FRAZER, Robert Watson

FRAZER, Robert Watson. Dublin 1854 — 30.11.1921. Irish Indologist and Dravidian Scholar in British Civil Service in India. Lecturer in London. Son of Dr. William Frazer, a physician. Educated at Rathmines School and Trinity College in Dublin (under Atkinson). LL.B. In 1877-86 served in India, Madras Civil Service. In 1886 retired, “invalided in consequence of fever contracted in the Rumpa rebellion”. In 1885-1916 Lecturer of Telugu and Tamil at University College in London, then in 1917-19 the same at S.O.A.S., also worked as librarian in London. Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. Married Hannah Maria Wilson (d. 1917) and Charlotte Stanley Hughes, two daughters and one son. He knew well Sanskrit and several Dravidian languages, especially Tamil and Telugu.

Publications: Silent Gods and Sun-steeped Lands. Social life of the Telugu. 1895, 2nd ed. 222 p. 5 pl. L. 1896 (including a free version of the Ṛtusaṁhāra).

British India. 17+399 p. The Story of the Nations. L. 1896; Text-book of Indian History. 1907.

Literary History of India. 470 p. L. 1898.

Indian Thought, Past and Present. 339 p. L. 1915.

Articles in the E.R.E.: “Dravidians”, 5, 1912, 21ff.; “Saivism”, 11, 1921, 91ff.

Sources: F.W.T[homas], JRAS 1922, 146f.; Who Was Who 1916-1928; Buckland, Dictionary; Barbara Godfrey (his granddaughter) in chrisgodfrey.com (family details); not in D.I.B.

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