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Rollins, Hyder Edward (1889–1958)

Richard T. Fleming Biography

Hyder Edward Rollins, professor of English, was born in Abilene, Texas, on November 8, 1889, the son of Nathaniel G. and Elva (Hyder) Rollins. At the age of fourteen he entered Southwestern University, and, after time off for teaching in country schools, he received his first degree in 1910. He received an M.A. from the University of Texas in 1912 and taught English there for two years. He was a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University in 1914–15, then attended Harvard, where he received a Ph.D. in 1917. In World War I Rollins enlisted as a private in the United States Army Signal Corps and served as a second lieutenant for the next two years in France. In 1919 he went to Europe on a Harvard Sheldon Traveling Fellowship which he had earlier declined in order to enlist. He was appointed assistant professor at New York University in 1920 and became a full professor four years later. In 1926 he returned to Harvard and succeeded George Lyman Kittredge as Gurney Professor of English there in 1939. He retired in 1956 and continued to reside in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Rollins was the author of numerous books and articles. He was editor or coeditor of some twenty volumes in Harvard Studies in English, Harvard Studies and Notes in Philology and Literature, and A New Variorum Shakespeare. Between 1914 and 1916 he published thirteen articles on O. Henry (see PORTER, WILLIAM SYDNEY) and other Texas subjects. He was a recognized scholar in Elizabethan poetry, the broadside ballad, and the Romantic poets. He had an international reputation for his scholarly work on the poet John Keats. He directed more than 100 doctoral dissertations while at Harvard. In 1933 he received an honorary LL.D. from Southwestern University. Rollins never married. He died on July 25, 1958, and was buried in Abilene.


  • Education
  • Educators
  • English and Journalism
  • Writers, Authors, Publications, and Literature
  • Literature
  • Scholars, Editors, and Critics

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Richard T. Fleming, “Rollins, Hyder Edward,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 30, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.