File B1974-0028 - Grube, George Maximilian Antony (oral history)

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UTA 5001-B1974-0028


Grube, George Maximilian Antony (oral history)


  • 7 Nov 1973 (Creation)

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1 sound tape reel (62 mins.)

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Biographical history

Georges Maximilien Antoine Grube, Classicist, Trinity College professor, and active member in the C.C.F. and N.D.P., was born in Antwerp, Belgium, on 3 August 1899, the son of Antoine and Marie Reiners. At the beginning of the Great War in 1914 he immigrated to England where he attended King Edward's High School, Birmingham. He served briefly with the Belgian army towards the end of the war and after the cessation of hostilities he acted as an interpreter to British forces in Belgium. He completed his education at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he graduated with a B.A. in classics in 1922 and a M.A. in 1925. It is perhaps by this time that he started generally using the name George Maximilian Antony Grube. He became a naturalized British subject on 25 January 1924, and on 7 August he married in London Gwenyth Deen Macintosh, a fellow graduate in classics at Cambridge.

After four years as a lecturer at the University College of Swansea, Wales, George Grube came to Toronto in 1928 to take the position of Professor of Classics at Trinity College. He acted as head of the Depart¬ment of Classics at Trinity College from 1932 to 1965 and as head of the Graduate Department of Classics at the University of Toronto from 1951 to 1966. He retired from Trinity College in 1968, but was re-appointed as a special lecturer during 1968-69 and became emeritus professor of classics in 1969.

As a classical scholar, G.M.A. Grube is best known as author of <i>Plato's Thought </i>(1935), <i>The Drama of Euripedes </i>(1941), <i>A Greek Critic: Demetrius on Style </i>(1961), and <i>The Greek and Roman Critics </i>(1965), and as translator of Plato's <i>The Republic </i>(1974), a work that continues to be widely used. He also published over 30 articles in various scholarly journals. He was also involved in public affairs; a founding members of the League for Social Reconstruction, he served as president of the Toronto branch in 1934-35, and he was managing editor of the <i>Canadian Forum</i> from 1937 to 1941. His interest in both cultural and political affairs found further scope in writing political pamphlets and in making frequent contributions to the <i>Canadian Forum</i> and the <i>New Commonwealth</i>. He was also a member of the Toronto Labour Council and of the Civil Liberties Association of Toronto.

Grube became a member of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.) in 1934; he was elected as the first Ontario vice-president and served as president in the 1940s, was a member of the C.C.F. National Council, and president of the C.C.F. in Ontario. He was elected to serve as trustee for Ward 1 to the Toronto Board of Education in 1942 and 1943. He was the C.C.F. candidate in the riding of Toronto Broadview in the general elections of 1940, 1945, and 1950, but was not successful. In 1961 he was co-chairman of the founding convention of the N.D.P. He wrote numerous articles and pamphlets on the C.C.F. and the N.D.P.

Grube was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1951. His book, <i>The Greek and Roman Critics</i>, was winner of the American Philological Association's Award of Merit in 1965. After his retirement he was honoured with a festschrift, "Studies Presented to G.M.A. Grube on the Occasion of His Seventieth Birthday," published in <i>Phoenix</i> in Spring 1969. In 1973 he was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Victoria and in 1977 was awarded the Canada Coronation Medal. G.M.A. Grube died in Toronto on 13 December 1982.

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Oral history interview by Robin Harris. Commences with a brief summary of pre-University of Toronto days through to his last campaign for public office. Focusses on the period ca. 1928-1950s, the effects of the Great Depression on the University of Toronto and particularly on Trinity College. Other subjects discussed include salaries and allowances in the Dept. of Classics, curricula, faculty and students, relations with the School of Graduate Studies, the Provosts of Trinity College, the Senate and political participation of faculty.

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Transcript available in Reading Room.

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Oral history has been digitized. Contact Archives to download mp3 files.

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