Gaimar, Geoffrey (fl. 1140?). — Chronicler, translated the chronicle of Geoffrey of Monmouth into French verse for the wife of his patron, Ralph Fitz–Gilbert, and added a continuation dealing with the Saxon Kings. His work is entitled L’Estoire des Engles.
Galt, John (1779–1839). — Novelist and miscellaneous writer, son of the captain of a West Indiaman, was born at Irvine, Ayrshire, but while still a young man he went to London and formed a commercial partnership, which proved unfortunate, and he then entered Lincoln’s Inn to study law. A little before this he had produced his first book, a poem on the Battle of Largs, which, however, he soon suppressed. He then went to various parts of the Continent in connection with certain commercial schemes, and met Lord Byron, with whom he travelled for some time. Returning home he published Letters from the Levant, which had a favourable reception, and some dramas, which were less successful. He soon, however, found his true vocation in the novel of Scottish country life, and his fame rests upon the Ayrshire Legatees (1820), The Annals of the Parish (1821), Sir Andrew Wylie (1822), The Entail (1824), and The Provost. He was not so successful in the domain of historical romance, which he tried in Ringan Gilbaize, The Spae-wife, The Omen, etc., although these contain many striking passages. In addition to his novels G. produced many historical and biographical works, including a Life of Wolsey (1812), Life and Studies of Benjamin West (1816), Tour of Asia, Life of Byron (1830), Lives of the Players, and an Autobiography (1834). In addition to this copious literary output, G. was constantly forming and carrying out commercial schemes, the most important of which was the Canada Company, which, like most of his other enterprises, though conducted with great energy and ability on his part, ended in disappointment and trouble for himself. In 1834 he returned from Canada to Greenock, broken in health and spirits, and died there in 1839 of paralysis. G. was a man of immense talent and energy, but would have held a higher place in literature had he concentrated these qualities upon fewer objects. Most of his 60 books are forgotten, but some of his novels, especially perhaps The Annals of the Parish, have deservedly a secure place. The town of Galt in Canada is named after him.
Gardiner, Samuel Rawson (1829–1902). — Historian, born at Alresford, Hants, was ed. at Winchester and Oxford In 1855 he married Isabella, daughter of Edward Irving (q.v.), the founder of the Catholic Apostolic Church, which he joined, and in which he ultimately held high office. About the time of his leaving Oxford he had planned his great work, The History of England from the Accession of James I. to the Restoration, and the accomplishment of this task he made the great object of his life for more than 40 years. The first two vols. appeared in 1863 as The History of England from the Accession of James I. to the Disgrace of Chief Justice Cooke, and subsequent instalments appeared under the following titles: Prince Charles and The Spanish Marriage (1867), England under Buckingham and Charles I. (1875), Personal Government of Charles I. (1877), The Fall of the Government of Charles I. (1881); these were in 1883–4 re-issued in a consolidated form entitled History of England from the Accession of James I. to the Outbreak of the Civil War. The second section of the work, History of the Great Civil War, followed in three vols. published in 1886, 1889, and 1891 respectively, and three more vols., History of the Commonwealth and Protectorate in 1894, 1897, and 1901, brought the story down to 1656, when the health of the indefatigable writer gave way, and he died in 1902. In addition to this monumental work G. wrote many school and college historical text-books, and contributed to the Epochs of Modern History Series, The Thirty Years’ War (1874), and The First Two Stuarts (1876); he also wrote Outlines of English History, three parts (1881–3), and Students’ History of England, three parts (1891). From 1871–85 he was Prof. of History at King’s College, London, and lecturer on history for the London Society for the Extension of University Teaching. He also ed. many of the historical documents which he unearthed in his investigations, and many of those issued by the “Camden,” “Clarendon,” and other societies. He was ed. of The English Historical Review, and contributed largely to the Dictionary of National Biography. The sober and unadorned style of G.’s works did little to commend them to the general reader, but their eminent learning, accuracy, impartiality, and the laborious pursuit of truth which they exhibited earned for him, from the first, the respect and admiration of scholars and serious students of history; and as his great work advanced it was recognised as a permanent contribution to historical literature. In 1882 he received a civil list pension, and was elected to Research Fellowships, first by All Souls’ College, and subsequently by Merton. He held honorary degrees from the University of Oxford, Gottingen, and Edinburgh.
Garnett, Richard (1835–1906). — Biographer and writer on literature, son of Richard G., an assistant keeper of Printed Books in the British Museum. Born at Lichfield, and ed. at a school in, Bloomsbury, he entered the British Museum in 1851 as an assistant librarian. There he remained for nearly 50 years, and rose to be Keeper of Printed Books. He acquired a marvellous knowledge of books, and of everything connected with pure literature. He made numerous translations from the Greek, German, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese, and wrote books of graceful verse, The Twilight of the Gods and other Tales (1888), various biographical works on Carlyle, Milton, Blake, and others, The Age of Dryden, a History of Italian Literature, and contributed many articles to encyclopædias, and to the Dictionary of National Biography.
Garrick, David (1717–1779). — Actor and dramatist, born at Hereford, but got most of his education at Lichfield, to which his father belonged. He was also one of the three pupils who attended Johnson’s School at Edial. With his great preceptor, whom he accompanied to London, he always remained on friendly terms. He took to the stage, and became the greatest of English actors. He also wrote various plays, and adaptations, and did not scruple to undertake “improved” versions of some of Shakespeare’s greatest plays including Cymbeline, The Taming of the Shrew, and The Winter s Tale, performing the same service for Jonson and Wycherley, in the last case with much more excuse. Of his original plays The Lying Valet and Miss in her Teens are perhaps the best.
Garrison, William Lloyd (1805–1879). — Orator, was born at Newburyport, Mass. Though chiefly known for his eloquent advocacy of negro emancipation, he is also remembered for his Sonnets and other Poems (1847).
Garth, Sir Samuel (1661–1719). — Physician and poet, born at Bolam in the county of Durham, and ed. at Cambridge, he settled as a physician in London, where he soon acquired a large practice. He was a zealous Whig, the friend of Addison and, though of different political views, of Pope, and he ended his career as physician to George I., by whom he was knighted in 1714. He is remembered as the author of The Dispensary, a satire, which had great popularity in its day, and of Claremont, a descriptive poem. He also ed. a translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, to which Addison, Pope, and others contributed. Perhaps, however, the circumstance most honourable to him is his intervention to procure an honourable burial for Dryden, over whose remains he pronounced a eulogy.
Gascoigne, George (1525 or 1535–1577). — Poet and dramatist, son of Sir John G., and descended from Sir William G., the famous Chief Justice to Henry IV., he was ed. at Cambridge, and entered Gray’s Inn 1555. While there he produced two plays, both translations, The Supposes (1566) from Ariosto, and Jocasta (1566) from Euripides. Disinherited on account of his prodigality, he married in order to rehabilitate his finances, a widow, the mother of Nicholas Breton (q.v.). He had, nevertheless, to go to Holland to escape from the importunities of his creditors. While there he saw service under the Prince of Orange, and was taken prisoner by the Spaniards. Released after a few months, he returned to England, and found that some of his poems had been surreptitiously published He thereupon issued an authoritative ed. under the title of An Hundred Sundrie Floures bound up in one Poesie (1572). Other works are Notes of Instruction, for making English verse, The Glasse of Government (1575), and The Steele Glasse (1576), a satire. He also contributed to the entertainments in honour of Queen Elizabeth at Kenilworth and appears to have had a share of Court favour. G. was a man of originality, and did much to popularise the use of blank verse in England.
Gaskell, Elizabeth Cleghorn (Stevenson) (1810–1865). — Novelist, daughter of William Stevenson, a Unitarian minister, and for some time Keeper of the Treasury Records. She married William G., a Unitarian minister, at Manchester, and in 1848 published anonymously her first book, Mary Barton, in which the life and feelings of the manufacturing working classes are depicted with much power and sympathy. Other novels followed, Lizzie Leigh (1855), Mr. Harrison’s Confessions (1865), Ruth (1853), Cranford (1851–3), North and South (1855), Sylvia’s Lovers (1863), etc. Her last work was Wives and Daughters (1865), which appeared in the Cornhill Magazine, and was left unfinished. Mrs. G. had some of the characteristics of Miss Austen, and if her style and delineation of character are less minutely perfect, they are, on the other hand, imbued with a deeper vein of feeling. She was the friend of Charlotte Bronté (q.v.), to whom her sympathy brought much comfort, and whose Life she wrote. Of Cranford Lord Houghton wrote, “It is the finest piece of humoristic description that has been added to British literature since Charles Lamb.”
Gatty, Mrs. Alfred (Margaret Scott) (1809–1873). — Daughter of Rev. A.J. Scott, D.D., a navy chaplain, who served under, and was the trusted friend of, Nelson. She married the Rev. Alfred Gatty, D.D., Ecclesfield, Yorkshire, and became a highly useful and popular writer of tales for young people. Among her books may be mentioned Parables from Nature, Worlds not Realised, Proverbs Illustrated, and Aunt Judy’s Tales. She also conducted Aunt Judy’s Magazine, and wrote a book on British sea-weeds. Juliana Ewing (q.v.) was her daughter.
Gauden, John (1605–1662). — Theologian, born at Mayfield in Essex, and ed. at Cambridge His claim to remembrance rests on his being the reputed author of Eikon Basiliké (the Royal Image), a book purporting to be written by Charles I. during his imprisonment, and containing religious meditations and defences of his political acts. Pub. immediately after the King’s execution, it produced an extraordinary effect, so much so that Charles II. is reported to have said that, had it been published a week earlier, it would have saved his father’s life. There seems now to be little doubt that Gauden was the author. At all events he claimed to be recompensed for his services, and was made Bishop successively of Exeter and Worcester, apparently on the strength of these claims. The work passed through 50 ed. within a year, and was answered by Milton in his Iconoclastes (the Image-breaker).
Gay, John (1685–1732). — Poet and dramatist, born near Barnstaple of a good but decayed family. His parents dying while he was a child he was apprenticed to a silk-mercer in London, but not liking the trade, was released by his master. In 1708 he published a poem, Wine, and in 1713 Rural Sports, which he dedicated to Pope, whose friendship he obtained. A little before this he had received an appointment as secretary in the household of the Duchess of Monmouth. His next attempts were in the drama, in which he was not at first successful; but about 1714 he made his first decided hit in The Shepherd’s Week, a set of six pastorals designed to satirise Ambrose Philips, which, however, secured public approval on their own merits. These were followed by Trivia (1716), in which he was aided by Swift, an account in mock heroic verse of the dangers of the London streets, and by The Fan. G. had always been ambitious of public employment, and his aspirations were gratified by his receiving the appointment of secretary to an embassy to Hanover, which, however, he appears to have resigned in a few months. He then returned to the drama in What d’ye call It, and Three Hours after Marriage, neither of which, however, took the public fancy. In 1720 he published a collection of his poems, which brought him £1000, but soon after lost all his means in the collapse of the South Sea Company. After producing another drama, The Captive, he published his Fables (1727), which added to his reputation, and soon after, in 1728, achieved the great success of his life in The Beggar’s Opera, a Newgate pastoral, suggested by Swift, in which the graces and fantasticalities of the Italian Opera were satirised. A sequel, Polly, was suppressed by the Lord Chamberlain as reflecting upon the Court, but was published and had an enormous sale. The last few years of his life were passed in the household of the Duke of Queensberry, who had always been his friend and patron. He died after three days’ illness, aged 47. G. was an amiable, easy-going man, who appears to have had the power of attracting the strong attachments of his friends, among whom were Pope and Swift. He seems to have been one of the very few for whom the latter had a sincere affection. He is buried in Westminster Abbey. Of all he has written he is best remembered by one or two songs, of which the finest is Black-eyed Susan.
Geddes, Alexander (1737–1802). — Theologian and scholar, of Roman Catholic parentage, was born at Ruthven, Banffshire, and ed. for the priesthood at the local seminary of Scalan, and at Paris, and became a priest in his native county. His translation of the Satires of Horace made him known as a scholar, but his liberality of view led to his suspension. He then went to London, where he became known to Lord Petre, who enabled him to proceed with a new translation of the Bible for English Roman Catholics, which he carried on as far as Ruth, with some of the Psalms, and which was published in 3 vols. (1792–6). This was followed by Critical Remarks on the Hebrew Scriptures, in which he largely anticipated the German school of criticism. The result of this publication was his suspension from all ecclesiastical functions. G. was also a poet, and wrote Linton: a Tweedside Pastoral, Carmen Seculare pro Gallica Gente (1790), in praise of the French Revolution. He died without recanting, but received absolution at the hands of a French priest, though public mass for his soul was forbidden by the ecclesiastical powers.
Geoffrey of Monmouth (1100?-1154). — Chronicler, was probably a Benedictine monk, and became Bishop of St. Asaph. He wrote a Latin History of British Kings. Merlin’s Prophecies, long attributed to him, is now held to be not genuine. The history is rather a historical romance than a sober history, and gave scandal to some of the more prosaic chroniclers who followed him. It was subsequently translated into Anglo–Norman by Gaimar and Wace, and into English by Layamon.
Gerard, Alexander (1728–1795). — Philosophical writer, son of Rev. Gilbert G., was ed. at Aberdeen, where he became Prof., first of Natural Philosophy, and afterwards of Divinity, and one of the ministers of the city. As a prof. he introduced various reforms. In 1756 he gained the prize for an Essay on Taste which, together with an Essay on Genius, he subsequently published These treatises, though now superseded, gained for him considerable reputation.
Gibbon, Edward (1737–1794). — Historian, was born at Putney of an ancient Kentish family. His father was Edward G., and his mother Judith Porten. He was the only one of a family of seven who survived infancy, and was himself a delicate child with a precocious love of study. After receiving his early education at home he was sent to Westminster School, and when 15 was entered at Magdalen College, Oxford, where, according to his own account, he spent 14 months idly and unprofitably. Oxford was then at its lowest ebb, and earnest study or effort of any kind had little encouragement. G., however, appears to have maintained his wide reading in some degree, and his study of Bossuet and other controversialists led to his becoming in 1753 a Romanist. To counteract this his father placed him under the charge of David Mallet (q.v.), the poet, deist, and ed. of Bolingbroke’s works, whose influence, not unnaturally, failed of the desired effect, and G. was next sent to Lausanne, and placed under the care of a Protestant pastor, M. Pavilliard. Various circumstances appear to have made G. not unwilling to be re-converted to Protestantism; at all events he soon returned to the reformed doctrines. At Lausanne he remained for over four years, and devoted himself assiduously to study, especially of French literature and the Latin classics. At this time also he became engaged to Mademoiselle Suzanne Curchod; but on the match being peremptorily opposed by his father it was broken off. With the lady, who eventually became the wife of Necker, and the mother of Madame de Staël, he remained on terms of friendship. In 1758 G. returned to England, and in 1761 published Essai sur l’Etude de la Littérature, translated into English in 1764. About this time he made a tour on the Continent, visiting Paris, where he stayed for three months, and thence proceeding to Switzerland and Italy. There it was that, musing amid the ruins of the Capitol at Rome on October 15, 1764, he formed the plan of writing the history of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. He returned to England in 1765, and in 1770 his father died, leaving him the embarrassed estate of Buriton, which had been his usual home when in England. With a view to recovering his affairs, he left his estate and lived in London where, in 1772, he seriously set himself to realise the great plan which, since its conception, had never been out of his thoughts. The first chapter was written three times, and the second twice before he could satisfy himself that he had found the style suited to his subject. The progress of the work was delayed by the fact that G. had meanwhile (1774) entered the House of Commons, where, as member for Liskeard, he was a steady, though silent, supporter of Lord North in his American policy. He subsequently sat for Lymington, and held office as a Commissioner of Trade and Plantations 1779–82. The first vol. of the Decline and Fall appeared in 1776, and was received with acclamation, and it was not until some time had elapsed that the author’s treatment of the rise of Christianity excited the attention and alarm of the religious and ecclesiastical world. When, however, the far-reaching nature of his views was at length realised, a fierce and prolonged controversy arose, into which G. himself did not enter except in one case where his fidelity as an historian was impugned. The second and third vols. appeared in 1781, and thereafter (1783) G. returned to Lausanne, where he lived tranquilly with an early friend, M. Deyverdun, devoting his mornings to the completion of his history, and his evenings to society. At length, on the night of June 27, 1787, in the summer-house of his garden, the last words were penned, and the great work of his life completed. Of the circumstances, and of his feelings at the moment, he has himself given an impressive account. The last three vols. were issued in 1788, G. having gone to London to see them through the press. This being done he returned to Lausanne where, within a year, his beloved friend Deyverdun died His last years were clouded by ill-health, and by anxieties with regard to the French Revolution. In 1793, though travelling was a serious matter for him, he came to England to comfort his friend Lord Sheffield on the death of his wife, took ill, and died suddenly in London on January 16, 1794.
The place of G. among historians is in the first rank, and if the vast scale of his work and the enormous mass of detail involved in it are considered along with the learning and research employed in accumulating the material, and the breadth of view, lucidity of arrangement, and sense of proportion which have fused them into a distinct and splendid picture, his claims to the first place cannot be lightly dismissed. His style, though not pure, being tinged with Gallicisms, is one of the most noble in our literature, rich, harmonious, and stately; and though sources of information not accessible to him have added to our knowledge, and have shown some of his conclusions to be mistaken, his historical accuracy has been comparatively little shaken, and his work is sure of permanence. As a man G. seems to have been somewhat calm and cool in his feelings, though capable of steady and affectionate friendships, such as those with Deyverdun and the Sheffields, which were warmly reciprocated, and he appears to have been liked in society, where his brilliant conversational powers made him shine. He was vain, and affected the manners of the fine gentleman, which his unattractive countenance and awkward figure, and latterly his extreme corpulence, rendered somewhat ridiculous. He left an interesting Autobiography.
Summary. — Born 1737, ed. Westminster and Oxford, became Romanist and sent to Lausanne 1753, where he returned to Protestantism, published Essay on Study of Literature 1761, visited Rome 1764 and resolved to write his Decline and Fall of Roman Empire, began to write it 1772, published 1776–87, died 1794.
Decline and Fall (Sir W. Smith, 8 vols., 1854–55), another (J.B. Bury, 7 vols., 1896–1900). Autobiography (Lord Sheffield, 1796), often reprinted.
Gifford, Richard (1725–1807). — Poet, was ed. at Oxford and took orders. He was the author of a poem, Contemplation. He also wrote theological and controversial works.
Gifford, William (1756–1826). — Critic and poet, was born of humble parentage at Ashburton, Devonshire, and after being for a short time at sea, was apprenticed to a cobbler. Having, however, shown signs of superior ability, and a desire for learning, he was befriended and ed., ultimately at Oxford, where he grad. Becoming known to Lord Grosvenor, he was patronised by him, and in course of time produced his first poem, The Baviad (1794), a satire directed against the Delia Cruscans, a clique of very small and sentimental poets, which at once quenched their little tapers. This was followed by another satire, The Mæviad, against some minor dramatists. His last effort in this line was his Epistle to Peter Pindar (Dr. Walcot), inspired by personal enmity, which evoked a reply, A Cut at a Cobbler. These writings had established the reputation of G. as a keen, and even ferocious critic, and he was appointed in 1797 ed. of the Anti–Jacobin, which Canning and his friends had just started, and of the Quarterly Review (1809–24). He also brought out ed. of Massinger, Ben Jonson, and Ford. As a critic he had acuteness; but he was one-sided, prejudiced, and savagely bitter, and much more influenced in his judgments by the political opinions than by the literary merits of his victims. In his whole career, however, he displayed independence and spirit in overcoming the disadvantages of his early life, as well as gratitude to those who had served him. He held various appointments which placed him above financial anxiety.
Gildas (516?-570?). — British historian, was a monk who is believed to have gone to Brittany about 550, and founded a monastery. He wrote a history, De Excidio Britanniæ (concerning the overthrow of Britain). It consists of two parts, the first from the Roman invasion until the end of the 4th century, and the second a continuation to the writer’s own time. It is obscure and wordy, and not of much value.
Gilder, Richard Watson (1844–1909). — Poet, born at Borderstown, New Jersey, was successively a lawyer, a soldier, and a journalist, in which last capacity he ed. Scribner’s (afterwards the Century) Magazine. He holds a high place among American poets as the author of The New Day (1875), The Celestial Passion, The Great Remembrance, Five Books of Song (1894), In Palestine (1898), In the Heights (1905), A Book of Music (collection) (1906), etc.
Gildon, Charles (1665–1724). — Critic and dramatist, belonged to a Roman Catholic family, and was an unsuccessful playwright, a literary hack, and a critic of little acumen or discrimination. He attacked Pope as “Sawny Dapper,” and was in return embalmed in The Dunciad. He also wrote a Life of Defoe.
Gilfillan, George (1813–1878). — Poet and critic, son of a dissenting minister at Comrie, Perthshire, studied at Glasgow University, and was ordained minister of a church in Dundee. He was a voluminous author. Among his writings are Gallery of Literary Portraits, and a Series of British Poets with introductions and notes in 48 vols. He also wrote Lives of Burns, Scott, and others, and Night (1867), a poem in nine books. His style was somewhat turgid, and his criticism rather sympathetic than profound.
Gilfillan, Robert (1798–1850). — Poet, born at Dunfermline, was latterly Collector of Police Rates in Leith. He wrote a number of Scottish songs, and was favourably mentioned in Noctes Ambrosianæ (see Wilson, J.). He was the author of the beautiful song, Oh, why left I my Hame?
Gillespie, George (1613–1648). — Scottish Theologian, was born at Kirkcaldy, and studied at St. Andrews. He became one of the ministers of Edinburgh, and was a member of the Westminster Assembly, in which he took a prominent part. A man of notable intellectual power, he exercised an influence remarkable in view of the fact that he died in his 36th year. He was one of the most formidable controversialists of a highly controversial age. His best known work is Aaron’s Rod Blossoming, a defence of the ecclesiastical claims of the high Presbyterian party.
Gillies, John (1747–1836). — Historian, born at Brechin and ed. there and at Glasgow, wrote a History of Greece (1786) from a strongly anti-democratic standpoint, a History of the World from Alexander to Augustus (1807), and a View of the Reign of Frederick II. of Prussia. He also made various translations from the Greek. He succeeded Principal Robertson as Historiographer Royal for Scotland.
Giraldus Cambrensis (literary name of Gerald De Barri) (1146?-1220?). — Geographer and historian, was born of a Norman family settled in Wales, which intermarried with the Royal family of that country. He was an eminent scholar and Churchman, whose object of ambition was the Bishopric of St. David’s, to which he was twice elected by the chapter, but from which he was kept out by the opposition of the King. When travelling in Ireland with Prince John (1185) he wrote Topographia Hibernica, a valuable descriptive account of the country, and in 1188 he wrote Itinerarium Cambriæ, a similar work on Wales. He left several other works, including an autobiography, De Rebus a se Gestis (concerning his own doings).
Gissing, George (1857–1903). — Novelist, born at Wakefield. In his novels he depicted the environment and struggles of the lower and lower middle classes with a somewhat pessimistic and depressing realism, although his last work, The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft, seemed to usher in the dawn of a somewhat brighter outlook. His other novels include Demos (1886), Thyrza (1887), The Nether World (1889), New Grub Street (1891), Born in Exile (1892), In the Year of Jubilee (1894), and The Town Traveller (1898). He died at St. Jean de Luz in the Pyrenees.
Gladstone, William Ewart (1809–1898). — Statesman, scholar, and man of letters, fourth son of Sir John G., a merchant in Liverpool, was of Scottish ancestry. He was ed. at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford From his youth he was deeply interested in religious and ecclesiastical questions, and at one time thought of entering the Church. In 1832 he entered Parliament as a Tory, and from the first gave evidence of the splendid talents for debate and statesmanship, especially in the department of finance, which raised him to the position of power and influence which he afterwards attained. After holding the offices of Pres. of the Board of Trade, Colonial Sec., and Chancellor of the Exchequer, he attained the position of Prime Minister, which he held four times 1868–74, 1880–85, 1885–86, and 1892–93. His political career was one of intense energy and activity in every department of government, especially after he became Prime Minister, and while it gained him the enthusiastic applause and devotion of a large portion of the nation, it exposed him to a correspondingly intense opposition on the part of another. The questions which involved him in the greatest conflicts of his life and evoked his chief efforts of intellect were the disestablishment of the Irish Church, the foreign policy of his great rival Disraeli, and Home Rule for Ireland, on the last of which the old Liberal party was finally broken up. In the midst of political labours which might have been sufficient to absorb even his tireless energy, he found time to follow out and write upon various subjects which possessed a life-long interest for him. His first book was The State in its Relations with the Church (1839), which formed the subject of one of Macaulay’s essays. Studies on Homer and the Homeric Age (1858), Juventus Mundi (1869), and Homeric Synchronism (1876), The Impregnable Rock of Holy Scripture (1890), The Vatican Decrees and Vaticanism (1874–75), and Gleanings of Past Years (1897), 8 vols., were his other principal contributions to literature. G.’s scholarship, though sound and even brilliant, was of an old-fashioned kind, and his conclusions on Homeric questions have not received much support from contemporary scholars. In his controversies with Huxley and others his want of scientific knowledge and of sympathy with modern scientific tendencies placed him at a disadvantage. His character was a singularly complex one, and his intellect possessed a plasticity which made it possible to say of him that he never was anything, but was always becoming something. His life was a singularly noble and stainless one, and he must probably ever remain one of the great figures in the history of his country.
Life by J. Morley (3 vols.), others by J. M’Carthy, Sir Wemyss Reid, and many others.
Glanvill, Joseph (1636–1680). — Controversialist and moral writer, born at Plymouth, and ed. at Oxford, took orders, and held various benefices, including the Rectory of Bath Abbey and a prebend at Worcester. He came under the influence of the Cambridge Platonists, especially of Henry More (q.v.). His contendings were chiefly with the English Nonconformists, against whom (with the exception of Baxter whom he held in great esteem) he exhibited great bitterness. His chief work is the Vanity of Dogmatizing (1661) which contains the story of “The Scholar Gipsy,” in later days turned to such fine account by Matthew Arnold. G. wrote a fine literary style, at its best recalling that of Sir Thomas Browne.
Glapthorne, Henry (fl. 1640). — Dramatist, had a high reputation among his contemporaries, though now almost forgotten. He wrote two comedies, three tragedies, and a book of poems, which were all reprinted in two vols. in 1874. His best work, is Argalus and Parthenia (1639), based upon Sidney’s Arcadia. Others were The Hollander, Wit is a Constable, and The Ladies’ Privilege (all 1640).
Glascock, William Nugent (1787–1847). — Novelist. He saw a good deal of service in the navy with credit, and from this drew the inspiration of his vigorous and breezy sea-stories, which include Sailors and Saints (1829), Tales of a Tar (1836), and Land Sharks and Sea Gulls (1838).
Gleig, George Robert (1796–1888). — S. of George G., Bishop of Brechin, entered the army, and served in the Peninsula and America. In 1820 he took orders, and after serving various cures bec., in 1834, Chaplain of Chelsea Hospital, and in 1844 Chaplain–General of the Forces, which office he held until 1875. He was a frequent contributor to reviews and magazines, especially Blackwood’s, in which his best known novel, The Subaltern, appeared, and he was also the author of Lives of Warren Hastings, Clive, and Wellington, Military Commanders, Chelsea Pensioners, and other works.
Glen, William (1789–1826). — Poet, born in Glasgow, was for some years in the West Indies. He died in poverty. He wrote several poems, but the only one which has survived is his Jacobite ballad, Wae’s me for Prince Charlie.
Glover, Richard (1712–1785). — Poet and dramatist, was a London merchant, and M.P. for Weymouth. A scholarly man with a taste for literature, he wrote two poems in blank verse, Leonidas (1737), and The Athenaid (1787). Though not without a degree of dignity, they want energy and interest, and are now forgotten. He also produced a few dramas, which had little success. He is best remembered by his beautiful ballad, Hosier’s Ghost, beginning “As near Portobello lying.” G. had the reputation of a useful and public-spirited citizen.
Godwin, Mrs. Mary (Wollstonecraft) (1759–1797). — Miscellaneous writer, was of Irish extraction. Her father was a spend-thrift of bad habits, and at 19 Mary left home to make her way in the world. Her next ten years were spent as companion to a lady, in teaching a school at Newington Green, and as governess in the family of Lord Kingsborough. In 1784 she assisted her sister to escape from a husband who ill-treated her. In 1788 she took to translating, and became literary adviser to Johnson the publisher, through whom she became known to many of the literary people of the day, as well as to certain Radicals, including Godwin, Paine, Priestly, and Fuseli, the painter. She then, 1792, went to Paris, where she met Captain Imlay, with whom she formed a connection, the fruit of which was her daughter Fanny. Captain Imlay having deserted her, she tried to commit suicide at Putney Bridge, but was rescued. Thereafter she resumed her literary labours, and lived with W. Godwin, who married her in 1797. Their daughter, Mary, whose birth she did not survive, became the second wife of Shelley. Her chief original writings are a Reply to Burke’s Reflections on the French Revolution (1791), Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792), and Original Stories for Children, illustrated by W. Blake. Her Vindication received much adverse criticism on account of its extreme positions and over-plainness of speech.
Godwin, William (1756–1836). — Philosopher and novelist, born at Wisbeach, and ed. at a school in Norwich, to which city his father, a Presbyterian minister, had removed, and subsequently at a Presbyterian coll. at Hoxton, with a view to the ministry. From 1778 to 1783 he acted as minister of various congregations near London; but his theological views having undergone important changes, he resigned his pastorate, and devoted himself to a literary career. His first work, a series of historical sketches in the form of sermons, failed. He then found employment as one of the principal writers in the New Annual Register, and became otherwise prominent as an advocate of political and social reform. Many of his views were peculiar and extreme, and even tended, if fully carried out in practice, to subvert morality; but they were propounded and supported by their author with a whole-hearted belief in their efficacy for the regeneration of society: and the singular circumstances of his connection with and ultimate marriage to Mary Wollstonecraft showed at least that he had the courage of his opinions. His Enquiry concerning Political Justice (1793) made him famous. A year later he published his masterpiece, Caleb Williams, a novel exhibiting a sombre strength rarely equalled. The next few years were occupied in political controversy, for which G. was, by his sincerity and his masculine style, well fitted; and it was in the midst of these — in 1797 — that his first marriage, already alluded to, and the death of his wife, of whom he published a singular but interesting Life, occurred. In 1799 his second great novel, St. Leon, based upon the philosopher’s stone and the elixir of life, appeared. His other novels, Fleetwood (1804), Mandeville (1817), and Cloudesley (1830), are much inferior. In addition to these works G. brought out an elaborate Life of Chaucer in 2 vols. (1803), An Essay on Sepulchres (1808), containing much fine thought finely expressed, A History of the Commonwealth, an Essay against the theories of Malthus (q.v.), and his last work, Lives of the Necromancers. For some time he engaged in the publishing business, in which, however, he ultimately proved unsuccessful. In his later years he had the office of Yeoman Usher of the Exchequer conferred upon him. G. entered in 1801 into a second marriage with a widow, Mrs. Clairmont, by whom he had a daughter This lady had already a son and daughter, the latter of whom had an irregular connection with Byron. His daughter by his first marriage — Mary Wollstonecraft G., — became in 1816 the wife of Shelley. G. was a man of simple manners and imperturbable temper.
Golding, Arthur (1535?-1605?). — Translator, son of a gentleman of Essex, was perhaps at Cambridge, and was diligent in the translation of theological works by Calvin, Beza, and others, but is chiefly remembered for his versions of Cæsar’s Commentaries (1565), and specially of Ovid’s Metamorphoses (1565–67), the latter in ballad metre. He also translated Justin’s History, and part of Seneca.
Goldsmith, Oliver (1728–1774). — Poet, dramatist, and essayist, son of an Irish clergyman, was born at Pallasmore in Co. Longford. His early education was received at various schools at Elphin, Athlone, and Edgeworthstown. At the age of 8 he had a severe attack of smallpox which disfigured him for life. In 1744 he went to Trinity College, Dublin, whence, having come into collision with one of the coll. tutors, he ran away in 1746. He was, however, induced to return, and grad. in 1749. The Church was chosen for him as a profession — against his will be it said in justice to him. He presented himself before the Bishop of Elphin for examination — perhaps as a type of deeper and more inward incongruencies — in scarlet breeches, and was rejected. He next figured as a tutor; but had no sooner accumulated £30 than he quitted his employment and forthwith dissipated his little savings. A long-suffering uncle named Contarine, who had already more than once interposed on his behalf, now provided means to send him to London to study law. He, however, got no farther than Dublin, where he was fleeced to his last guinea, and returned to the house of his mother, now a widow with a large family. After an interval spent in idleness, a medical career was perceived to be the likeliest opening, and in 1752 he steered for Edinburgh, where he remained on the usual happy-go-lucky terms until 1754, when he proceeded to Leyden. After a year there he started on a walking tour, which led him through France, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. How he lived it is hard to say, for he left Leyden penniless. It is said that he disputed at University, and played the flute, and thus kept himself in existence. All this time, however, he was gaining the experiences and knowledge of foreign countries which he was afterwards to turn to such excellent account. At one of the University visited at this time, he is believed to have secured the medical degree, of which he subsequently made use. Louvain and Padua have both been named as the source of it. He reached London almost literally penniless in 1756, and appears to have been occupied successively as an apothecary’s journeyman, a doctor of the poor, and an usher in a school at Peckham. In 1757 he was writing for the Monthly Review. The next year he applied unsuccessfully for a medical appointment in India; and the year following, 1759, saw his first important literary venture, An Enquiry into the State of Polite Learning in Europe. It was published anonymously, but attracted some attention, and brought him other work. At the same time he became known to Bishop Percy, the collector of the Reliques of Ancient Poetry, and he had written The Bee, a collection of essays, and was employed upon various periodicals. In 1761 began his friendship with Johnson, which led to that of the other great men of that circle. His Chinese Letters, afterwards republished as The Citizen of the World, appeared in The Public Ledger in 1762. The Traveller, the first of his longer poems, came out in 1764, and was followed in 1766 by The Vicar of Wakefield. In 1768 he essayed the drama, with The Good-natured Man, which had considerable success. The next few years saw him busily occupied with work for the publishers, including The History of Rome (1769), Lives of Parnell the poet, and Lord Bolingbroke (1770), and in the same year The Deserted Village appeared; The History of England was published in 1771. In 1773 he produced with great success his other drama, She Stoops to Conquer. His last works were The Retaliation, The History of Greece, and Animated Nature, all published in 1774. In that year, worn out with overwork and anxiety, he caught a fever, of which he died April 4. With all his serious and very obvious faults — his reckless improvidence, his vanity, and, in his earlier years at any rate, his dissipated habits — G. is one of the most lovable characters in English literature, and one whose writings show most of himself — his humanity, his bright and spontaneous humour, and “the kindest heart in the world.” His friends included some of the best and greatest men in England, among them Johnson, Burke, and Reynolds. They all, doubtless, laughed at and made a butt of him, but they all admired and loved him. At the news of his death Burke burst into tears, Reynolds laid down his brush and painted no more that day, and Johnson wrote an imperishable epitaph on him. The poor, the old, and the outcast crowded the stair leading to his lodgings, and wept for the benefactor who had never refused to share what he had (often little enough) with them. Much of his work — written at high pressure for the means of existence, or to satisfy the urgency of duns — his histories, his Animated Nature, and such like, have, apart from a certain charm of style which no work of his could be without, little permanent value; but The Traveller and The Deserted Village, She Stoops to Conquer, and, above all, The Vicar of Wakefield, will keep his memory dear to all future readers of English.
Summary. — Born 1728, ed. Trinity College, Dublin, went to Edinburgh 1752, and to Leyden 1754, travelled on foot over large part of Continent, reached London 1756, and wrote for magazines, etc., and after publishing various other works produced The Citizen of the World in 1762, published Vicar of Wakefield 1766, Deserted Village 1770, and She Stoops to Conquer 1773, died 1774.
There are many ed. of G.’s works by Prior, 1837, Cunningham, 1854, Prof. Masson (Globe), 1869, Gibb (Bohn’s Standard Library), 1885. Biographies by Prior, 1837, Foster, 1848–71, Washington Irving, and others. See also Boswell’s Johnson, and Thackeray’s English Humorists.
Goodall, Walter (1706?-1766). — Historical writer, born in Banffshire, and ed. King’s College, Aberdeen, became assistant librarian to the Advocates’ Library in Edinburgh In 1754 he published an Examination of the Letters said to have been written by Mary Queen of Scots, in which he combats the genuineness of the “Casket Letters.” He also ed., among other works, Fordun’s Scotichronicon (1759).
Goodwin, Thomas (1600–1680). — Divine, was born in Norfolk, and ed. at Cambridge, where he was Vicar of Trinity Church. Becoming an Independent, he ministered to a church in London, and thereafter at Arnheim in Holland. Returning to England he was made Chaplain to Cromwell’s Council of State, and Pres. of Magdalen College, Oxford At the Restoration he was deprived, but continued to preach in London. He was the author of various commentaries and controversial pamphlets, was a member of the Westminster Assembly, and assisted in drawing up the amended Confession, 1658. He attended Oliver Cromwell on his deathbed.
Googe, Barnabe (1540–1594). — Poet and translator, born at Lincoln, studied at both Cambridge and Oxford He was a kinsman of Cecil, who gave him employment in Ireland. He translated from the Latin of Manzolli The Zodiac of Life, a satire against the Papacy, and The Popish Kingdome by T. Kirchmayer, a similar work; also The Foure Bookes of Husbandrie of Conrad Heresbach. In 1563 he published a vol. of original poems, Eglogs, Epytaphes, and Sonnettes.
Gordon, Adam Lindsay (1833–1870). — Poet, was born in the Azores, the son of an officer in the army. He went to Australia, where he had a varied career in connection with horses and riding, for which he had a passion. He betook himself to the Bush, got into financial trouble, and died by his own hand. In the main he derives his inspiration (as in the Rhyme of Joyous Garde, and Britomarte) from mediæval and English sources, not from his Australian surroundings. Among his books are Sea-spray and Smoke-drift (1867), Bush Ballads (containing The Sick Stock-rider) (1870), Ashtaroth (1867). In many of his poems, e.g. An Exile’s Farewell, and Whispering in the Wattle Boughs, there is a strong vein of sadness and pathos.
Gore, Mrs. Catherine Grace Frances (Moody) (1799–1861). — Novelist, daughter of a wine merchant at Retford, where she was born She married a Captain Gore, with whom she resided mainly on the Continent, supporting her family by her voluminous writings. Between 1824 and 1862 she produced about 70 works, the most successful of which were novels of fashionable English life. Among these may be mentioned Manners of the Day (1830), Cecil, or the Adventures of a Coxcomb (1841), and The Banker’s Wife (1843). She also wrote for the stage, and composed music for songs.
Gosson, Stephen (1554–1624). — Poet, actor, and satirist, born in Kent, and ed. at Oxford, he went to London, and wrote plays, which are now lost, and pastorals; but, moved by a sermon preached at Paul’s Cross in 1577 during a plague, he deserted the theatre, and became one of its severest critics in his prose satire, The School of Abrose (1579), directed against “poets, pipers, players, jesters, and such-like Caterpillars of a Commonwealth.” Dedicated to Sir P. Sidney, it was not well received by him, and is believed to have evoked his Apologie for Poetrie (1595). G. entered the Church, and died Rector of St. Botolph’s, London.
Gough, Richard (1735–1809). — Antiquary, was born in London, and studied at Cambridge For many years he made journeys over England in pursuit of his antiquarian studies. He published about 20 works, among which are British Topography (1768), Sepulchral Monuments of Great Britain (1786–99), an ed. of Camden’s Britannia, a translation of The Arabian Nights (1798), and various other treatises on archæology, topography, and numismatics.
Gower, John (1325?-1408). — Poet. Although few details of his life have come down to us, he appears to have been a man of wealth and importance, connected with Kent, well known at Court, and in possession of more than one estate. He was the friend of Chaucer, who gives him the title of “the moral Gower,” which has clung to him ever since. His first principal work was Speculum Meditantis (the Mirror of one meditating) written in French on the subject of married life. It was long believed to have been lost. It was followed by Vox Clamantis (the Voice of one crying) written in Latin, giving an account of the peasants’ revolt of 1381, and attacking the misgovernment and social evils which had led to it. His third, and only English poem, was Confessio Amantis (Lover’s Confession), a work of 30,000 lines, consisting of tales and meditations on love, written at the request of Richard II. It is the earliest large collection of tales in the English tongue. In his old age G. became blind. He had, when about 70, retired to the Priory of St. Mary Overies, the chapel of which is now the Church of St. Saviour, Southwark, where he spent his last years, and to which he was a liberal benefactor. G. represented the serious and cultivated man of his time, in which he was reckoned the equal of Chaucer, but as a poet he is heavy and prolix.
Grafton, Richard (died 1572). — Printer and chronicler, printed various ed. of the Bible and Prayer-book; also the Proclamation of the Accession of Lady Jane Grey, for which he was cast into prison, where he compiled an Abridgement of the Chronicles of England (1563). To this he added in 1568 A Chronicle at Large. Neither holds a high place as authorities.
Grahame, James (1765–1811). — Poet, son of a lawyer, was born and ed. in Glasgow. After spending some time in a law office in Edinburgh, he was called to the Scottish Bar. His health being delicate, and his circumstances easy, he early retired from practice, and taking orders in the Church of England in 1809, was appointed curate successively of Shipton, Gloucestershire, and Sedgefield, Durham. He wrote several pleasing poems, of which the best is The Sabbath (1804). He died on a visit to Glasgow in his 47th year. His poems are full of quiet observation of country sights expressed in graceful verse.
Grahame, Simon or Simion (1570–1614). — Born in Edinburgh, led a dissolute life as a traveller, soldier, and courtier on the Continent. He appears to have been a good scholar, and wrote the Passionate Sparke of a Relenting Minde, and Anatomy of Humours, the latter of which is believed to have suggested to Burton his Anatomy of Melancholie. He became an austere Franciscan.
Grainger, James (1721–1766). — Poet, of a Cumberland family, studied medicine at Edinburgh, was an army surgeon, and on the peace settled in practice in London, where he became the friend of Dr. Johnson, Shenstone, and other men of letters. His first poem, Solitude, appeared in 1755. He subsequently went to the West Indies (St. Kit’s), where he made a rich marriage, and published his chief poem, The Sugar–Cane (1764).
Granger, James (1723–1776). — Biographer, was at Oxford and, entering the Church, became Vicar of Shiplake, Oxon. He published a Biographical History of England from Egbert the Great to the Revolution (1769). He insisted on the importance of collecting engravings of portraits and himself gathered 14,000, and gave a great impulse to the practice of making such collections.
Grant, Mrs. Anne (M’vicar) (1755–1838). — Was born in Glasgow, and in 1779 married the Rev. James Grant, minister of Laggan, Inverness-shire. She published in 1802 a vol. of poems. She also wrote Letters from the Mountains, and Essays on the Superstitions of the Highlands. After 1810 she lived in Edinburgh, where she was the friend of Sir W. Scott and other eminent men, through whose influence a pension of £100 was bestowed upon her.
Grant, James (1822–1887). — Novelist, was the son of an officer in the army, in which he himself served for a short time. He wrote upwards of 50 novels in a brisk, breezy style, of which the best known are perhaps The Romance of War (1845), Adventures of an Aide-de-Camp, Frank Hilton, Bothwell, Harry Ogilvie, and The Yellow Frigate. He also wrote biographies of Kirkcaldy of Grange, Montrose, and others which, however, are not always trustworthy from an historical point of view.
Grant, James Augustus (1827–1892). — Traveller, was an officer in the army, and was sent by the Royal Geographical Society along with Captain John HANNING SPEKE (1827–1864), to search for the equatorial lakes of Africa. Grant wrote A Walk across Africa, The Botany of the Speke and Grant Expedition, and Khartoum as I saw it in 1863. Speke wrote Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile (1863), and What led to the Discovery of the Source of the Nile (1864).
Grattan, Thomas Colley (1792–1864). — Miscellaneous writer, born in Dublin, and ed. for the law, but did not practise. He wrote a few novels, including The Heiress of Bruges (4 vols., 1830); but his best work was Highways and Byways, a description of his Continental wanderings, of which he published three series. He also wrote a history of the Netherlands and books on America. He was for some time British Consul at Boston, U.S.
Gray, David (1838–1861). — Poet, son of a hand-loom weaver at Kirkintilloch, Dumbartonshire. He gave early promise at school, was destined for the service of the Church, and was for 4 years at Glasgow University while he maintained himself by teaching. His first poems appeared in the Glasgow Citizen. In 1860, however, he went with his friend Robert Buchanan to London, where he soon fell into consumption. He was befriended by Mr. Monckton Milnes, afterwards Lord Houghton, but after a sojourn in the South of England, returned home to die. His chief poem, The Luggie (the river of his birthplace) contains much beautiful description; but his genius reached its highest expression in a series of 30 sonnets written in full view of an early death and blighted hopes, and bearing the title, In the Shadow. They breathe a spirit of the deepest melancholy unrelieved by hope.
Gray, Thomas (1716–1771). — Poet, was born in London, the son of a scrivener, who, though described as “a respectable citizen,” was of so cruel and violent a temper that his wife had to separate from him. To his mother and her sister, who carried on a business, G. was indebted for his liberal education at Eton (where he became a friend of Horace Walpole), and Cambridge After completing his University course he accompanied Walpole to France and Italy, where he spent over two years, when a difference arising G. returned to England, and went back to Cambridge to take his degree in law without, however, any intention of practising. He remained at Cambridge for the rest of his life, passing his time in the study of the classics, natural science, and antiquities, and in visits to his friends, of whom Walpole was again one. It was in 1747 that his first poem, the Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College, appeared, and it was followed between 1750 and 1757 by his Pindaric Odes, including The Progress of Poesy, and The Bard, which were, however, somewhat coldly received. Nevertheless he had, on the death of Colley Cibber, the offer of the laureateship, which he declined; but in 1768 he accepted the Professorship of Modern History in his University, worth £400 a year. Having been drawn to the study of Icelandic and Celtic poetry he produced The Fatal Sisters, and The Descent of Odin, in which are apparent the first streaks of the dawn of the Romantic Revival. G.’s poems occupy little space, but what he wrote he brought to the highest perfection of which he was capable, and although there is a tendency on the part of some modern critics to depreciate him, it is probable that his place will always remain high among all but the first order of poets. Probably no poem has had a wider acceptance among all classes of readers than his Elegy in a Country Churchyard. In addition to his fame as a poet, he enjoys that of one of the greatest of English letter-writers, and of a really great scholar. He died at Cambridge after a short illness following upon a gradually declining state of health.
Life by Gosse (Men of Letters Series, 1882).
Greeley, Horace (1811–1872). — Journalist and miscellaneous writer, was the son of a small farmer in New Hampshire. His early life was passed first as a printer, and thereafter in editorial work. He started in 1841, and conducted until his death, the New York Tribune. He was long a leader in American politics, and in 1872 was an unsuccessful candidate for the Presidency. His writings, which are chiefly political and economical, include Essays on Political Economy (1870), and Recollections of a Busy Life (1868).
Green, John Richard (1837–1883). — Historian, was the son of a tradesman in Oxford, where he was ed., first at Magdalen College School, and then at Jesus College He entered the Church, and served various cures in London, under a constant strain caused by delicate health. Always an enthusiastic student of history, his scanty leisure was devoted to research. In 1869 he finally gave up clerical work, and received the appointment of librarian at Lambeth. He had been laying plans for various historical works, including a History of the English Church as exhibited in a series of Lives of the Archbishops of Canterbury, and, what he proposed as his magnum opus, A History of England under the Angevin Kings. The discovery, however, that his lungs were affected, necessitated the abridgment of all his schemes, and he concentrated his energies on the preparation of his Short History of the English People, which appeared in 1874, and at once gave him an assured place in the first rank of historical writers. In 1877 he married Miss Alice Stopford, by whose talents and devotion he was greatly assisted in carrying out and completing such work as his broken health enabled him to undertake during his few remaining years. Abandoning his proposed history of the Angevins, he confined himself to expanding his Short History into A History of the English People in 4 vols. (1878–80), and writing The Making of England, of which one vol. only, coming down to 828, had appeared when he died at Mentone in March 1883. After his death appeared The Conquest of England. The Short History may be said to have begun a new epoch in the writing of history, making the social, industrial, and moral progress of the people its main theme. To infinite care in the gathering and sifting of his material G. added a style of wonderful charm, and an historical imagination which has hardly been equalled.
Green, Matthew (1696–1737). — Poet, is known as the author of The Spleen, a lively and original poem in octosyllabic verse on the subject of low spirits and the best means of prevention and cure. It has life-like descriptions, sprightliness, and lightness of touch, and was admired by Pope and Gray. The poem owes its name to the use of the term in the author’s day to denote depression. G., who held an appointment in the Customs, appears to have been a quiet, inoffensive person, an entertaining companion, and a Quaker.
Green, Thomas Hill (1836–1882). — Philosopher, was born at Birken Rectory, Yorkshire, and ed. at Rugby and Balliol College, Oxford, where he became Whyte Prof. of Moral Philosophy and, by his character, ability, and enthusiasm on social questions, exercised a powerful influence. His chief works are an Introduction to Hume’s Treatise on Human Nature (Clarendon Press ed.), in which he criticised H.’s philosophy severely from the idealist standpoint, and Prolegomena to Ethics, published posthumously.
Greene, Robert (1560?-1592). — Poet, dramatist, and pamphleteer, was born at Norwich, and studied at Cambridge, where he grad. A.B. He was also incorporated at Oxford in 1588. After travelling in Spain and Italy, he returned to Cambridge and took A.M. Settling in London he was one of the wild and brilliant crew who passed their lives in fitful alternations of literary production and dissipation, and were the creators of the English drama. He has left an account of his career in which he calls himself “the mirror of mischief.” During his short life about town, in the course of which he ran through his wife’s fortune, and deserted her soon after the birth of her first child, he poured forth tales, plays, and poems, which had great popularity. In the tales, or pamphlets as they were then called, he turns to account his wide knowledge of city vices. His plays, including The Scottish History of James IV., and Orlando Furioso, which are now little read, contain some fine poetry among a good deal of bombast; but his fame rests, perhaps, chiefly on the poems scattered through his writings, which are full of grace and tenderness. G. died from the effects of a surfeit of pickled herrings and Rheinish wine. His extant writings are much less gross than those of many of his contemporaries, and he seems to have given signs of repentance on his deathbed, as is evidenced by his last work, A Groat’s worth of Wit bought with a Million of Repentance. In this curious work occurs his famous reference to Shakespeare as “an upstart crow beautified with our feathers.” Among his other works may be mentioned Euphues’ censure to Philautus, Pandosto, the Triumph of Time (1588), from which Shakespeare borrowed the plot of The Winter’s Tale, A Notable Discovery of Coosnage, Arbasto, King of Denmark, Penelope’s Web, Menaphon (1589), and Coney Catching. His plays, all published posthumously, include Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay, Alphonsus, King of Aragon, and George-a-Greene, the Pinner of Wakefield. His tales are written under the influence of Lyly, whence he received from Gabriel Harvey the nickname of “Euphues’ Ape.”
Plays ed. by Dyce (2 vols., 1831, new ed., 1861). His works are included in Grosart’s “Huth Library.”
Greg, William Rathbone (1809–1881). — Essayist, born in Manchester, and ed. at Bristol and Edinburgh, was for some years engaged in his father’s business as a millowner at Bury. Becoming deeply interested in political and social questions he contributed to reviews and magazines many papers and essays on these subjects, which were repub. in three collections, viz., Essays on Political and Social Science (1854), Literary and Social Judgments (1869), and Miscellaneous Essays (1884). Other works of his are Enigmas of Life (1872), Rocks Ahead (1874), and Mistaken Aims, etc. (1876). In his writings he frequently manifested a distrust of democracy and a pessimistic view of the future of his country. He held successively the appointments of Commissioner of Customs and Controller of H.M. Stationery Office.
Greville, Charles Cavendish Fulke (1794–1865). — Political annalist, ed. at Eton and Oxford, was a page to George III., secretary to Earl Bathurst, and afterwards held the sinecure office of Sec. of Jamaica. In 1821 he became Clerk to the Privy Council, an office which brought him into close contact with the leaders of both political parties, and gave him unusual opportunities of becoming acquainted with all that was passing behind the scenes. The information as to men and events thus acquired he fully utilised in his Journal of the Reigns of George IV., William IV., and Queen Victoria, which, ed. by Henry Reeve, of the Edinburgh Review, was published in three series between 1874 and 1887. The Journal covers the period, from 1820–60, and constitutes an invaluable contribution to the history of the time.
Griffin, Bartholomew? (fl. 1596). — Poet, of whom almost nothing is known, published in 1596 a collection of 62 sonnets under the title of Fidessa, of which some are excellent.
Griffin, Gerald (1803–1840). — Dramatist, novelist, and poet, son of a tradesman, born and ed. in Limerick, he went in 1823 to London, where most of his literary work was produced. In 1838 he returned to Ireland and, dividing his property among his brothers, devoted himself to a religious life by joining the Teaching Order of the Christian Brothers. Two years thereafter he died, worn out by self-inflicted austerities. His chief novel, The Collegians, was adapted by Boucicault as The Colleen Bawn, and among his dramas is Gisippus. His novels depict southern Irish life.
Grimoald, Nicholas (1519–1562). — Poet, was at Cambridge and Oxford, and was chaplain to Bishop Ridley. He contributed to Tottel’s Songs and Sonnettes (1557), wrote two dramas in Latin, Archi-propheta and Christus Redivivus, and made translations.
Groome, Francis Hindes (1851–1902). — Miscellaneous writer, son of a clergyman, wrote for various encyclopædias, etc. He was a student of the gipsies and their language, and published In Gypsy Tents (1880), Gypsy Folk Tales (1899), and an ed. of Borrow’s Lavengro (1900). Other works were A Short Border History (1887), Kriegspiel (1896), a novel, and Two Suffolk Friends (his father and Edward Fitzgerald, q.v.).
Grosart, Alexander Balloch (1827–1899). — Was a minister of the English Presbyterian Church. He wrote Lives of various Puritan divines, ed. their works, and also issued ed., with Lives, of the poems of Michael Bruce (q.v.) and Robert Fergusson (q.v.). But his chief service to literature was his reprints, with notes, of rare Elizabethan and Jacobean literature, including Fuller’s Worthies Library, 39 vols. (1868–76), Occasional Issues of Unique and Very Rare Books, 38 vols. 1875–81, Huth Library, 33 vols. (1886), Spenser’s Works, 10 vols., Daniel’s Works, etc.
Grose, Francis (1731–1791). — Antiquary and lexicographer, of Swiss extraction, was Richmond Herald 1755–63. He published Antiquities of England and Wales (1773–87), which was well received, and thereafter, 1789, set out on an antiquarian tour through Scotland, the fruit of which was Antiquity of Scotland (1789–91). He afterwards undertook a similar expedition to Ireland, but died suddenly at Dublin. In addition to the works above mentioned he wrote A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1785), A Provincial Glossary (1787), a Treatise on Ancient Armour and Weapons, etc. He was an accomplished draughtsman, and illustrated his works.
Grosseteste, Robert (died 1253). — Theologian and scholar, was born of poor parents at Stradbrook, Suffolk, and studied at Oxford and possibly Paris. His abilities and learning procured him many preferments; but after an illness he refused to be longer a pluralist, and resigned all but a prebend at Lincoln. Later he was a strenuous and courageous reformer, as is shown by his refusing in 1253 to induct a nephew of the Pope to a canonry at Lincoln, of which he had been Bishop since 1235. He was equally bold in resisting the demand of Henry III. for a tenth of the Church revenues. Amid his absorbing labours as a Churchman, he found time to be a copious writer on a great variety of subjects, including husbandry, physical and moral philosophy, as also sermons, commentaries, and an allegory, the Chateau d’Amour. Roger Bacon was a pupil of his, and testifies to his amazing variety of knowledge.
Grote, George (1794–1871). — Historian, son of a wealthy banker in London, was born at Beckenham, and ed. at Charterhouse School. In 1810 he entered the bank, of which he became head in 1830. In 1832 he was elected one of the members of Parliament for the City of London. In 1841 he retired from Parliament, and in 1843 from the bank, thenceforth devoting his whole time to literature, which, along with politics, had been his chief interest from his youth. He early came under the influence of Bentham and the two Mills, and was one of the leaders of the group of theorists known as “philosophical Radicals.” In 1820 he married Miss Harriet Lewin who, from her intellectual powers, was fitted to be his helper in his literary and political interests. In 1826 he contributed to the Westminster Review a severe criticism of Mitford’s History of Greece, and in 1845 published the first 2 vols. of his own, the remaining 6 vols. appearing at intervals up to 1856. G. belongs to the school of philosophical historians, and his History, which begins with the legends, ends with the fall of the country under the successors of Alexander the Great. It is one of the standard works on the subject, which his learning enabled him to treat in a full and thorough manner; the style is clear and strong. It has been repeatedly re-issued, and has been translated into French and German. G. also published, in 1865, Plato and other Companions of Socrates, and left unfinished a work on Aristotle. In political life G. was, as might be expected, a consistent and somewhat rigid Radical, and he was a strong advocate of the ballot. He was one of the founders of the first London University, a Trustee of the British Museum, D.C.L. of Oxford, LL.D. of Cambridge, and a Foreign Associate of the Académie des Sciences. He was offered, but declined, a peerage in 1869, and is buried in Westminster Abbey.
Grub, George (1812–1892). — Historian, was born in Old Aberdeen, and ed. at King’s College there. He studied law, and was admitted in 1836 to the Society of Advocates, Aberdeen, of which he was librarian from 1841 until his death. He was appointed Lecturer on Scots Law in Marischal College, and was Prof. of Law in the University (1881–91). He has a place in literature as the author of an Ecclesiastical History of Scotland (1861), written from the standpoint of a Scottish Episcopalian, which, though dry, is concise, clear, fair-minded, and trustworthy. G. also ed. (along with Joseph Robertson) Gordon’s Scots Affairs for the Spalding Club, of which he was one of the founders.
Guest, Lady Charlotte (Bertie) (1812–1895). — Daughter of the 9th Earl of Lindsey, married in 1833 Sir Josiah J. Guest, a wealthy ironmaster, after whose death in 1852 she managed the works. She was an enthusiastic student of Welsh literature, and aided by native scholars translated with consummate skill the Mabinogion, the manuscript of which in Jesus College, Oxford, is known as the Red Book of Hergest, and which is now a recognised classic of mediæval romance. She also prepared a ‘Boys’ Mabinogion containing the earliest Welsh tales of Arthur. She was also noted as a collector of china, fans, and playing cards, on which subjects she wrote several volumes. She entered into a second marriage in 1855 with Dr. C. Schreiber, but in literature she is always referred to under her first married name.
Guthrie, Thomas (1803–1873). — Divine and philanthropist, born at Brechin, studied for the Church, and became a minister in Edinburgh Possessed of a commanding presence and voice, and a remarkably effective and picturesque style of oratory, he became perhaps the most popular preacher of his day in Scotland, and was associated with many forms of philanthropy, especially temperance and ragged schools, of the latter of which he was the founder. He was one of the leaders of the Free Church, and raised over £100,000 for manses for its ministers. Among his writings are The Gospel in Ezekiel, Plea for Ragged Schools, and The City, its Sins and Sorrows.
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:07