Author Alfred Elwes


Lifetime: 1819 - 1888 Passed: ≈ 135 years ago


Writer, Philologist



Alfred Elwes

Alfred Elwes was a nineteenth-century British author of children's literature, academic, philologist, and occasional translator of French, Italian and Portuguese literature into English. He is perhaps best remembered for his translation of the medieval Arthurian romance Jaufry the Knight and the Fair Brunissende; a Tale of the Times of King Arthur.

Elwes was born in 1819 at Woolwich, Kent. In his education Elwes attained the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. He studied at Leiden in the Netherlands.

Subsequently Elwes was Professor of English at Leghorn, Tuscany. His earliest known work, Il Nuovo Vergani (1845), a grammar in Italian for the study of English, was probably written and published during his tenure in this position, as was, no doubt, his earliest known translation, A new and complete Italian grammar by Vergani (1846), which would have performed the same office in English for the study of Italian.

Later, after returning to England, Elwes served as President of the British Literary Society in a term beginning in 1857 and running through 1858. In 1868 he served, along with Samuel Neil, as one of the two vice-presidents of the newly established British Literary Union. In 1870 he held the position of Official Translator of Modern Languages in London.

He died in December 1888 in Kensington.

Elwes' interests in Continental languages and travel are reflected in most of his works. He both wrote and translated travel literature, and much of his children's fiction details the lives or adventures of young protagonists in European locales.

In addition to his works published in book form, Elwes contributed prose and verse to various periodicals.

Elwes was the compiler of a number of English/Romance dictionaries, as well as Romance language grammars for the use of students learning the languages, all reissued in various editions into the twentieth century.

Books by Alfred Elwes

The Adventures of a Dog, and a Good Dog Too Cover image

The Adventures of a Dog, and a Good Dog Too

Animal Nature

This fictional work is written in 1st person by the dog himself. It's a cute story of the adventures in the life of a noble dog who is appropriately named, Job. The canine society in which he lives is an interesting parallel to human society.

The Adventures of a Cat, and a Fine Cat Too! Cover image

The Adventures of a Cat, and a Fine Cat Too!

Adventure Fiction
Short Story Spirit Children Thriller Kindness Friendship Imagination Cats Lesson Curiosity Storytelling Loyality

It is a charming and delightful children's book. First published in 1857, this classic tale is still beloved by readers of all ages today. The story follows the adventures of a curious and mischievous cat named Tim, who embarks on a series of thrilli...

The Adventures of a Bear, and a Great Bear Too Cover image

The Adventures of a Bear, and a Great Bear Too

Adventure Fiction
Thriller Courage Friendship Bravery Empathy Animal Stories Bear

It is an enchanting and captivating book. This delightful tale takes readers on an unforgettable journey filled with friendship, courage, and exciting escapades. Originally published in 1853, "The Adventures of a Bear, and a Great Bear Too" continues...