Frank Stanton Carey writes to James George Frazer
A number of letters from Frank Stanton Carey to James George Frazer are in the Trinity College Archive. Sir James George Frazer (1854-1941) was a social anthropologist and classical scholar. Frazer was the author of a great many books. Below we give a brief summary of some of Carey's letters to Frazer. Those written during the years of World War I give particular insight into his feelings at that time.
Address: 52 Catherine Street, Liverpool. Dated: 12 November 1905.
Carey thanks James Frazer for sending him his book Lectures on the Early History of Kingship. The Careys were visited by the mathematical historian Walter William Rouse Ball and his wife Alice Mary Ball née Gaid. The Balls spent a few days with the Careys.
Address: 3 Cavendish Terrace, Devonshire Road, Liverpool. Dated: 16 March 1911.
Carey thanks Frazer for the copy of his book The Magic Art and the Evolution of Kings, Part 1. He tells Frazer a story suggested by the birthmark story in Frazer's book Totemism and Exogamy. Carey says that his wife was hit by a ball in her eighth month of pregnancy and their son was born with a discoloured eyelid. In fact they have had their son back home for a month as the result of a football accident. Carey has been ill, which has coincided with squabbling over bringing a German in as Professor of Greek. John Percival Postgate, the professor of Latin at the University of Liverpool, is fighting hard over the Professor of Greek. Carey says that Edgar Athelstane Browne and his wife Jessy Gilmore Browne née Carey (Carey's sister) are both well. He also says that Herbert Strong, the retired Professor of Latin, and his wife are leaving and that the surgeon Chauncey Puzey is well.
Address: 3 Cavendish Terrace, Princes Park, Liverpool. Dated: 22 June 1912.
Carey thanks Frazer for sending him his book Letters of William Cowper. Carey has had rheumatism. He describes reading Thomas Carlyle with his wife.
Address: 3 Cavendish Terrace, Liverpool. Dated: 17 July 1912.
Carey thanks Frazer for the books he has sent him. Carey says his wife is taking a rest-cure. He recommends George Henry Rendall's Charterhouse Sermons to Frazer as worth reading.
Address: 3 Cavendish Terrace, Liverpool. Dated: 13 November 1912.
Carey reacts to news that the Frazers are thinking of moving to Edinburgh. He says that changes are happening at the University of Liverpool. He informs Frazer that Charles Bonnier, the Professor of French at the University of Liverpool, is retiring, and that the Registrar Percival Hebblethwaite is seriously ill. Carey says he has not seen the surgeon Chauncey Puzey for some time. He also reports that Herbert Strong is well.
Address: 3 Cavendish Terrace, Liverpool. Dated: 29 March 1913.
Carey thanks Frazer for his book The Belief in Immortality which he had received. He has had a visit from the Rouse Balls, and says that both seemed a good deal older. He says that the registrar Percival Hebblethwaite and Eugenio Londini, an Italian lecturer and librarian, have been away and unlikely to return to full duties. He reports that Mrs Eleanor Jane Alexander Caröe (the wife of Johan Frederik Caröe) died after a terrible illness. He also says that John Percival Postgate, the professor of Latin at the University of Liverpool, 'is reported by an irreverent son to be abroad', supplementing the information by saying 'Peace, perfect peace'.
Address: 3 Cavendish Terrace, Liverpool. Dated: 22 October 1913.
Carey thanks Frazer for his book The Scapegoat. He repeats a joke his son Dick [Richard Mein Carey] made about planting his knife in The Golden Bough to open its secrets. Carey says that the Master of Trinity College has sent round some verses. He has seen the historian James Smith Reid who spoke mainly of the classical scholar Robinson Ellis. Carey says that John Percival Postgate was visiting and he revealed to Postgate his son's [Raymond Postgate] violent socialist opinions, which came as a shock to Postgate. Carey also told Frazer that the surgeon Edgar Browne is publishing a new book.
Address: 3 Cavendish Terrace, Liverpool. Dated: 24 December 1913.
Carey thanks Frazer for sending him the concluding volumes of The Golden Bough. He says that 1913 has been an appalling one of loss of many friends. The palaeographer Jesse Alfred Twemlow is very ill, Mair is seriously ill, but the retired Professor of Latin Herbert Strong, the philosopher John MacCunn and the Edgar Brownes are all well. Carey expresses the hope that they will visit him.
Address: 22 Rock Park, Rock Ferry, Cheshire. Dated: 6 February 1915.
Carey thanks Frazer for sending him the Addison essays, and for Lady Frazer's letter and book at Christmas. He gives news of his son Windham Francis Carey who he says is happy to be serving in the Royal Garrison Artillery. His second son Richard Mein Carey is not yet 18 but keen to serve, which he will do 'if this bloody business is not finished before the year is out'. Carey says he knows that many of those young men going so happily will never return. He is drilling himself for that possibility. He writes about the traitor Kuno Meyer, a German scholar of Celtic studies. Kuno Meyer had been a colleague of Carey's at University College Liverpool when he was first appointed. Meyer went to the United States when World War I broke out and had given a pro-German speech in December 1914 which caused outrage in Britain.
Address: 22 Rock Park, Rock Ferry, Cheshire. Dated: 8 December 1916.
Carey thanks Frazer for sending him the Huxley memorial address. He reports that the surgeon Chauncey Puzey and M Bagin have died. He says that Edgar Browne is much changed. Carey is vexed with the pacifist strain at Trinity College, and says that he does not understand Bertrand Russell and his friends. He says he is sad to hear that John Percival Postgate's son Raymond and Adam Sedgwick's son are in gaol for refusing to serve in the military. He says that both of his boys are in France: the other day Dick [Richard Mein Carey] made a raid and entered the German trench to find no one there. He reports that the University is limping along. He says that W Gasperi visited, and that he has never doubted his sympathies. Carey salutes the conservatives and labour government uniting under Lloyd George.
Address: Ash Lea, Rock Park, Rock Ferry, Cheshire. Dated: 28 November 1918.
Carey thanks Frazer for sending him for Folk-Lore in the Old Testament. He says that an old sea captain neighbour of theirs admires all his work immensely and he says that he is pleased at the dedication to Trinity College. He is so thankful that he has been lucky to have his boys Windham and Richard spared in the war. He reports that the French linguist Charles Bonnier was imprisoned by the Germans for espionage but is returned safely.
Last Updated September 2021