Frederick L. Jones was born in 1901 at Spartanburg, S.C. Jones received a B.A from Furman University (1921), A.M. (1922) and Ph.D. (1925) from Cornell, and Honorary Litt.D. from Furman University in 1951.
From 1928 until his appointment at the University of Pennsylvania in 1947, he had served as professor and department chairman at Mercer University; his experience had earlier been extended by posts at the University of North Carolina and at Cornell, Baylor and Duke.
During World War II he served in the United State Navy, retiring with the rank of lieutenant-commander.
His literary interests were wide, but he is chiefly known as a specialist on the nineteenth-century English poets, especially Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley, about whom he contributed more than a hundred articles to learned journals.