Read more about writers, from A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature.
from A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature (1910)
by John W. Cousin
Table of Contents | Introduction | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | Appendix |
TENNYSON, ALFRED, 1ST LORD (1809-1892). Poet, was the fourth s. of George T., Rector of Somersby, Lincolnshire, where he was b. His f. was himself a poet of some skill, and his two elder brothers, Frederick T. (q.v.) and Charles T. Turner (q.v.), were poets of a high order. His early education was received from his f., after which he went to the Grammar School of Louth, whence in 1828 he proceeded to Trinity Coll., Camb. In the previous year had appeared a small vol., Poems by Two Brothers, chiefly the work of his brother Charles and himself, with a few contributions from Frederick, but it attracted little attention. At the Univ. he was one of a group of highly gifted men, including Trench (q.v.), Monckton Milnes, afterwards Lord Houghton (q.v.), Alford (q.v.), Lushington, his future brother-in-law, and above all, Arthur Hallam, whose friendship and early death were to be the inspiration of his greatest poem. In 1829 he won the Chancellor's medal by a poem on Timbuctoo, and in the following year he brought out his first independent work, Poems chiefly Lyrical. It was not in general very favourably received by the critics, though Wilson in Blackwood's Magazine admitted much promise and even performance. In America it had greater popularity. Part of 1832 was spent in travel with Hallam, and the same year saw the publication of Poems, which had not much greater success than its predecessor. In the next year Hallam d., and T. began In Memoriam and wrote The Two Voices. He also became engaged to Emily Sellwood, his future wife, but owing to various circumstances their marriage did not take place until 1850. The next few years were passed with his family at various places, and, so far as the public were concerned, he remained silent until 1842, when he pub. Poems in two volumes, and at last achieved full recognition as a great poet. From this time the life of T. is a record of tranquil triumph in his art and of the conquest of fame; and the publication of his successive works became almost the only events which mark his history. The Princess appearing in 1847 added materially to his reputation: in the lyrics with which it is interspersed, such as "The Splendour Falls" and "Tears, idle Tears" he rises to the full mastery of this branch of his art. The year 1850 was perhaps the most eventful in his life, for in it took place his marriage which, as he said, "brought the peace of God into his life," his succession to the Laureateship on the death of Wordsworth, and the publication of his greatest poem, In Memoriam. In 1852 appeared his noble Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington ; and two years later The Charge of the Light Brigade. The publication of Maud in 1855 gave his rapidly growing popularity a perceptible set-back, though it has since risen in favour. But this was far more than made up for by the enthusiasm with which the first set of The Idylls of the King was received on its appearance four years later. Enoch Arden, with the Northern Farmer, came out in 1864; The Holy Grail and Gareth and Lynette, both belonging to the Idyll series, in 1869 and 1872 respectively. Three years later in 1875 T. broke new ground by beginning a series of dramas with Queen Mary, followed by Harold (1876), The Falcon (1879), The Cup (1881), The Promise of May (1882), Becket (1884), and Robin Hood (1891). His later poems were The Lovers' Tale (1879) (an early work retouched), Tiresias (1885), Locksley Hall60 Years after (1886), Demeter and other Poems (1889), including "Crossing the Bar," and The Death of none (1892). T., who cared little for general society, though he had many intimate and devoted friends, lived at Farringford, Isle of Wight, from 1853-69, when he built a house at Aldworth, near Haslemere, which was his home until his death. In 1884 he was raised to the peerage. Until he had passed the threescore years and ten he had, with occasional illnesses, enjoyed good health on the whole. But in 1886 the younger of his two sons d., a blow which told heavily upon him; thereafter frequent attacks of illness followed, and he d. on October 6, 1892, in his 84th year, and received a public funeral in Westminster Abbey.
The poetry of T. is characterised by a wide outlook, by intense sympathy with the deepest feelings and aspirations of humanity, a profound realisation of the problems of life and thought, a noble patriotism finding utterance in such poems as The Revenge, the Charge of the Light Brigade, and the Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington, an exquisite sense of beauty, marvellous power of vivid and minute description often achieved by a single felicitous phrase, and often heightened by the perfect matching of sense and sound, and a general loftiness and purity of tone. No poet has excelled him in precision and delicacy of language and completeness of expression. As a lyrist he has, perhaps, no superiors, and only two or three equals in English poetry, and even of humour he possessed no small share, as is shown in the Northern Farmer and in other pieces. When the volume, variety, finish, and duration of his work are considered, as well as the influence which he exercised on his time, a unique place must be assigned him among the poets of his country.
SUMMARY. B. 1809, ed. Camb., Poems by Two Brothers 1827, Poems chiefly Lyrical 1830, his chief works Poems in two Volumes 1842, Princess 1847, In Memoriam 1850, Maud 1855, Idylls of the King 1869-72, Poet Laureate 1850, d. 1892.
Life by his s. (2 vols., 1897). There are also numerous books, biographical and critical, by, among others, W.E. Wace (1881), A.C. Benson, A. Lang, F. Harrison, Sir A. Lyell, C.F.G. Masterman (T. as a Religious Teacher), Stopford Brooke, Waugh, etc.
TENNYSON, FREDERICK (1807-1898). Poet, was the eldest s. of the Rector of Somersby, Lincolnshire, and brother of Alfred T. (q.v.). Ed. at Eton and Camb., he passed most of his life in Italy and Jersey. He contributed to the Poems by Two Brothers, and produced Days and Hours (lyrics) (1854), The Isles of Greece (1890), Daphne (1891), and Poems of the Day and Night (1895). All his works show passages of genuine poetic power.
TENNYSON TURNER, CHARLES (1808-1879). Poet, elder brother of Alfred T. (q.v.), ed. at Camb., entered the Church, and became Vicar of Grasby, Lincolnshire. The name of Turner he assumed in conformity with the will of a relation. He contributed to Poems by Two Brothers, and was the author of 340 sonnets, which were greatly admired by such critics as Coleridge, Palgrave, and his brother Alfred.
THACKERAY, WILLIAM MAKEPEACE (1811-1863). Novelist, s. of Richmond T., who held various important appointments in the service of the East India Company, and who belonged to an old and respectable Yorkshire family, was b. at Calcutta, and soon after the death of his f., which took place in 1816, sent home to England. After being at a school at Chiswick, he was sent to the Charterhouse School, where he remained from 1822-26, and where he does not appear to have been very happy. Meanwhile in 1818 his mother had m. Major H.W.C. Smythe, who is believed to be, in part at any rate, the original of Colonel Newcome. In 1829 he went to Trinity Coll., Camb., where he remained for a year only, and where he did not distinguish himself particularly as a student, but made many life-long friends, including Spedding (q.v.), Tennyson, Fitzgerald (q.v.), and Monckton Milnes (see Houghton), and contributed verses and caricatures to two Univ. papers, "The Snob" and "The Gownsman." The following year, 1831, was spent chiefly in travelling on the Continent, especially Germany, when, at Weimar, he visited Goethe. Returning he entered the Middle Temple, but having no liking for legal studies, he soon abandoned them, and turning his attention to journalism, became proprietor, wholly or in part, of two papers successively, both of which failed. These enterprises, together with some unfortunate investments and also, it would seem, play, stripped him of the comfortable fortune, which he had inherited; and he now found himself dependent on his own exertions for a living. He thought at first of art as a profession, and studied for a time at Paris and Rome. In 1836, while acting as Paris correspondent for the second of his journals, he m. Isabella, dau. of Colonel Shawe, an Irish officer, and the next year he returned to England and became a contributor to Fraser's Magazine, in which appeared The Yellowplush Papers, The Great Hoggarty Diamond, Catherine, and Barry Lyndon, the history of an Irish sharper, which contains some of his best work. Other works of this period were The Paris Sketch-book (1840) and The Irish Sketch-book (1843). His work in Fraser, while it was appreciated at its true worth by a select circle, had not brought him any very wide recognition: it was his contributions to Punch the Book of Snobs and Jeames's Diary which first caught the ear of the wider public. The turning point in his career, however, was the publication in monthly numbers of Vanity Fair (1847-48). This extraordinary work gave him at once a place beside Fielding at the head of English novelists, and left him no living competitor except Dickens. Pendennis, largely autobiographical, followed in 1848-50, and fully maintained his reputation. In 1851 he broke new ground, and appeared, with great success, as a lecturer, taking for his subject The English Humourists of the Eighteenth Century, following this up in 1855 with the Four Georges, first delivered in America. Meanwhile Esmond, perhaps his masterpiece, and probably the greatest novel of its kind in existence, had appeared in 1852, and The Newcomes (1853), The Virginians, a sequel to Esmond, which, though containing much fine work, is generally considered to show a falling off as compared with its two immediate predecessors, came out in 1857-59. In 1860 the Cornhill Magazine was started with T. for its ed., and to it he contributed Lovell the Widower (1860), The Adventures of Philip (1861-62), The Roundabout Papers, a series of charming essays, and Denis Duval, left a mere fragment by his sudden death, but which gave promise of a return to his highest level of performance. In addition to the works mentioned, T. for some years produced Christmas books and burlesques, of which the best were The Rose and the Ring and The Kickleburys on the Rhine. He also wrote graceful verses, some of which, like Bouillabaisse, are in a strain of humour shot through with pathos, while others are the purest rollicking fun. For some years T. suffered from spasms of the heart, and he d. suddenly during the night of December 23, 1863, in his 53rd year. He was a man of the tenderest heart, and had an intense enjoyment of domestic happiness; and the interruption of this, caused by the permanent breakdown of his wife's health, was a heavy calamity. This, along with his own latterly broken health, and a sensitiveness which made him keenly alive to criticism, doubtless fostered the tendency to what was often superficially called his cynical view of life. He possessed an inimitable irony and a power of sarcasm which could scorch like lightning, but the latter is almost invariably directed against what is base and hateful. To human weakness he is lenient and often tender, and even when weakness passes into wickedness, he is just and compassionate. He saw human nature "steadily and saw it whole," and paints it with a light but sure hand. He was master of a style of great distinction and individuality, and ranks as one of the very greatest of English novelists.
SUMMARY. B. 1811, ed. at Charterhouse and Camb., after trying law turned to journalism, in which he lost his fortune, studied art at Paris and Rome, wrote for Fraser's Magazine and Punch, Barry Lyndon, Book of Snobs, and Jeames's Diary, pub. Vanity Fair 1847-8, Pendennis (1848-50), lectured on Humourists 1851, and on Four Georges in America 1855, pub. Esmond 1852, Newcomes 1853, Virginians 1857-59, ed. Cornhill Magazine 1860, his last great work, Denis Duval, left unfinished, d. 1863.
Lives by Merivale and Marzials (Great Writers), A. Trollope (English Men of Letters), Whibley (Modern English Writers). Article in Dictionary of National Biography by Leslie Stephen.
THEOBALD, LEWIS (1688-1744). Editor of Shakespeare, and translator, originally an attorney, betook himself to literature, translated from Plato, the Greek dramatists, and Homer, and wrote also essays, biographies, and poems. In 1715 he pub. Shakespeare Restored, etc., in which he severely criticised Pope's ed., and was in consequence rewarded with the first place in The Dunciad, and the adoption of most of his corrections in Pope's next ed. Though a poor poet, he was an acute and discriminating critic, made brilliant emendations on some of the classics, and produced in 1734 an ed. of Shakespeare which gave him a high place among his ed.
THIRWALL, CONNOP (1797-1875). Historian, was b. at Stepney, the s. of a clergyman, and ed. at the Charterhouse and Camb. He studied law, was called to the Bar in 1825, and in the same year pub. a translation of Schleiermacher's Critical Essay on the Gospel of St. Luke. After this, having changed his mind, he took orders in 1827, and the next year translated, with Julius Hare (q.v.), the first vol. of Niebuhr's History of Rome, and pub., also with him, The Philological Museum (1831-33). He was an advocate for the admission of Dissenters to degrees, and in consequence of his action in the matter had to resign his Univ. tutorship. Thereupon Lord Brougham, then Lord Chancellor, presented him to the living of Kirkby Underdale. Between 1835 and 1847 he wrote his great History of Greece, which has a place among historical classics. In 1840 he was made Bishop of St. David's, in which capacity he showed unusual energy in administering his see. The eleven charges which he delivered during his tenure of the see were pronouncements of exceptional weight upon the leading questions of the time affecting the Church. As a Broad Churchman T. was regarded with suspicion by both High and Low Churchmen, and in the House of Lords generally supported liberal movements such as the admission of Jews to Parliament. He was the only Bishop who was in favour of the disestablishment of the Irish Church.
THOMS, WILLIAM JOHN (1803-1885). Antiquary and miscellaneous writer, for many years a clerk in the secretary's office of Chelsea Hospital, was in 1845 appointed Clerk, and subsequently Deputy Librarian to the House of Lords. He was the founder in 1849 of Notes and Queries, which for some years he also ed. Among his publications are Early Prose Romances (1827-28), Lays and Legends (1834), The Book of the Court (1838), Gammer Gurton's Famous Histories (1846), Gammer Gurton's Pleasant Stories (1848). He also ed. Stow's London, and was sec. of the Camden Society. He introduced the word "folk-lore" into the language.
THOMSON, JAMES (1700-1748). Poet, s. of the minister of Ednam, Roxburghshire, spent most of his youth, however, at Southdean, a neighbouring parish, to which his f. was translated. He was ed. at the parish school there, at Jedburgh, and at Edin., whither he went with the view of studying for the ministry. The style of one of his earliest sermons having been objected to by the Prof. of Divinity as being too flowery and imaginative, he gave up his clerical views and went to London in 1725, taking with him a part of what ultimately became his poem of Winter. By the influence of his friend Mallet he became tutor to Lord Binning, s. of the Earl of Haddington, and was introduced to Pope, Arbuthnot, Gay, and others. Winter was pub. in 1726, and was followed by Summer (1727), Spring (1728), and Autumn (1730), when the whole were brought together as The Seasons. Previous to 1730 he had produced one or two minor poems and the tragedy of Sophonisba, which, after promising some success, was killed by the unfortunate line, "Oh! Sophonisba, Sophonisba, oh!" being parodied as "Oh! Jemmy Thomson, Jemmy Thomson, oh!" In 1731 T. accompanied Charles Talbot, s. of the Lord Chancellor, to the Continent, as tutor, and on his return received the sinecure Secretaryship of Briefs which, however, he lost in 1737, through omitting to apply for its continuance to Talbot's successor. He then returned to the drama and produced Agamemnon in 1738, and Edward and Eleanora in 1739. The same year he received from the Prince of Wales a pension of £100, and was made Surveyor-General of the Leeward Islands which, after providing for a deputy to discharge the duties, left him £300 a year. He was now in comfortable circumstances and settled in a villa near Richmond, where he amused himself with gardening and seeing his friends. In conjunction with Mallet he wrote, in 1740, the masque of Alfred, in which appeared Rule Britannia, which M. afterwards claimed, or allowed to be claimed, for him, but which there is every reason to believe was contributed by T. In 1745 appeared Tancred and Sigismunda, the most successful of his dramas, and in 1748 Coriolanus. In May of the latter year he pub. The Castle of Indolence, an allegorical poem in the Spenserian stanza, generally considered to be his masterpiece. In August following he caught a chill which developed into a fever, and carried him off in his 48th year. Though T. was undoubtedly a poet by nature, his art was developed by constant and fastidious polishing. To The Seasons, originally containing about 4000 lines, he added about 1400 in his various revisions. He was the first to give the description of nature the leading place, and in his treatment of his theme he showed much judgment in the selection of the details to be dwelt upon. His blank verse, though not equal to that of a few other English poets, is musical and wielded in a manner suitable to his subject. In all his poems he displays the genial temper and kindly sympathies by which he was characterised as a man. He was never m., and lived an easy, indolent life, beloved by his many friends. (See also Lyttelton, Lord)
THOMSON, JAMES (1834-1882). Poet, b. at Port Glasgow and brought up in the Royal Caledonian Asylum, was for some years an army teacher, but was dismissed for a breach of discipline. He became associated with Charles Bradlaugh, the free-thought protagonist, who introduced him to the conductors of various secularist publications. His best known poem is The City of Dreadful Night, deeply pessimistic. Others are Vane's Story and Weddah and Omel-Bonain. His views resulted in depression, which led to dipsomania, and he d. in poverty and misery. His work has a certain gloomy power which renders it distinctly noteworthy.
THOREAU, HENRY DAVID (1817-1862). Essayist, poet, and naturalist, was b. at Concord, Massachusetts. His f., of French extraction, from Jersey, was a manufacturer of lead-pencils. He was ed. at Harvard, where he became a good classical scholar. Subsequently he was a competent Orientalist, and was deeply versed in the history and manners of the Red Indians. No form of regular remunerative employment commending itself to him, he spent the 10 years after leaving coll. in the study of books and nature, for the latter of which he had exceptional qualifications in the acuteness of his senses and his powers of observation. Though not a misanthropist, he appears in general to have preferred solitary communion with nature to human society. "The man I meet," he said, "is seldom so instructive as the silence which he breaks;" and he described himself as "a mystic, a transcendentalist, and a natural philosopher." He made such money as his extremely simple mode of life called for, by building boats or fences, agricultural or garden work, and surveying, anything almost of an outdoor character which did not involve lengthened engagement. In 1837 he began his diaries, records of observation with which in ten years he filled 30 vols. In 1839 he made the excursion the record of which he in 1845 pub. as A Week on the Concord and Merrimac Rivers. Two years later, in 1841, he began a residence in the household of Emerson, which lasted for two years, when he assisted in conducting the Dial, and in 1845, after some teaching in New York, he retired to a hut near the solitary Walden Pond to write his Week on the Concord, etc. Later works were Walden (1854), and The Maine Woods (1864), and Cape Cod (1865), accounts of excursions and observations, both pub. after his death. T. was an enthusiast in the anti-slavery cause, the triumph of which, however, he did not live to see, as he d. on May 6, 1862, when the war was still in its earlier stages. The deliberate aim of T. was to live a life as nearly approaching naturalness as possible; and to this end he passed his time largely in solitude and in the open air. As he says, "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach." To his great powers of observation he added great powers of reflection, and two of the most characteristic features of his writings are immediateness and individuality in his descriptions of nature, and a remarkable power of giving permanent and clear form to the most subtle and evanescent mental impressions.
TICKELL, THOMAS (1686-1740). Poet, b. at Bridekirk Vicarage, Cumberland, and ed. at Oxf. became the friend of Joseph Addison (q.v.), contributed to the Spectator and Guardian, and accompanied him when he went to Ireland as sec. to the Lord Lieutenant. His translation of the first book of the Iliad came out at the same time as Pope's, and led to a quarrel between the latter and Addison, Pope imagining that the publication was a plot to interfere with the success of his work. On Addison becoming Sec. of State in 1717 he appointed T. Under-Sec. Among the writings of T. are the well-known ballad, Colin and Lucy, Kensington Gardens, a poem, and an Elegy on the death of Addison, of which Macaulay says that it "would do honour to the greatest name in our literature." In 1725 he became sec. to the Lords Justices of Ireland, and retained the post until his death.
TICKNOR, GEORGE (1791-1871). Historian and biographer, s. of a rich man, was b. at Boston, Mass., and ed. for the law. He, however, gave himself to study and writing, and also travelled much. After being a Prof. at Harvard, 1819-35, he went in the latter year to Europe, where he spent some years collecting materials for his magnum opus, The History of Spanish Literature (1849). He also wrote Lives of Lafayette and Prescott, the historian. His Letters and Journals were pub. in 1876, and are the most interesting of his writings.
TIGHE, MARY (BLACKFORD) (1772-1810). Poet, dau. of a clergyman, made an unhappy marriage, though she had beauty and amiable manners, and was highly popular in society. She wrote a good deal of verse; but her chief poem was a translation in Spenserian stanza of the tale of Cupid and Psyche, which won the admiration of such men as Sir J. Mackintosh, Moore, and Keats.
TILLOTSON, JOHN (1630-1694). Divine, s. of a Presbyterian clothier, was b. near Halifax, and ed. at Camb., where his originally Puritan views became somewhat modified. At the Savoy Conference in 1661 he was still a Presbyterian, but submitted to the Act of Uniformity, and became next year Rector of Keddington, and in 1664 preacher at Lincoln's Inn, where he became very popular. In 1672 he was made Dean of Canterbury. He vainly endeavoured to secure the comprehension of the Nonconformists in the Church. After the Revolution he gained the favour of William III., who made him Clerk of the Closet, and Dean of St. Paul's, and in 1691 he succeeded Sancroft as Archbishop of Canterbury. His sermons, which had extraordinary popularity, give him a place in literature, and he was one of those writers who, by greater simplicity and greater attention to clearness of construction, helped to introduce the modern style of composition.
TIMROD, HENRY (1829-1867). Poet, b. at Charleston, S. Carolina, of German descent, was ruined by the Civil War, and d. in poverty. He wrote one vol. of poems, pub. 1860, which attained wide popularity in the South. He had notable descriptive power.
TOBIN, JOHN (1770-1804). Dramatist, was for long unsuccessful, but in the year of his death made a hit with The Honey Moon, which had great success, and maintained its place for many years. Other plays were The Curfew and The School for Authors.
TOLAND, JOHN (1670?-1722). Deistical writer, b. in Ireland of Roman Catholic parentage, completed his education at Glasgow, Edin., and Leyden. Very early in life he had become a Protestant, and at Leyden he studied theology with the view of becoming a Nonconformist minister, but imbibed Rationalistic views. He then resided for some time at Oxf., and in 1696 pub. his first work, Christianity not Mysterious, which was censured by Convocation and gave rise to much controversy. Next year he returned to Ireland, where, however, he was not more popular than in England, and where his book was burned by the common hangman. Returning to England he took to writing political pamphlets, including one, Anglia Libera, in support of the Brunswick succession, which gained him some favour at Hanover, and he was sent on some political business to the German Courts. He then served Harley in Holland and Germany practically as a political spy. His later years were passed in literary drudgery and poverty. Among his numerous writings may be mentioned Account of Prussia and Hanover, Origines Judaicæ, History of the Druids, and a Life of Milton prefixed to an ed. of his prose works.
TOOKE, JOHN HORNE (1736-1812). Philologist, s. of a poulterer called Horne, added the name of Tooke in 1782 in anticipation of inheriting from his friend W. Tooke, of Purley. He was at Camb. and took orders, but disliking the clerical profession, travelled abroad. Returning he became prominent as a radical politician, and espoused the cause of Wilkes, with whom, however, he afterwards quarrelled. He also supported the revolted American colonists, and was fined and imprisoned for endeavouring to raise a subscription for them. An effort to be admitted to the Bar was unsuccessful; and in 1786 he published his Diversions of Purley, a work on philology which brought him great reputation, and which, containing muck that has been proved to be erroneous, showed great learning and acuteness. T. twice endeavoured unsuccessfully to enter Parliament for Westminster, but ultimately sat for the rotten burgh of Old Sarum, making, however, no mark in the House. He was the author of numerous effective political pamphlets.
TOPLADY, AUGUSTUS MONTAGUE (1740-1778). Hymn-writer, s. of an officer in the army, was b. at Farnham, ed. at Westminster and Trinity Coll., Dublin, after which he took orders and became incumbent of Broad Hembury. He was a strong Calvinist and entered into a bitter controversy with Wesley. His controversial works are forgotten; but he will always be remembered as the author of "Rock of Ages," perhaps the most widely known of English hymns.
TOURNEUR, or TURNER, CYRIL (1575?-1626). Dramatist, perhaps s. of Richard T., Lieutenant of the Brill, served in the Low Countries, and was sec. to Sir Edward Cecil in his unsuccessful expedition to Cadiz, returning from which he was disembarked with the sick at Kinsale, where he d. He wrote two dramas, The Revenger's Tragedy (pr. 1607), and The Atheist's Tragedy (pr. 1611), in both of which, especially the former, every kind of guilt and horror is piled up, the author displaying, however, great intensity of tragic power. Of The Revenger Lamb said that it made his ears tingle. Another play of his, Transformed Metamorphosis, was discovered in 1872.
TRAHERNE, THOMAS (1636?-1674). Poet and theological writer, s. of a shoemaker at Hereford where, or at Ledbury, he was probably b. Very few facts concerning him have been preserved, and indeed his very existence had been forgotten until some of his MS. were discovered on a bookstall in 1896, without, however, anything to identify the author. Their discoverer, Mr. W.T. Brooke, was inclined to attribute them to Henry Vaughan (q.v.), in which he was supported by Dr. Grosart (q.v.), and the latter was about to bring out a new ed. of Vaughan's poems in which they were to be included. This was, however, prevented by his death. The credit of identification is due to Mr. Bertram Dobell, who had become the possessor of another vol. of MS., and who rejecting, after due consideration, the claims of Vaughan, followed up the very slender clues available until he had established the authorship of Traherne. All the facts that his diligent investigations were successful in collecting were that T. was "entered as a commoner at Brasenose Coll., Oxf., in 1652, took one degree in arts, left the house for a time, entered into the sacred function, and in 1661 was actually created M.A. About that time he became Rector of Crednell, near Hereford. .. and in 1669 Bachelor of Divinity;" and that after remaining there for over 9 years he was appointed private chaplain to the Lord Keeper, Sir Orlando Bridgeman, who on his retirement from office retained him as a member of his household at Teddington until his death in 1674, T. himself dying three months later. T. also appears to have been incumbent of Teddington, or perhaps more probably, curate to a pluralist incumbent. The complete oblivion into which T. had fallen is the more remarkable when the quality of his poetry, which places him on a level with Herbert, Vaughan, and Crashaw, is considered; and that he appears in his own day to have had some reputation as a scholar and controversialist. His Roman Forgeries (1673) achieved some note. His next work, Christian Ethics, which was not pub. until after his death, appears to have fallen dead, and is extremely rare: it is described by Mr. Dobell as "full of eloquence, persuasiveness, sagacity, and piety." Centuries of Meditations consists of short reflections on religious and moral subjects, etc. The Poems constitute his main claim to remembrance and, as already stated, are of a high order. With occasional roughness of metre they display powerful imagination, a deep and rich vein of original thought, and true poetic force and fire. It has been pointed out that in some of them the author anticipates the essential doctrines of the Berkeleian philosophy, and in them is also revealed a personality of rare purity and fascination.
TRELAWNY, EDWARD JOHN (1792-1881). Biographer, entered the navy, from which, however, he deserted, after which he wandered about in the East and on the Continent. In Switzerland he met Byron and Shelley, and was living in close friendship with the latter when he was drowned, and was one of the witnesses at the cremation of his remains. He took part in the Greek war of independence, and m. the sister of one of the insurgent chiefs. After various adventures in America he settled in London, where he was a distinguished figure in society, and enjoyed the reputation of a picturesque, but somewhat imaginative, conversationalist. He wrote The Adventures of a Younger Son (1831), a work of striking distinction, and the intensely interesting Records of Shelley, Byron, and the Author (1858). The last survivor of that brilliant group, he was buried by the side of Shelley.
TRENCH, RICHARD CHENEVIX (1807-1886). Poet and theologian, b. in Dublin, and ed. at Harrow and Camb., took orders, and after serving various country parishes, became in 1847 Prof. of Theology in King's Coll., London, in 1856 Dean of Westminster, and in 1864 Archbishop of Dublin. As Primate of the Irish Church at its disestablishment, he rendered valuable service at that time of trial. In theology his best known works are his Hulsean Lectures, Notes on the Parables, and Notes on the Miracles. His philological writings, English Past and Present and Select Glossary of English Words are extremely interesting and suggestive, though now to some extent superseded. His Sacred Latin Poetry is a valuable collection of mediæval Church hymns. He also wrote sonnets, elegies, and lyrics, in the first of which he was specially successful, besides longer poems, Justin Martyr and Sabbation.
TREVISA, JOHN of (1326-1412). Translator, a Cornishman, ed. at Oxf., was Vicar of Berkeley, Gloucestershire, and chaplain to the 4th Lord Berkeley, and Canon of Westbury. He translated for his patron the Polychronicon of Ranulf Higden, adding remarks of his own, and prefacing it with a Dialogue on Translation between a Lord and a Clerk. He likewise made various other translations.
TROLLOPE, ANTHONY (1815-1882). Novelist, s. of Thomas Anthony T., a barrister who ruined himself by speculation, and of Frances T. (q.v.), a well-known writer, was b. in London, and ed. at Harrow and Winchester. His childhood was an unhappy one, owing to his father's misfortunes. After a short time in Belgium he obtained an appointment in the Post Office, in which he rose to a responsible position. His first three novels had little success; but in 1855 he found his line, and in The Warden produced the first of his Barsetshire series. It was followed by Barchester Towers (1857), Doctor Thorne (1858), Framley Parsonage (1861), The Small House at Allington (1864), and The Last Chronicle of Barset (1867), which deal with the society of a small cathedral city. Other novels are Orley Farm, Can you forgive Her?, Ralph the Heir, The Claverings, Phineas Finn, He knew he was Right, and The Golden Lion of Grandpré. In all he wrote about 50 novels, besides books about the West Indies, North America, Australia, and South Africa, a translation of Cæsar, and monographs on Cicero and Thackeray. His novels are light of touch, pleasant, amusing, and thoroughly healthy. They make no attempt to sound the depths of character or either to propound or solve problems. Outside of fiction his work was generally superficial and unsatisfactory. But he had the merit of providing a whole generation with wholesome amusement, and enjoyed a great deal of popularity. He is said to have received £70,000 for his writings.
TROLLOPE, MRS. FRANCES (MILTON) (1780-1863). Novelist and miscellaneous writer, b. at Stapleton near Bristol, m. in 1809 Thomas A.T., a barrister, who fell into financial misfortune. She then in 1827 went with her family to Cincinnati, where the efforts which she made to support herself were unsuccessful. On her return to England, however, she brought herself into notice by publishing Domestic Manners of the Americans (1832), in which she gave a very unfavourable and grossly exaggerated account of the subject; and a novel, The Refugee in America, pursued it on similar lines. Next came The Abbess and Belgium and Western Germany, and other works of the same kind on Paris and the Parisians, and Vienna and the Austrians followed. Thereafter she continued to pour forth novels and books on miscellaneous subjects, writing in all over 100 vols. Though possessed of considerable powers of observation and a sharp and caustic wit, such an output was fatal to permanent literary success, and none of her books are now read. She spent the last 20 years of her life at Florence, where she d. in 1863. Her third s. was Anthony T., the well-known novelist (q.v.). Her eldest s., Thomas Adolphus, wrote The Girlhood of Catherine de Medici, a History of Florence, and Life of Pius IX., and some novels.
TRUMBULL, JOHN (1750-1831). Poet, b. at Waterbury, Conn., was a lawyer, and became a judge. He wrote much verse, his principal productions being The Progress of Dulness (1772) and McFingal (1782), written in support of the Revolution in imitation of Hudibras.
TUCKER, ABRAHAM (1705-1774). Philosophic writer, b. in London, and ed. at Oxf., was a country gentleman, who devoted himself to the study of philosophy, and wrote under the name of Edward Search, a work in 7 vols., The Light of Nature Followed (1768-78). It is rather a miscellany than a systematic treatise, but contains much original and acute thinking.
TUCKER, GEORGE (1775-1861). Economist, etc., b. in Bermuda, became Prof., of Moral Philosophy, etc., in the Univ. of Virginia. He wrote a Life of Jefferson, Political History of the United States, Essays Moral and Philosophical, The Valley of the Shenandoah, a novel, A Voyage to the Moon (satire), and various works on economics.
TUCKER, NATHANIEL BEVERLY (1784-1851). B. in Virginia, became a Prof., of Law in William and Mary Coll. He wrote a novel, The Partisan Leader (1836), a prophecy of the future disunion which led to the Civil War. It was re-pub. in 1861 as A Key to the Southern Conspiracy. Another novel was George Balcombe.
TUCKERMAN, HENRY THEODORE (1813-1871). Essayist, etc., b. in Boston, Mass. He was a sympathetic and delicate critic, with a graceful style. He lived much in Italy, which influenced his choice of subjects in his earlier writings. These include The Italian Sketch-book, Isabel, or Sicily, Thoughts on the Poets, The Book of the Artists, Leaves from the Diary of a Dreamer, etc.
TULLOCH, JOHN (1823-1886). Theologian and historical writer, b. at Bridge of Earn, Perthshire, studied at St. Andrews and Edin. He was ordained to the ministry of the Church of Scotland at Dundee, whence he was translated to Kettins, Forfarshire, and became in 1854 Principal and Prof. of Theology in St. Mary's Coll., St. Andrews. He was a leader of the liberal party in the Church of Scotland, and wrote Literary and Intellectual Revival of Scotland in the Eighteenth Century (1883), Movements of Religious Thought in the Nineteenth Century (1884-85), Rational Theology and Christian Philosophy in England in the Seventeenth Century, and a book on Pascal, etc.
TUPPER, MARTIN FARQUHAR (1810-1889). Versifier, s. of a surgeon, was b. in London, ed. at Charterhouse School and Oxf., and called to the Bar in 1835. He, however, believed that literature was his vocation, and wrote many works in prose and verse, only one of which, Proverbial Philosophy, had much success. But the vogue which it had was enormous, especially in America. It is a singular collection of commonplace observations set forth in a form which bears the appearance of verse, but has neither rhyme nor metre, and has long since found its deserved level. He also wrote War Ballads, Rifle Ballads, and Protestant Ballads, various novels, and an autobiography. T. was likewise an inventor, but his ideas in this kind had not much success.
TURBERVILLE, or TURBERVILE, GEORGE (1540?-1610). Poet, belonging to an ancient Dorsetshire family, was b. at Whitchurch, and ed. at Winchester and Oxf. He became sec. to Thomas Randolph, Ambassador to Russia, and made translations from the Latin and Italian, and in 1570 pub. Epitaphes, Epigrams, Songs, and Sonets. He also wrote books on Falconrie and Hunting, and was one of the first to use blank verse.
TURNER, SHARON (1768-1847). Historian, b. in London, was a solicitor, and becoming interested in the study of Icelandic and Anglo-Saxon literature, pub. the results of his researches in his History of the Anglo-Saxons (1799-1805). Thereafter he continued the narrative in History of England (1814-29), carrying it on to the end of the reign of Elizabeth. These histories, especially the former, though somewhat marred by an attempt to emulate the grandiose style of Gibbon, were works of real research, and opened up, and to a considerable extent developed, a new field of inquiry. T. also wrote a Sacred History of the World, and a poem on Richard III.
TUSSER, THOMAS (1524?-1580). Versifier on agriculture, was an Essex man. Having a good voice he was trained in music, and was a chorister in St. Paul's, and afterwards in Norwich Cathedral, and held the post of musician to Lord Paget. He tried farming at different places, but unsuccessfully, which did not, however, prevent his undertaking to instruct others. This he does with much shrewdness and point in his Hundreth Goode Pointes of Husbandrie (1557), expressed in rude but lively verse; thereafter he added Hundreth Goode Pointes of Husserie (Housewifery). The two joined, and with many additions, were repeatedly reprinted as Five Hundredth Pointes of Goode Husbandrie united to as many of Goode Huswifery. Many proverbs may be traced back to the writings of T., who, in spite of all his shrewdness and talent, d. in prison as a debtor.
TYNDALE, WILLIAM (1484?-1536). Translator of the Bible, belonged to a northern family which, migrating to Gloucestershire during the Wars of the Roses, adopted the alternative name of Huchyns or Hychins, which T. himself bore when at Oxf. in 1510. After graduating there, he went to Camb., where the influence of Erasmus, who had been Prof. of Theology, still operated. He took orders, and in 1522 was a tutor in the household of Sir John Walsh of Old Sodbury, and was preaching and disputing in the country round, for which he was called to account by the Chancellor of the diocese. At the same time he translated a treatise by Erasmus, the Enchiridion Militis Christiani (Manual of the Christian Soldier), and in controversy with a local disputant prophesied that he would cause that "a boye that driveth the plough" should know the Scriptures better than his opponent. Having formed the purpose of translating the New Testament T. went in 1523 to London, and used means towards his admission to the household of Tunstal, Bishop of London, but without success; he then lived in the house of a wealthy draper, Humphrey Monmouth, where he probably began his translation. Finding, however, that his work was likely to be interfered with, he proceeded in 1524 to Hamburg, whence he went to visit Luther at Wittenberg. He began printing his translation at Cologne the following year, but had to fly to Worms, where the work was completed. The translation itself is entirely T.'s work, and is that of a thorough scholar, and shows likewise an ear for the harmony of words. The notes and introduction are partly his own, partly literal translations, and partly the gist of the work of Luther. From Germany the translation was introduced into England, and largely circulated until forcible means of prevention were brought to bear in 1528. In this year T. removed to Marburg, where he pub. The Parable of the Wicked Mammon, a treatise on Justification by Faith, and The Obedience of a Christian Man, setting forth that Scripture is the ultimate authority in matters of faith, and the King in matters of civil government. Thereafter, having been at Hamburg and Antwerp, T. returned to Marburg, and in 1530 pub. his translation of the Pentateuch and The Practice of Prelates, in which he attacked Wolsey and the proposed divorce proceedings of Henry VIII., the latter of whom endeavoured to have him apprehended. Thereafter he was involved in a controversy with Sir Thomas More. In 1533 he returned to Antwerp, Henry's hostility having somewhat cooled, and was occupied in revising his translations, when he was in 1535 betrayed into the hands of the Imperial officers and carried off to the Castle of Vilvorde, where the next year he was strangled and burned. T. was one of the most able and devoted of the reforming leaders, and his, the foundation of all future translations of the Bible, is his enduring monument. He was a small, thin man of abstemious habits and untiring industry.
TYNDALL, JOHN (1820-1893). Scientific writer, b. at Leighlin Bridge, County Carlow, was in early life employed in the ordnance survey and as a railway engineer. He was next teacher of mathematics and surveying at Queenwood Coll., Hampshire, after which he went to Marburg to study science, and while there became joint author of a memoir On the Magneto-optic Properties of Crystals (1850). After being at Berlin he returned in 1851 to Queenwood, and in 1853 was appointed Prof. of Natural Philosophy in the Royal Institution, which in 1867 he succeeded Faraday as Superintendent. With Huxley (q.v.) he made investigations into the Alpine glaciers. Thereafter he did much original work on heat, sound, and light. In addition to his discoveries T. was one of the greatest popularisers of science. His style, remarkable for lucidity and elegance, enabled him to expound such subjects with the minimum of technical terminology. Among his works are The Glaciers of the Alps (1860), Mountaineering (1861), Fragments of Science, two vols. (1871), including his address to the British Association at Belfast, which raised a storm of controversy and protest in various quarters, Hours of Exercise on the Alps, etc. T. d. from an overdose of chloral accidentally administered by his wife.
TYTLER, ALEXANDER FRASER (1747-1813). Historian, s. of William T. (q.v.), studied at Edin., was called to the Bar in 1770 and raised to the Bench as Lord Woodhouselee in 1802. He was Prof. of History in Edin., and wrote Elements of General History (1801), An Essay on the Principles of Translation (1791), besides various legal treatises.
TYTLER, PATRICK FRASER (1791-1849). Historian, s. of the above, studied at Edin., and was called to the Bar in 1813. Among his many writings are an Essay on the History of the Moors in Spain, The Life of the Admirable Crichton (1819), History of Scotland (1828-43), and England under the Reigns of Edward VI. and Mary (1839). His History of Scotland, which was the result of 20 years of study and research, is still authoritative.
TYTLER, WILLIAM (1711-1792). Historical writer, was a lawyer in Edin., and wrote An Inquiry into the Evidence against Mary Queen of Scots, in which he combated the views of Robertson. He discovered the King's Quhair of James I., and pub. in 1783 The Poetical Remains of James I., King of Scotland, with a Life.
Table of Contents | Introduction | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | Appendix |
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