Rollins. He entered Southwestern University at the age of 14. He took time off to teach in country schools and earned his B. A. in 1910. Two years later he earned an M. A. from the University of Texas, and taught English there for two years. In 1914 he entered Johns Hopkins University graduate school, and in 1915 he entered Harvard University, where he took his Ph.D. in 1917. When the U.S. entered World War I he declined a Harvard Sheldon Traveling Fellowship to enlist in the U.S. Army Signal Corps as a private, and served in France as a second lieutenant for the duration. In 1919 he returned to Europe on the fellowship he had declined before the war.

In 1920 he was appointed assistant professor at New York University, becoming a full professor four years later. He returned to Harvard in 1926, and in 1939 he succeeded George Lyman Kittredge as Gurney Professor of English. He directed more than 100 doctoral dissertations during his Harvard career, retiring in 1956 and continuing to reside in Cambridge. The last four years of his life were devoted to fixing the sequence and text of Keats' letters. With his eyesight and health failing, Rollins finished proofreading galleys a few weeks before his death. He never married. He is buried in Abilene.

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