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Grove, Frederick Philip
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Born Felix Paul Greve in 1879 in Radomno and raised in Hamburg, Grove graduated from the famous Gymnasium Johanneum in 1898. He studied classical philology and archaeology in Bonn and Munich where he frequented circles surrounding Stefan George, the leading German poet of his time. In Berlin Greve became involved with Else Endell who was the wife of his friend, the Jugendstil architect August Endell. All three set out for Palermo in January, 1903. After Greve had served a prison term in Bonn in 1903/04 for defrauding another friend, "the Greves" lived in Switzerland, France, and Berlin until the now highly prolific translator abruptly left for America in late July 1909: apart from being heavily in debt, he had just double-sold his translation of Swift's Prose Works, and found it advisable to disappear by staging his suicide. Else joined him in Pittsburgh a year later. Within a year of their reunion, Greve abandoned her on a small farm near Sparta, Kentucky, in 1911, and made his way towards Canada. Else posed in Cincinnati, Philadelphia and New York where she married Baron Leo von Freytag-Loringhoven in late 1913. Under his name, she later became well-known in New York Dada circles which included artists like Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp.
After a decade of teaching in remote districts of Manitoba, Grove started to emerge as a Canadian writer from Rapid City in 1922. Often ignored, his first publication had been the Nietzschean essay "Rousseau als Erzieher"in the German-Canadian newspaper Der Nordwesten in November & December of 1914. Grove began taking extra-mural studies at the University of Manitoba in 1915, and he obtained his B.A. in French and German in 1922. In 1914, he had married his fellow teacher Catherine Wiens. After their daughter Phyllis May died during an appendicitis operation shortly before her twelfth birthday in 1927, the Groves left Manitoba to settle in Ontario in 1929. Their son Leonard was born in Ottawa in 1930, while Grove was briefly involved with Graphic Publishers who had published his first autobiographical novel, A Search for America, in 1927. Despite the economically depressed conditions and increasing ill health, Grove continued to write and publish from his Simcoe estate until his death on August 19, 1948.
The highlight of Grove's career as a Canadian author had been a highly successful, coast-to-coast lecture tour organized be the Canadian Club in 1928 & 1929. Among many further honours he received were the Lorne Pierce Medal in 1934, the election as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1941, two Honorary Doctorates from his alma mater, the University of Manitoba (D.Litt.) and Mount Allison University (LLD) in 1946, and the Governor-General's Award in 1947 -- ironically, he was awarded the latter in the category of non-fiction for his second autobiography In Search of Myself (1946). Since 1943, Grove also received frequent monetary support from the Canadian Authors' Foundation. In April 1943, he ran -- without success -- for the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation in the Ontario provincial elections.
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