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Amy M. Charles English Scholarship

The following biography was written at the time of this scholarship establishment; some information may not be up to date:

Dr. Amy M. Charles was, for her colleagues, friends, and students, an original and striking presence. Her death on March 24, 1985 after a lengthy illness was a tremendous loss for the University, where Dr. Charles spent nearly 30 years as a professor of English and faculty leader. In 1988, Dr. Elizabeth Cowling, executrix of the Amy M. Charles Estate, created the Amy M. Charles Memorial Scholarship in English at the wish of Dr. Amy M. Charles and in memory of Dr. Charles’ parents, Harry Howard Charles and Marie Berbach Charles.

A faculty member in the Department of English since 1956, Dr. Charles was recognized as one of America’s foremost scholars of the 17th century English devotional poet, George Herbert. She wrote what is considered by many scholars to be the definitive biography on Herbert, “A Life of George Herbert,” which was published in 1977 by Cornell University Press.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Dr. Charles was a cum laude graduate of Westminster College in Pennsylvania and received her masters and PhD degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. Before coming to UNCG, she taught at Westminster College and was a Bloomfield Moore Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. Her academic specialty was 17th century English literature. She was a founder of the Friends of Bemerton, an organization with American and English membership devoted to preserving George Herbert’s memory and work. She served as secretary-treasurer of the transatlantic organization and was editor of its newsletter, Cross-Bias.

Dr. Charles wrote lengthy introductions to facsimile editions of two collections of Herbert’s poetry, “The Williams Manuscript of George Herbert’s Poems” (1984). She did extensive research on Herbert’s life and works in England and delivered numerous lectures on the poet in the US and England.