The Pelham Edgar Distinguished Visitor Endowment
Established in 2004 by Dr. Johanna L. Metcalf Vic 5T7 to fund visiting scholars and scholarly activities particularly in the humanities, and for the overall enrichment of the Vic One experience.
Oscar Pelham Edgar (1871-1948) was a teacher and an academic. He was born in Toronto, Ontario, the son of James David Edgar and Matilda Ridout. He married Helen Madeline Boulton in 1893. She died in 1933. He married Dona Gertrude Cameron Waller in 1935. They had one daughter, Katharine Jane. He died in Canton, Ontario.
Edgar was educated at Upper Canada College. He received his B.A. from the University of Toronto in 1892 and a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland in 1897. He began his teaching career as modern-language master at Upper Canada College (1892-1895). He was appointed to the staff of the Department of French at Victoria College, Toronto, as Lecturer in 1897, then as Head from 1901 to 1910. He also began to lecture in the Department of English in 1902, later transferring permanently to the latter, where he held full professional rank until 1938 and served as Head for 28 years.
Edgar was a member of the Athenaeum Club, London, England; of the Canadian Society of Authors where he served as Secretary; of the Tennyson Club, Toronto, where he served as President; of the Modern Language Association, Ontario, where he served as President; of the Ontario Education Society, where he served as Secretary from 1908 to 1909; and of the Canadian Writers' Foundation which was founded by Edgar. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1915 and received its Lorne Pierce Medal for distinguished service to Canadian literature in 1936.
Edgar published many reviews and articles, along with three monographs: A Study of Shelley with Special Reference to his Nature Poetry (1899), Henry James, Man and Author (1927), The Art of the Novel from 1700 to the Present Time (1933). He also contributed a chapter on Canada to The Cambridge History of English Literature (1916), and acted as Canadian advisor for the Dictionary of National Biography (1911). Some autobiographical material was published posthumously under the title Across my Path (1952), edited by Northrop Frye.
Pelham Edgar Visiting Lecturers in the Humanities:
2022-2023 ~ Sheila Heti
2021-2022 ~ Eleanor Wachtel
2020-2021 ~ Ian William
2019-2020 ~ George Elliott Clarke
2018-2019 ~ Tanya Talaga
2017-2018 ~ Marni Jackson
2016-2017 ~ Sandra Martin
2015-2016 ~ Ray Robertson
2014-2015 ~ Camilla Gibb
2013-2014 ~ Jane Urquhart
2012-2013 ~ Linden MacIntyre
2011-2012 ~ Johanna Skibsrud
2010-2011 ~ Margaret Atwood
2009-2010 ~ Norman Jewison
2008-2009 ~ Elizabeth Hay
2007-2008 ~ David Gilmour
2006-2007 ~ John Bemrose
2005-2006 ~ Ann-Marie MacDonald
2004-2005 ~ J. Edward Chamberlin & Lorna Goodison
Pelham Edgar: Victoria University Library (Toronto)