Born in the Netherlands, he attended school at Düsseldorf and Essen, studied for half a year at the University of Münster, and then moved to the University of Bonn, where his teachers included Friedrich Diez and Nicolaus Delius. After finishing his doctoral dissertation, "Coniectanea in historiam rei metricae Francogallicae," he began to lecture at the University of Münster on the philology of the English and Romance languages, and defended his post-doctoral thesis (Habilitation) on the Roman de Rou. In 1870 he became professor of modern languages at the University of Marburg, and after the reconstitution of Strassburg University as Kaiser-Wilhelm-Universität was appointed the very first Professor of English on the European continent. In 1874 he began to edit, in collaboration with Wilhelm Scherer, Ernst Martin and Erich Schmidt, Quellen und Forschungen zur Sprach- und Kulturgeschichte der germanischen Völker, a book series meant to assist the German government in the Germanizing of Strasbourg and Alsace-Lorraine. While he continued to lecture on French and English literature, he smartly focused his research on the father of English poetry, Geoffrey Chaucer.
Vol 1 A to WICLIF
Vol 2 Wyclif, Chaucer , Earliest Drama ,Renaissance