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    Dr. Everett Emerson, scholar, dies at 77

    Dr. Emerson specialized in studies of Henry James, Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain.

    By CRAIG BASSE, Times Obituaries Editor
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published July 17, 2002

    ST. PETERSBURG -- While college catalogs listed Dr. Everett Emerson as an English professor, he saw his field closer to home: American literature.

    In a 44-year career, Dr. Emerson, a founding faculty member of Florida Presbyterian College, emphasized in his scholarly efforts the American authors Henry James, Emily Dickinson and Mark Twain.

    An honorary member of the Emily Dickinson Society of Japan, he was a founder of the Mark Twain Circle of America and the author of Mark Twain in Focus.

    Dr. Emerson, an associate professor of English at FPC from 1960 to 1965, died Tuesday (July 9, 2002) at his summer home in Lenox, Mass. He was 77. The cause was congestive heart failure, his wife said.

    He was hired by Florida Presbyterian in 1959 as the school prepared to receive its first freshman class. At the time he was teaching at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.

    Born in Malden, Mass., he received a bachelor's degree from Harvard University, a master's degree from Duke and a doctorate from Louisiana State University.

    After leaving FPC, now Eckerd College, he taught at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. For a decade he was a faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, retiring in 1993 as alumni distinguished professor of English and American studies.

    Dr. Emerson was a founder of the Modern Language Association's Division on American Literature to 1800. His nine books include literary studies of Capt. John Smith and Puritan leader John Cotton.

    In World War II he was an infantry officer in the Marine Corps.

    Survivors in addition to his wife of 53 years, the former Katherine Terrell of Jacksonville, include a son, Stephen M., Oakland, Calif.

    Cremation Society of the Carolinas, Raleigh, N.C., is in charge.

    The family suggests memorial contributions to Amnesty International USA, 322 Eighth Ave., New York, N.Y. 10001.

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