Author: Andrea Mehrlander

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Maximilian Schele De Vere (1820–1898)

Maximilian Schele De Vere was a professor of modern languages at the University of Virginia and a founding member of the American Philological Society. Born in Sweden, likely with the surname von Scheele, he later changed his name, possibly after marrying an Irish woman named De Vere. After studying languages in Germany, Schele De Vere edited a German-language newspaper in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and then studied Greek at Harvard. In 1844, he joined the faculty at the University of Virginia, teaching there for more than fifty years. He supported the Confederacy during the American Civil War (1861–1865), serving as captain of a home guard unit. Before and after the war he published regularly, including translations, collections of essays, and textbooks. He resigned his teaching position in 1895 amid accusations he had sent libelous letters to another professor and the chair of the faculty. He also may have become addicted to morphine taken to control back pain. Schele De Vere died in Washington, D.C., in 1898.