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Norton of Ipswich, Mass., who was educated at Cambridge,
England, and came to America with his brother, Rev. John, at a very
Charles Eliot Norton's mother was Catharine Eliot, one of four sisters who made quite eminent marriages. She was also sister of Samuel Adkins Eliot, Mayor of Boston, whose son, Charles William Eliot, became the renowned president of Harvard. Charles Eliot Norton was therefore first cousin of President Charles William Eliot of Harvard.
Charles Eliot Norton was justly famous, however, in his own right and did not have to depend upon reflected glory from his noted relatives. He graduated from Harvard in 1846 and became a writer, historian, translator and the friend of Longfellow, Lowell, Curtis and Emerson in this country and of the Brownings, Ruskin, Dickens, Kipling, and others in Europe. He is remembered widely and with gratitude throughout the world of educated people for his labors as Professor of the History of Fine Arts at Harvard and as a translator of Dante. Remarkable also in his gift for friendships, he was also known and beloved by many of the eminent of his time, both in America and abroad.
The friendship between Norton and John Ruskin was said to be of the Damon and Pythias kind, and they corresponded as long as they both lived. Two volumes of Ruskin's letters to Norton have been published. After his wife's death he returned to America, and in 1874 was made professor of history at Harvard, filling that position until 1898. Children:
1. Eliot, b. July 1, 1863, at Cambridge, Mass. (B44,121)
2. Sarah, b. September 10, 1864, at Cambridge. (B44,122)
3. Elizabeth Gaskell, b. June 12, 1866, at Ashfield, Mass. (B44,123)
4. Rupert, b. July 21, 1867, at Ashfield, Mass. (B44,124)
5. Margaret, b. January 15, 1870, at Florence, Italy. (B44,125)
6. Richard, b. February 9, 1872, at Dresden, Germany. (B44,126)