Allen, Alexander (DNB00)
|←Alleine, William||Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 01
ALLEN, ALEXANDER (1814–1842), son of John Allen, author of ‘Modern Judaism,’ was born at Hackney, 23 Sept. 1814, and died 6 Nov. 1842. He was educated at his father’s school and the university of London, where he distinguished himself by his classical proficiency. On his father's death he carried on the school, which was called the Madras House Grammar School, at Hackney. He obtained, in 1840, the degree of doctor of philosophy from the university of Leipzig. His kind disposition and natural sagacity made him an excellent instructor. In the dedication of his ‘Analysis of Latin Verbs’ to Thomas Hewitt Key, he confesses that many of his philological principles were derived from that gentleman. He also acknowledges, in his ‘Essay on Teaching Greek,’ his obligations to his friend Mr. W. Wittich, teacher of German in University College, London. In the last years of his life he paid considerable attention to Anglo-Saxon, Swedish, Danish, Icelandic, and German, with a view to a comprehensive work on the history and structure of the English language. He left many notes upon this subject, but not in a state fit for publication.
His chief works, of which, considering the early age at which he died, the number is extraordinary, are an ‘Etymological Analysis of Latin Verbs,’ Lond. 1836, 8vo; ‘Constructive Greek Exercises, for teaching Greek from the beginning by Writing,’ 1839; ‘Eclogæ Ciceronianæ,’ 1839; ‘A New Greek Delectus, translated from the German of Dr. Kühner,’ 1839; ‘A New Latin Delectus,’ 1840; ‘A New English Grammar,’ 1841; an Essay on teaching Greek, published in vol. i. of the ‘Papers of the Central Society of Education;’ an Essay on writing Latin and Greek Exercises, in No. 18 of ‘Journal of Education,’ and one on Parsing, in No. 20. These essays show Dr. Allen's skill as a teacher. He also contributed articles to the ‘Penny Cyclopædia’ and Smith's ‘Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities’ and ‘Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.’[Brit. Mus. Catal.; Athenæum for 1842, p. 972; Papers of the Central Society of Education, i. 257.]