The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Zerffi, George Gustavus
ZERFFI, George Gustavus, English author: b. Hungary, 1821; d. Chiswick, England, 28 Jan. 1892. He edited a newspaper at Budapest, and in 1848 served as a captain in the revolutionary army. He also acted for a time as Kossuth's private secretary. On the failure of the revolution in 1849 he went to England and was naturalized, and some years later was engaged as a lecturer in the department of art at South Kensington. Throughout his career Zerffi gave much attention to the subjects of decoration and history, and wrote many works treating these themes in a comprehensive manner. He asserted that history should be studied as a whole on philosophical principles. He planned a general work on these lines entitled ‘Studies in the Science of General History,’ of which two volumes were issued, dealing with ancient and mediæval history respectively. Among his other publications are ‘A Manual of the Historical Development of Art, with Special Reference to Architecture, Sculpture, Painting and Ornament’ (1876); an English version of Goethe's ‘Faust’ with critical and explanatory notes (1859); he also published a number of his lectures.