Lawrence Evans
Smith-Corcoran Chicago Funeral Home
6150 North Cicero Avenue
Chicago, IL
Evans, Lawrence Gove Age 76, died Sunday November 20, 2011 at St. Anthony hospital in Chicago. Lawrence, for forty years a professor in the English Department at Northwestern University, was born on June 29, 1935 in Waterbury, CT to Roswell H. Evans Sr. and Ruth Gove Evans. He grew up in Morris Plains, NJ, graduating from Morristown H.S. in 1952 as Valedictorian. Lawrence attended Bates College with a full tuition scholarship and received his B.A. in English and Philosophy in 1956. During his days at Bates, he was named Phi Beta Kappa in his junior year and rated the first-ranking male student all four years. He did his graduate work at Harvard University, receiving an M.A. in English in 1957 and a Ph.D. in 1961 with a dissertation titled "Some Letters of Walter Pater." His honors at Harvard included a University Scholarship (1956-57); a Leman Scholarship; a two-time Charles Dexter Fellowship (1959, 1960); and the Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship (1960-1961). His teaching career began during graduate school as a Teaching Fellow (1957-1960), and after receiving his doctorate he taught at Harvard as an instructor of English until 1962.In 1962, Lawrence accepted a position as Instructor at Northwestern University. He was promoted to Assistant Professor in 1963, and to Associate Professor in 1971. At Northwestern, Lawrence taught courses in the English Department ranging from freshman seminars and introductory English literatures courses to graduate seminars in his area of interest, late Victorian literature, and served on numerous doctoral committees. He coordinated Northwestern University's Evening Divisions' English courses starting in 1969, and was the Director of Undergraduate Studies in English. In addition to his teaching duties, he participated as a member of the Undergraduate and Graduate Committees of the English Department, on the General Faculty Committee, and served on the Budget and Resources Advisory Committee. He was a faculty associate at Willard Residential College (1980), and held a leadership position in the American Association of University Professors. In 1968 he was a Visiting Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He took a leave of absence from Northwestern in 1975-1976 to research the relationship between Victorian church history and literature. His edited Letters of Walter Pater was published in 1970 (Oxford). He retired from Northwestern University in 2001, and was elected to emeritus status on September 1, 2001. Lawrence was never married and leaves no children. He is survived by his younger brother, Roswell Jr. of Monroe Twp., NJ. Service for Lawrence were private. Info Smith-Corcoran Funeral Home 773-736-3833 or visit Lawrence's Memorial at

Published by Chicago Sun-Times on Nov. 27, 2011.
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Lawrence Evans was a huge influence on my study at Northwestern as a graduate student in 1992-93. He stepped up and "mentored" my independent research for my master's thesis during rather troubled times on campus. I am so sorry for his loss and especially regret not having counseled with him subsequently during my further graduate work and visits to Chicago after my relocation to New York. He was a source of inspiration that will remain with me always. My condolences, belatedly, to his associates and family, as I only just now learned of his loss to the community.
Linda Nelson Maddox
December 16, 2019
Lawrence Evans was also one of my best teachers when I was an undergraduate at Northwestern University. He really knew his material, and he was generous with his time.

I always regretted that I avoided taking a course with him until my senior year. He had a reputation for being very hard, but the challenge of his courses was matched by his willingness to spend time with students who wished to revise their essays.

I am now an English professor myself, and his pedagogical tactics still influence me.
David Urban
October 24, 2012
Dr. Evans was one of my favorite professors at Northwestern, from 1970. His own personal passion for Walter Pater swept me along and I read him voraciously --- but also, his guidance and teaching has stayed with me to this day. I regret I never made the time to contact him again, or stop to see him during a trip to the Chicago area. But I am saddened to know he's gone, and send my sympathies to his surviving family.
Eric Schlesinger
March 8, 2012
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