Sir James George Frazer was born on 1 January 1854, the son of Daniel Frazer, chemist. He graduated MA from Glasgow University whence he entered Trinity College as a Scholar, graduating Second Classic in 1878. The following year he was elected to a fellowship of Trinity and for the majority of his remaining years, the College was to be the scene of his literary activities.
Following the encouragement of his friend William Robertson Smith, Frazer began the enquiry into anthropology to which he devoted himself fot the rest of his life. In 1888 he contributed articles on Taboo and Totemism for the Encyclopedia Britannica and from then on works on anthropology flowed from his pen at a great rate. Although he returned to the classics to produce editions of Pausanias and of Ovid's Fasti, his best known works were those anthropological published under the general title of The Golden Bough. By modern eyes, his methodology is open to criticism as he failed to travel any further than Greece, relying on the observations of others to act as his fieldwork.
In 1896 Frazer married Lilly, the widow of C B Groves, who became a driving force in his life. In 1907 he became Professor of Social Anthropology at Liverpool University but was unable to fulfil the duties of the post and returned swiftly to Cambridge, although he retained the Chair until 1922. Frazer and Lily died within hours of each other in 1941.
Correspondence and manuscripts of printed works. Some papers of Lady Frazer.
The papers were bequeathed by Lilly, Lady Frazer
Boxes 1-19 form the first accession. Boxes 20-33 are material found after the first accession had been indexed