Shaw, Thomas Budge (DNB00)

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SHAW, THOMAS BUDGE (1813–1862), author, seventh son of John Shaw (1776–1832) [q. v.], was born at Gower Street, London, on 12 Oct. 1813. In 1822 he accompanied his uncle, the Rev. Francis Whitfield, to Berbice in the West Indies, and on his return in 1827 entered the free school, Shrewsbury, where he became a favourite pupil of Dr. Samuel Butler [q. v.], afterwards bishop of Lichfield. In 1833 he went to Trinity College, Cambridge, and graduated B.A. in 1836. After acting as a private tutor, he in 1840 visited Russia and settled at St. Petersburg next year. There he made the acquaintance of M. Warrand, a professor at the university, and by his influence was in 1842 appointed professor of English literature at the Imperial Alexander Lyceum. In the same year he married M. Warrand's daughter Annette. In 1846, at the request of the authorities of the Lyceum, Shaw undertook to write a textbook of English literature. It was published in 1848 as ‘Outlines of English Literature’ (2nd edit. 1849). He visited England in 1851, and proceeded M.A. On his return to Russia he was made lector of English literature at the university of St. Petersburg. His lectures were much appreciated. From 1853 until his death he was tutor and professor of English to the grand dukes of Russia. He died suddenly of an aneurism on 14 Nov. 1862. His funeral was attended by a large concourse of past and present pupils, and a monument was erected to his memory by subscription at the Lyceum.

Although the impossibility of consulting at St. Petersburg the latest English authorities on the subject made some inaccurate statements and conclusions inevitable, Shaw's manual sets before the student the characteristics of the great writers in a way that arrests his attention and guides his taste. Since the author's death the book has been enlarged, many times reprinted, and incorporated in the series known as ‘Murray's Students' Manuals.’ Shaw contributed the article on St. Petersburg to the ‘Encyclopædia Britannica,’ 1859, and published ‘The Heretic,’ translated from the Russian of Lajetchnikoff, 3 vols. 1844, besides excellent translations from the Russian, Latin, Italian, and German in ‘Blackwood's,’ ‘Fraser's,’ and other magazines.

[Allibone's Dict. ii. 2062; Sir William Smith's Memoir to the 1864 edition of the Manual of English Literature.]

E. L.