The Times/1920/Obituary/Elizabeth Lee
Miss Elizabeth Lee
A correspondent writes:—
Miss Elizabeth Lee, who died on Saturday night at her residence in Kensington, at the age of 62, enjoyed a well-merited reputation alike as a stimulating lecturer on English literature, an editor of English text for schools, a critic of foreign literature, a biographer, and an original thinker about educational problems.
After education at Queen's College, Harley-street, where she was greatly influence by the literary instruction of Dean Plumptre, she began at an early age a long career as teach of English at girls' secondary schools. This vocation which she pursued till with a very few weeks of her death, had the effect of broadening rather than narrowing her views and outlook. In 1907 she became secretary of the English Association, and during her five years' tenure of the post, she helped to develop the association's activities in most friendly alliance with Mr. (now Sir) Arthur Acland, Dr. A. C. Bradley, and Dr. F. S. Boas. She studied at first hand the educational methods of France and Germany, and she turned her knowledge to good account in the pamphlet which she wrote for the English Association on "The Teaching of Literature in French and German Secondary Schools." The French Minister of Public Instruction acknowledge her sagacity by awarding her, on November 1, 1909, the honour of Officier d'Académie. Through all her life she was an enthusiast of French literature. For a great many years she contributed to each number of the Library a critical article on current French poetry and prose which won approval in France. Her educational publications included "A School History of English Literature" in three volumes, and "Selections from English Literature" in four volumes. Both these works followed original lines, and enjoyed a large circulation. To general literature she contributed a biography of Ouida and "Lives of the Wives of Queen Victoria's Prime Ministers." These books were suggested to her by publishers, but she treated the themes with an effectiveness and thoroughness which are rare in publisher's ventures of this kind. She was a regular and a valuable contributor of women's lives to "The Dictionary of National Biography" during the long editorship of her brother, Sir Sidney Lee. To Sir Sidney she devotedly rendered constant literary and other service through the past 30 years. She helped, among other things, to correct the proofs and to compile the index of the last revision of his "Life of Shakespeare." Her sanguine spirit and independent judgment, her scholarly and orderly habit of mind, and, above all, her intelligent sympathy with young people, gave her a large and varied circle of friends of all ages, and in their society she delighted. Her remains, by her own direction, will be cremated at Golders Green this morning.