Edward Byles Cowell: Brennus Stories

Scope and Content

Brennus Stories, 174 folios: essays upon various books admired and read by E.B. Cowell, with general reflections upon the place of libraries and books in human life; divided into twelve sections with a conclusion. One or two verses, a preface and a dedication in verse (to the writer's wife) precede the opening section. At the foot of p. 162 is the date 15 July 1847.

Administrative / Biographical History

Edward Byles Cowell (1826-1903), scholar and man of letters, was born at Ipswich on 23 January 1826. He studied Sanskrit, Persian and Arabic, before training in his father's business as a merchant and maltster from 1842. He entered Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1850 (B.A., 1854), and catalogued manuscripts for the Bodleian Library. Cowell was Professor of English History at Presidency College, Calcutta, 1856-1864, and became Principal of the Sanskrit College in Calcutta in 1858. He returned to England in 1864, and became the first Professor of Sanskrit at Cambridge University, 1867-1903. He founded the Cambridge Philological Society in 1868, and became a fellow of Corpus Christi College in 1874. Cowell died at Cambridge on 9 February 1903.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Presented by Miss B. Cowell, 1921.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entry on E.B. Cowell in the Concise dictionary of national biography, Part II, 1901-1970 (Oxford University Press, 1982), p. 153.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.

Related Material

Cambridge University Library holds other papers of Cowell, MSS.Add.4193, 4195-4199, 4201-4204, 4225, 4501-4503, 4509-4510, 6406-6409, and Adv.b.78.11.