Laidlaw, William (1780–1845). — Poet, son of a border farmer, became steward and amanuensis to Sir W. Scott, and was the author of the beautiful and well-known ballad, Lucy’s Flittin’.
Laing, David (1793–1878). — Antiquary, son of a bookseller in Edinburgh, with whom he was in partnership until his appointment, in 1837, as librarian of the Signet Library. He ed. many of the publications of the Bannatyne Club, of which he was secretary (1823–61). He was also Honorary Prof. of Antiquities to the Royal Scottish Academy. Among the more important works which he ed. were Baillie’s Letters and Journals (1841–2), John Knox’s Works (1846–64), and the poems of Sir D. Lyndsay, Dunbar, and Henryson.
Laing, Malcolm (1762–1818). — Was a country gentleman in Orkney. He completed Henry’s History of Great Britain, and wrote a History of Scotland from the Union of the Crowns to the Union of the Kingdoms (1802). He was an assailant of the authenticity of the Ossianic poems, and wrote a dissertation on the Participation of Mary Queen of Scots in the Murder of Darnley. He did much to improve the agriculture of Orkney.
Lamb, Lady Caroline (1785–1828). — Novelist, daughter of 3rd Earl of Bessborough, married the Hon. William Lamb, afterwards Lord Melbourne and Prime Minister. She wrote three novels, which, though of little literary value, attracted much attention. The first of these, Glenarvon (1816), contained a caricature portrait of Lord Byron, with whom the authoress had shortly before been infatuated. It was followed by Graham Hamilton (1822), and Ada Reis (1823). Happening to meet the hearse conveying the remains of Byron, she became unconscious, and fell into mental alienation, from which she never recovered.
Lamb, Charles (1775–1834). — Essayist and poet, was born in London, his father being confidential clerk to Samuel Salt, one of the benchers of the Inner Temple. After being at a school in the neighbourhood, he was sent by the influence of Mr. Salt to Christ’s Hospital, where he remained from 1782–89, and where he formed a lifelong friendship with Coleridge. He was then for a year or two in the South Sea House, where his elder brother John was a clerk. Thence he was in 1792 transferred to the India House, where he remained until 1825, when he retired with a pension of two-thirds of his salary. Mr. Salt died in 1792, and the family, consisting of the father, mother, Charles, and his sister Mary, ten years his senior, lived together in somewhat straitened circumstances. John, comparatively well off, leaving them pretty much to their own resources. In 1796 the tragedy of L.’s life occurred. His sister Mary, in a sudden fit of insanity, killed her mother with a table-knife. Thenceforward, giving up a marriage to which he was looking forward, he devoted himself to the care of his unfortunate sister, who became, except when separated from him by periods of aberration, his lifelong and affectionate companion — the “Cousin Bridget” of his essays. His first literary appearance was a contribution of four sonnets to Coleridge’s Poems on Various Subjects (1796). Two years later he published, along with his friend Charles Lloyd, Blank Verse, the little vol. including The Old Familiar Faces, and others of his best known poems, and his romance, Rosamund Gray, followed in the same year. He then turned to the drama, and produced John Woodvil, a tragedy, and Mr. H., a farce, both failures, for although the first had some echo of the Elizabethan music, it had no dramatic force. Meantime the brother and sister were leading a life clouded by poverty and by the anxieties arising from the condition of the latter, and they moved about from one lodging to another. L.’s literary ventures so far had not yielded much either in money or fame, but in 1807 he was asked by W. Godwin (q.v.) to assist him in his “Juvenile Library,” and to this he, with the assistance of his sister, contributed the now famous Tales from Shakespeare, Charles doing the tragedies and Mary the comedies. In 1808 they wrote, again for children, The Adventures of Ulysses, a version of the Odyssey, Mrs. Leicester’s School, and Poetry for Children (1809). About the same time he was commissioned by Longman to ed. selections from the Elizabethan dramatists. To the selections were added criticisms, which at once brought him the reputation of being one of the most subtle and penetrating critics who had ever touched the subject. Three years later his extraordinary power in this department was farther exhibited in a series of papers on Hogarth and Shakespeare, which appeared in Hunt’s Reflector. In 1818 his scattered contributions in prose and verse were collected as The Works of Charles Lamb, and the favour with which they were received led to his being asked to contribute to the London Magazine the essays on which his fame chiefly rests. The name “Elia” under which they were written was that of a fellow-clerk in the India House. They appeared from 1820–25. The first series was printed in 1823, the second, The Last Essays of Elia, in 1833. In 1823 the L.’s had left London and taken a cottage at Islington, and had practically adopted Emma Isola, a young orphan, whose presence brightened their lives until her marriage in 1833 to E. Moxon, the publisher. In 1825 L. retired, and lived at Enfield and Edmonton. But his health was impaired, and his sister’s attacks of mental alienation were ever becoming more frequent and of longer duration. During one of his walks he fell, slightly hurting his face. The wound developed into erysipelas, and he died on December 29, 1834. His sister survived until 1847.
The place of L. as an essayist and critic is the very highest. His only rival in the former department is Addison, but in depth and tenderness of feeling, and richness of fancy L. is the superior. In the realms of criticism there can be no comparison between the two. L. is here at once profound and subtle, and his work led as much as any other influence to the revival of interest in and appreciation of our older poetry. His own writings, which are self-revealing in a quite unusual and always charming way, and the recollections of his friends, have made the personality of Lamb more familiar to us than any other in our literature, except that of Johnson. His weaknesses, his oddities, his charm, his humour, his stutter, are all as familiar to his readers as if they had known him, and the tragedy and noble self-sacrifice of his life add a feeling of reverence for a character we already love.
Life and Letters and Final Memorials by Talfourd, also Memoir by B.W. Proctor and A. Ainger prefixed to ed. of Works (1883–88). Life, Works, and Letters of Charles and Mary Lamb, in 9 vols., E.V. Lucas, and 12 vols. ed. W. Macdonald.
Landon, Letitia Elizabeth (1802–1838). — Poetess, daughter of an army agent, was born in London. She was a prolific and, in her day, remarkably popular writer, but she wrote far too easily and far too much for permanent fame. Many of her poems appeared in the Literary Gazette, and similar publications, but she published separately The Fate of Adelaide (1821), The Improvisatrice (1824), The Troubadour (1825), The Venetian Bracelet (1829), etc. She also wrote a few novels, of which Ethel Churchill was the best, and a tragedy Castruccio Castracani (1837). She married a Mr. Maclean, Governor of one of the West African Colonies, where, shortly after her arrival, she was found dead from the effects of an overdose of poison, which it was supposed she had taken as a relief from spasms to which she was subject. She was best known by her initials, L.E.L., under which she was accustomed to write.
Landor, Walter Savage (1775–1864). — Poet and miscellaneous author, son of a physician, was born at Ipsley Court, Warwick, the property of his mother, and ed. at Rugby and Oxford, where he earned the nickname of “the mad Jacobin,” and whence he was rusticated. His whole long life thereafter was a series of quarrels, extravagances, and escapades of various kinds, the result of his violent prejudices, love of paradox, and ungovernable temper. He quarrelled with his father, his wife, most of his relations, and nearly all his friends, ran through a large fortune, and ended his days in Italy supported by a pension granted by his brothers. Yet he was not devoid of strong affections and generosity. His earliest publication was Poems (1795); Gebir (1798), an epic, had little success, but won for him the friendship of Southey. In 1808 he went to Spain to take part in the war against Napoleon, and saw some service. His first work to attract attention was his powerful tragedy of Don Julian (1811). About the same time he married Miss Julia Thuillier — mainly, as would appear, on account of her “wonderful golden hair” — and purchased the estate of Llantony Abbey, Monmouthshire, whence, after various quarrels with the local authorities, he went to France. After a residence of a year there, he went in 1815 to Italy, where he lived until 1818 at Como, which, having insulted the authorities in a Latin poem, he had to leave. At Florence, which was his residence for some years, he commenced his famous Imaginary Conversations, of which the first two vols. appeared 1824, the third 1828, fourth and fifth 1829. Other works were The Examination of W. Shakespeare touching Deer-stealing (1834), Pericles and Aspasia (1836), Pentameron (1837), Hellenics (1847), and Poemata et Inscriptiones (1847). He quarrelled finally with his wife in 1835, and returned to England, which, however, he had to leave in 1858 on account of an action for libel arising out of a book, Dry Sticks Fagoted. He went to Italy, where he remained, chiefly at Florence, until his death. L. holds one of the highest places among the writers of English prose. His thoughts are striking and brilliant, and his style rich and dignified.
Works ed. C.G. Crump, 10 vols.
Lane, Edward William (1801–1876). — Arabic scholar, son of a prebendary of Hereford, where he was born, began life as an engraver, but going to Egypt in search of health, devoted himself to the study of Oriental languages and manners, and adopted the dress and habits of the Egyptian man of learning. He published Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians (1836), which remains a standard authority, and a translation of The Thousand and One Nights (1838–40) (Arabian Nights). What was intended to be the great work of his life, his Arabic Lexicon, was left unfinished at his death, but was completed by his nephew, Prof. S.L. Poole. L. was regarded as the chief European Orientalist of his day.
Langhorne, John (1735–1779). — Poet, son of a clergyman, was born at Kirkby Stephen; having taken orders, he was for two years a curate in London, and from 1776 Rector of Blagdon, Somerset, and Prebendary of Wells. He is chiefly remembered as being the translator, jointly with his brother, Rev. William L., of Plutarch’s Lives, but in his day he had some reputation as a poet, his chief work in poetry being Studley Park and Fables of Flora. In his Country Justice (1774–77) he dimly foreshadows Crabbe, as in his descriptive poems he dimly foreshadows Wordsworth. He was twice married, and both of his wives died in giving birth to a first child.
Langland, William (or William of Langley) (1330?-1400?). — Poet. Little can be gleaned as to his personal history, and of that little part is contradictory. In a note of the 15th century written on one MS. he is said to have been born in Oxfordshire, the son of a freeman named Stacy de Rokayle, while Bale, writing in the 16th century, makes his name Robert (certainly an error), and says he was born at Cleobury Mortimer in Shropshire. From his great poem, Piers the Plowman, it is to be gathered that he was bred to the Church, and was at one time an inmate of the monastery at Great Malvern. He married, however, and had a daughter, which, of course, precluded him from going on to the priesthood. It has further been inferred from his poem that his f., with the help of friends, sent him to school, but that on the death of these friends the process of education came to an end, and he went to London, living in a little house in Cornhill and, as he says, not only in but on London, supporting himself by singing requiems for the dead. “The tools I labour with . . . [are] Paternoster, and my primer Placebo, and Dirige, and my Psalter, and my seven Psalms.” References to legal terms suggest that he may have copied for lawyers. In later life he appears to have lived in Cornwall with his wife and daughter Poor himself, he was ever a sympathiser with the poor and oppressed. His poem appears to have been the great interest of his life, and almost to the end he was altering and adding to, without, however, improving it. The full title of the poem is The Vision of Piers Plowman. Three distinct versions of it exist, the first c. 1362, the second c. 1377, and the third 1393 or 1398. It has been described as “a vision of Christ seen through the clouds of humanity.” It is divided into nine dreams, and is in the unrhymed, alliterative, first English manner. In the allegory appear such personifications as Meed (worldly success), Falsehood, Repentance, Hope, etc. Piers Plowman, first introduced as the type of the poor and simple, becomes gradually transformed into the Christ. Further on appear Do-well, Do-bet, Do-best. In this poem, and its additions, L. was able to express all that he had to say of the abuses of the time, and their remedy. He himself stands out as a sad, earnest, and clear-sighted onlooker in a time of oppression and unrest. It is thought that he may have been the author of a poem, Richard the Redeless: if so he was, at the time of writing, living in Bristol, and making a last remonstrance to the misguided King, news of whose death may have reached him while at the work, as it stops in the middle of a paragraph. He is not much of an artist, being intent rather on delivering his message than that it should be in a perfect dress. Prof. Manley, in the Cambridge History of English Literature, advances the theory that The Vision is not the work of one, but of several writers, W.L. being therefore a dramatic, not a personal name. It is supported on such grounds as differences in metre, diction, sentence structure, and the diversity of view on social and ecclesiastic matters expressed in different parts of the poem.
Lanier, Sidney (1842–1881). — Miscellaneous writer, son of a lawyer of Huguenot descent, was born at Macon, Georgia. He had a varied career, having been successively soldier, shopman, teacher, lawyer, musician, and prof. His first literary venture was a novel, Tiger Lilies (1867). Thereafter he wrote mainly on literature, his works including The Science of English Verse (1881), The English Novel (1883), and Shakespeare and his Forerunners (1902); also some poems which have been greatly admired, including “Corn,” “The Marshes of Glynn,” and “The Song of the Chattahoochee”; ed. of Froissart, and the Welsh Mabinogion for children. He worked under the shadow of serious lung trouble, which eventually brought about his death.
Lardner, Dionysius (1793–1859). — Scientific writer, son of a solicitor in Dublin, and born there, was intended for the law, but having no taste for it, he entered Trinity College, Dublin, and took orders, but devoted himself to literary and scientific pursuits, and became a contributor to the Edinburgh Review, and various Encyclopædias. In 1827 he was appointed Prof. of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy in the University of London (afterwards University College), and in 1829 began his great work, The Cabinet Cyclopædia, which was finished in 133 vols. 20 years later. In his literary undertakings, which included various other schemes of somewhat similar character, he was eminently successful, financially and otherwise. He lived in Paris from 1845 until his death.
Latimer, Hugh (1485–1555). — Reformer and divine, son of a Leicestershire yeoman, went to Cambridge in 1500, and became Fellow of Clare Hall. Taking orders, he was at first a defender of the ancient faith, but convinced by the arguments of Bilney, embraced the reformed doctrines. He was called to appear before Wolsey, but dismissed on subscribing certain articles. His opposition to the Pope, and his support of the King’s supremacy, brought him under the notice of Henry, and he was appointed chaplain to Anne Boleyn, and in 1535 Bishop of Worcester. For preaching in favour of the reformed doctrines he was twice imprisoned in the Tower, 1539 and 1546, and on the former occasion resigned his bishopric, which he declined to resume on the accession of Edward VI. On the accession of Mary he was with Ridley, Bishop of London, thrown into prison (1554), and on October 16, 1555, burned at Oxford His words of encouragement to his fellow-martyr are well known, “Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle by God’s grace in England as I trust shall never be put out.” He holds his place in English literature by virtue of his sermons — especially that on The Ploughers — which, like himself, are outspoken, homely, and popular, with frequent touches of kindly humour.
Lauder, Sir Thomas Dick (1784–1848). — Novelist and miscellaneous writer, son of a Scottish baronet, wrote two novels, Lochandhu (1825), and The Wolf of Badenoch (1827), but is best known for his Account of the Great Floods in Morayshire in 1829. He also wrote Legendary Tales of the Highlands, and contributed to scientific journals and magazines.
Law, William (1686–1761). — Divine, son of a grocer at Kingscliffe, Northamptonshire, was ed. at Cambridge, and in 1727 became tutor to the father of Edward Gibbon, the historian. About 1728 he published his best known book, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, a work which has had a profound influence upon the religious life of England, largely owing to the impression which it produced upon such minds as those of Dr. Johnson, the Wesleys, and others. In 1737 he became a student of the works of Jacob Boehmen, the German mystic, and devoted himself largely to the exposition of his views. The theological position of L. was a complicated one, combining High Churchism, mysticism, and Puritanism: his writings are characterised by vigorous thought, keen logic, and a lucid and brilliant style, relieved by flashes of bright, and often sarcastic, humour. His work attacking Mandeville’s Fable of the Bees (1723) is perhaps that in which these qualities are best displayed in combination. He retired in 1740 to Kingscliffe, where he had founded a school for 14 girls.
Lawrence, George Alfred (1827–1876). — Novelist, was a barrister. He wrote several novels, of which one — Guy Livingstone (1857) — had great popularity. On the outbreak of the American Civil War he went to America with the intention of joining the Confederate Army, but was taken prisoner and only released on promising to return to England.
Layamon (fl. 1200). — Metrical historian, the son of Leovenath. All that is known of him is gathered from his own writings. He was a priest at Ernley (now Areley Regis), Worcestershire. In his day the works of Geoffrey of Monmouth and Wace, in French, were the favourite reading of the educated, and “it came to him in mind” that he would tell the story of Brut in English verse. He set out in search of books and, founding his poem on the earlier writers, he added so much from his own knowledge of Welsh and West of England tradition that while Wace’s poem consists of 15,000 lines, his extends to 32,000. Among the legends he gives are those of Locrine, Arthur, and Lear. The poem is in the old English unrhymed, alliterative verse, and “marks the revival of the English mind and spirit.”
Layard, Sir Austin Henry (1817–1894). — Explorer of Nineveh, born at Paris, son of a Ceylon civilian. After spending some years in the office of a London solicitor, he set out in search of employment in Ceylon, but passing through Western Asia, became interested in the work of excavating the remains of ancient cities. Many of his finds — human-headed bulls, etc. — were sent to the British Museum. Two books — Nineveh and its Remains (1848–49), and The Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon (1853) — brought him fame, and on his return home he received many honours, including the freedom of the City of London, the degree of D.C.L. from Oxford, and the Lord Rectorship of Aberdeen University. He entered Parliament, where he sat as a Liberal. He held the offices of Under–Foreign Sec. (1861–66), and Chief Commissioner of Works (1868–69), and was Ambassador to Spain 1869, and Constantinople 1877; and on his retirement in 1878 he was made G.C.B. He was a very successful excavator, and described his work brilliantly, but he was no great linguist, and most of the deciphering of the inscriptions was done by Sir H. Rawlinson. His last work was Early Adventures in Persia, etc., and he left an autobiography, published in 1903. He also wrote on Italian art.
Lear, Edward (1812–1888). — Artist and miscellaneous author, born in London, and settled in Rome as a landscape painter. He was an indefatigable traveller, and wrote accounts, finely illustrated, of his journeys in Italy, Greece, and Corsica. His best known works are, however, his Book of Nonsense (1840) (full of wit and good sense), More Nonsense Rhymes (1871), and Laughable Lyrics (1876). L. had also a remarkable faculty for depicting birds.
Lecky, William Edward Hartpole (1838–1903). — Historian, the son of a landed gentleman of Carlow, was born near Dublin, and ed. at Cheltenham and Trinity College, Dublin. Originally intended for the Church, he devoted himself to a literary career. His first work of importance was Leaders of Public Opinion in Ireland (1861) (essays on Swift, Flood, Grattan, and O’Connell). The study of Buckle’s History of Civilisation to some extent determined the direction of his own writings, and resulted in the production of two important works, History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe (1865), and History of European Morals from Augustus to Charlemagne (1869), both remarkable for learning, clearness, and impartiality. Both, however, gave rise to considerable controversy and criticism. His principal work is The History of England in the Eighteenth Century (1878–90). Characterised by the same sterling qualities as his preceding books, it deals with a subject more generally interesting, and has had a wide acceptance. His view of the American war, and the controversies which led to it, is more favourable to the English position than that of some earlier historians. Other works are Democracy and Liberty (1896), and The Map of Life (1899). Though of warm Irish sympathies, L. was strongly opposed to Home Rule. He sat in Parliament for his University from 1895 until his death. He received many academical distinctions, and was a Corresponding Member of the Institute of France, and one of the original members of the Order of Merit.
Lee, Nathaniel (1653?-1692). — Dramatist, son of a clergyman at Hatfield, was ed. at Westminster School and Cambridge After leaving the University he went to London, and joined the stage both as actor and author. He was taken up by Rochester and others of the same dissolute set, led a loose life, and drank himself into Bedlam, where he spent four years. After his recovery he lived mainly upon charity, and met his death from a fall under the effects of a carouse. His tragedies, which, with much bombast and frequent untrained flights of imagination, have occasional fire and tenderness, are generally based on classical subjects. The principal are The Rival Queens, Theodosius, and Mithridates. He also wrote a few comedies, and collaborated with Dryden in an adaptation of Oedipus, and in The Duke of Guise.
Lee, Sophia (1750–1824), Lee, Harriet (1757–1851). — Novelists and dramatists, daughter of John L., an actor, were the authors of various dramatic pieces and novels. By far their most memorable work was The Canterbury Tales, 5 vols. (1797–1805) which, with the exception of two, The Young Lady’s and The Clergyman’s, were all by Harriet. The most powerful of them, Kruitzner, fell into the hands of Byron in his boyhood, and made so profound an impression upon him that, in 1821, he dramatised it under the title of Werner, or the Inheritance. The authoress also adapted it for the stage as The Three Strangers. The tales are in general remarkable for the ingenuity of their plots. Harriet lived to the age of 94, preserving to the last her vigour of mind and powers of conversation. Godwin made her an offer of marriage to which, however, his religious opinions presented an insuperable barrier. Sophia’s chief work was The Chapter of Accidents, a comedy, which had a great run, the profits of which enabled the sisters to start a school at Bath, which proved very successful, and produced for them a competence on which they were able to retire in their later years.
Le Fanu, Joseph Sheridan (1814–1873). — Novelist, son of a Dean of the Episcopal Church of Ireland, and grand-nephew of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, was ed. at Trinity College, Dublin, and became a contributor and ultimately proprietor of the Dublin University Magazine, in which many of his novels made their first appearance. Called to the Bar in 1839, he did not practise, and was first brought into notice by two ballads, Phaudrig Croohoore and Shamus O’Brien, which had extraordinary popularity. His novels, of which he wrote 12, include The Cock and Anchor (1845), Torlough O’Brien (1847), The House by the Churchyard (1863), Uncle Silas (perhaps the most popular) (1864), The Tenants of Malory (1867), In a Glass Darkly (1872), and Willing to Die (posthumously). They are generally distinguished by able construction, ingenuity of plot, and power in the presentation of the mysterious and supernatural. Among Irish novelists he is generally ranked next to Lever.
Leighton, Robert (1611–1684). — Divine, was the son of Alexander L., physician, and writer on theology, who, on account of his anti-prelatic books, was put in the pillory, fined, and had his nose slit and his ears cut off. Robert was ed. at Edinburgh, after which he resided for some time at Douay. Returning to Scotland he received Presbyterian ordination, and was admitted minister of Newbattle, near Edinburgh In 1653 he was appointed Principal and Prof. of Divinity in the University of Edinburgh, which offices he held until 1662 when, having separated himself from Presbyterianism, he was appointed Bishop of Dunblane, under the new Episcopal establishment. He repeatedly but unsuccessfully endeavoured to bring about an ecclesiastical union in Scotland on the basis of combining the best elements in each system. Discouraged by his lack of success in his well-meant efforts, he offered in 1665 to resign his see, but was persuaded by Charles II. to remain in it, and in 1669 was promoted to be Archbishop of Glasgow, from which position, wearied and disappointed, he finally retired in 1674, and lived with his widowed sister, Mrs. Lightmaker, at Broadhurst Manor, Sussex. On a visit to London he was seized with a fatal illness, and died in the arms of his friend, Bishop Burnet, who says of him, “he had the greatest elevation of soul, the largest compass of knowledge, the most mortified and heavenly disposition that I ever saw in mortal.” His sermons and commentaries, all published posthumously, maintain a high place among English religious classics, alike for thought and style. They consist of his Commentary on St. Peter, Sermons, and Spiritual Exercises, Letters, etc. His Lectures and Addresses in Latin were also published
Leland, Charles Godfrey (1824–1903). — American humorist, born at Philadelphia, was ed. at Princeton, and in Europe. In his travels he made a study of the gipsies, on whom he wrote more than one book. His fame rests chiefly on his Hans Breitmann Ballads (1871), written in the patois known as Pennsylvania Dutch. Other books of his are Meister Karl’s Sketch-book (1855), Legends of Birds (1864), Algonquin Legends (1884), Legends of Florence (1895), and Flaxius, or Leaves from the Life of an Immortal.
Leland or Leyland, John (1506–1552). — Antiquary, born in London, and ed. at St. Paul’s School and at Cambridge, Oxford, and Paris. He was a good linguist, and one of the first Englishmen to acquire Greek, and he was likewise acquainted with French, Italian, Spanish, Welsh, and Anglo–Saxon. He became chaplain and librarian to Henry VIII., from whom he received the Rectory of Poppeling, near Calais, and in 1533 the appointment of King’s Antiquary. Soon afterwards he was permitted to do his work in France by deputy, and was commissioned to go over England in search of documents and antiquities; and on the strength of this made his famous tour, which lasted for about six years. He was able to do something to stem the destruction of manuscripts on the dissolution of the monasteries, and made vast collections of documents and information regarding the monuments and general features of the country, which, however, he was unable fully to digest and set in order. They formed, nevertheless, an almost inexhaustible quarry in which succeeding workers in the same field, such as Stow, Camden, and Dugdale, wrought. In his last years he was insane, and hence none of his collections appeared in his lifetime. His Itinerary was, however, at length published by T. Hearne in 9 vols. (1710–12), and his Collectanea in 6 vols. (1715).
Lemon, Mark (1809–1870). — Journalist and humorist, born in London, wrote many theatrical pieces, and a few novels, of which the best is Falkner Lyle, others being Leyton Hall, and Loved at Last. He also wrote stories for children, lectured and gave public readings, and contributed to various periodicals. He is best known as one of the founders and, from 1843 until his death, the ed. of Punch. His Jest Book appeared in 1864.
Lennox, Charlotte (Ramsay) (1720–1804). — Was born in New York, of which her father, Colonel Ramsay, was Governor. She wrote a novel, The Female Quixote (1752), which had considerable vogue in its day. Her other writings — novels, translations, and a play — are now forgotten. She was befriended by Dr. Johnson. Mrs. Thrale (q.v.) said that “everybody admired Mrs. L., but nobody liked her.”
Leslie, or Lesley, John (1527–1596). — Historian, studied at Aberdeen and Paris, at the former of which he became, in 1562, Prof. of Canon Law. He was a Privy Councillor 1565, and Bishop of Ross 1566, and was the confidential friend of Queen Mary, who made him her ambassador to Queen Elizabeth. He was thrown into the Tower for his share in promoting a marriage between Mary and the Duke of Norfolk, whence being released on condition of leaving England, he went first to Paris and then to Rome, where he busied himself on behalf of his mistress. He became Vicar–General of the diocese of Rouen in 1579, and died at the monastery of Guirtenburg near Brussels. While in England he wrote in Scots vernacular his History of Scotland from the death of James I. (where Boece left off) to his own time. At Rouen he rewrote and expanded it in Latin (1575), from which it was re-translated into Scots by James Dalrymple in 1596.
L’estrange, Sir Roger (1616–1704). — Journalist and pamphleteer, youngest son of a Norfolk baronet, was probably at Cambridge, and in 1638 took arms for the King. Six years later he was captured, imprisoned in Newgate, and condemned to death. He, however, escaped, endeavoured to make a rising in Kent, and had to flee to Holland, where he was employed in the service of Charles II. On receiving a pardon from Cromwell he returned to England in 1653. In view of the Restoration he was active in writing on behalf of monarchy, and in 1663 published Considerations and Proposals in order to Regulating of the Press, for which he was appointed Surveyor of Printing–Presses and Licenser of the Press, and received a grant of the sole privilege of printing public news. His first newspaper, The Intelligencer, appeared in the same year, and was followed by The News and the City Mercury, or Advertisements concerning Trade. Thereafter his life was spent in ed. newspapers and writing political pamphlets in support of the Court and against the Whigs and Dissenters. In 1685 he was knighted. His controversies repeatedly got him into trouble, and after the Revolution he lost his appointments, and was more than once imprisoned. In addition to his political writings he translated Æsop’s Fables, Seneca’s Morals, and Cicero’s Offices. His Æsop contains much from other authors, including himself. In his writings he was lively and vigorous but coarse and abusive.
Lever, Charles James (1806–1872). — Novelist, born at Dublin, and ed. at Trinity College there. He studied medicine at Göttingen, and practised at various places in Ireland. In 1837 he contributed to the Dublin University Magazine his first novel, Harry Lorrequer, and the immediate and wide acceptance which it found decided him to devote himself to literature. He accordingly followed it with Charles O’Malley (1840), his most popular book. After this scarcely a year passed without an addition to the list of his light-hearted, breezy, rollicking stories, among which may be mentioned Jack Hinton (1842), Tom Burke of Ours, Arthur O’Leary, and The Dodd Family Abroad. The O’Donoghue and The Knight of Gwynne (1847) are more in the nature of historical romances. In 1864 he contributed to Blackwood’s Magazine a series of miscellaneous papers, Cornelius O’Dowd on Men, Women, and Things in General. L.’s life was largely spent abroad. After practising his profession in Brussels 1840–42 he returned to Dublin to ed. the Dublin University Magazine, which he did until 1845, after which he went to Italy, settled at Florence, and thereafter was British Consul successively at Spezzia and Trieste, at the latter of which he died He continued to produce novels up to the end of his life. Among the later ones are Sir Brooke Fosbrooke, The Bramleighs of Bishop’s Folly, and Lord Kilgobbin (1872).
Lewes, George Henry (1817–1878). — Philosopher and miscellaneous writer, born in London, and ed. at Greenwich, and in Jersey and Brittany. His early life was varied; he tried law, commerce, and medicine successively, and was then for two years in Germany, on returning from which he tried the London stage, and eventually settled down to journalism, writing for the Morning Chronicle, for the Penny Encyclopædia, and various periodicals. Thereafter he ed. the Leader (1851–54), and the Fortnightly Review (which he founded) (1865–66). His articles deal with an extraordinary variety of subjects — criticism, the drama, biography, and science, both physical and mental. His chief works are The History of Philosophy from Thales to Comte, Comte’s Philosophy of the Sciences (1853), The Psychology of Common Life (1859), Studies in Animal Life (1862), Problems of Life and Mind (1873–79). L. was an exceptionally able dramatic critic, and in this department he produced Actors and the Art of Acting (1875), and a book on the Spanish Drama. By far his greatest work, however, is his Life and Works of Goethe (1855), which remains the standard English work on the subject, and which by the end of the century had, in its German translation, passed into 16 ed. He also wrote two novels, Ranthorpe (1847), and Rose, Blanche, and Violet (1848), neither of which attained any success. In his writings he is frequently brilliant and original; but his education and training, whether in philosophy or biology, were not sufficiently thorough to give him a place as a master in either. L.’s life was in its latter section influenced by his irregular connection with Miss Evans (“George Eliot”), with whom he lived for the last 24 years of it, in close intellectual sympathy. To his appreciation and encouragement were largely due her taking up prose fiction.
Lewis, Sir George Cornewall (1806–1863). — Scholar and statesman, son of Sir Thomas F.L., a Radnorshire baronet, was ed. at Eton and Oxford He studied law, was called to the Bar in 1831, and entered Parliament in 1847, where his intellect and character soon gained him great influence. After serving on various important commissions and holding minor offices, he became Chancellor of the Exchequer 1855–58, Home Sec. 1859–61, and War Sec. 1861–63. His official labours did not prevent his entering into profound and laborious studies, chiefly in regard to Roman history, and the state of knowledge among the ancients. In his Inquiry into the Credibility of Ancient Roman History (1855), he combated the methods and results of Niebuhr. Other works are On the Use and Abuse of Political Terms, Authority in Matters of Opinion, The Astronomy of the Ancients, and a Dialogue on the best Form of Government. The somewhat sceptical turn of his mind led him to sift evidence minutely, and the labour involved in his wide range of severe study and his public duties no doubt shortened his valuable life.
Lewis, Matthew Gregory (1775–1818). — Novelist, son of Matthew L., Deputy Sec. in the War Office, was ed. at Westminster and Oxford Thereafter he went to Germany. From his childhood tales of witchcraft and the supernatural had a powerful fascination for him, and in Germany he had ample opportunities for pursuing his favourite study, with the result that at the age of 20 he became the author of The Monk, a tale in which the supernatural and the horrible predominate to an unprecedented extent, and from which he is known as “Monk L.” The same characteristic appears in all his works, among which may be mentioned Tales of Terror (1779), Tales of Wonder (to which Sir W. Scott contributed), and Romantic Tales (1808). Though affected and extravagant in his manners, L. was not wanting in kindly and generous feelings, and in fact an illness contracted on a voyage to the West Indies to inquire into and remedy some grievances of the slaves on his estates there was the cause of his death.
Leyden, John (1775–1811). — Poet and Orientalist, born at Denholm, Roxburghshire, gave early evidence of superior ability, and his father, who was a shepherd, destined him for the Church. He accordingly entered the University of Edinburgh, where he had a brilliant career, showing a special aptitude for languages and natural history. In 1800 he became a licentiate of the Church, but continued his scientific and linguistic studies, and also began to write. In 1799 he had published a sketch of the Discoveries and Settlements of the Europeans in Northern and Western Africa, and he contributed to Scott’s Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, and to “Monk” Lewis’s Tales of Wonder. His enthusiasm for Oriental learning led to application being made on his behalf to Government for some situation which would make his acquirements available for the public service, but the only opening which could be obtained was that of a ship’s surgeon. By extraordinary exertions L. qualified himself for this in a few months, and set sail for the East, after finishing his poem, Scenes of Infancy. Soon after his arrival at Madras his health gave way, and after some time passed in Prince of Wales Island he visited the Malay Peninsula, and some of the East Indian Islands, collecting vast stores of linguistic and ethnographical information, on which was founded his great Dissertation on the Indo–Persian, Indo–Chinese, and Dekkan Languages (1807). Soon after this L. was appointed a prof. in the Bengal College, and a little later a judge in Calcutta. In 1811 he accompanied the Governor–General, Lord Minto, to Java. His health, however, had been undermined by his almost super-human exertions, and immediately after landing he contracted a fever, of which he died in three days at the early age of 36. Two Oriental works translated by him, Sejârah Malâyu (Malay Annals) and Commentaries of Baber were published respectively in 1821 and 1826.
Liddell, Henry George (1811–1898). — Historian, etc. Ed. at Charterhouse and Christ Church, Oxford, of which in 1855 he became Dean. He wrote a History of Ancient Rome (1855), and, along with R. Scott, published a Greek–English Lexicon (1843).
Liddon, Henry Parry (1829–1890). — Divine, son of a captain in the navy, was born at North Stoneham, Hants, and ed. at King’s College School, London, and Oxford He took orders 1853, was Vice–Principal of Cuddesdon Theological College 1854–59, Prebendary of Salisbury 1864, and Canon of St. Paul’s 1870. He was also Ireland Prof. of Exegesis at Oxford 1870–82. In 1866 he delivered his Bampton Lectures on The Divinity of Our Lord, and came to be recognised as one of the ablest and most eloquent representatives of the High Church party. His sermons in St. Paul’s were among the leading features of the religious life of London. L. was an ardent protagonist in the various controversies of his time bearing upon ecclesiastical and moral questions.
Lightfoot, Joseph Barber (1828–1889). — Theologian and scholar, born at Liverpool, and ed. at King Edward’s School, Birmingham, and Cambridge, entered the Church, and was successively Hulsean Prof. of Divinity 1861, Chaplain to Queen Victoria 1862, member of the New Testament Company of Revisers 1870–80, Margaret Prof. of Divinity, Cambridge, 1875, and Bishop of Durham 1879. He was probably the greatest scholar of his day in England, especially as a grammarian and textual critic. Among his works are Commentaries on several of the minor Pauline epistles, a fragmentary work on the Apostolic Fathers, Leaders in the Northern Church (1890), and The Apostolic Age (1892).
Lillo, George (1693–1739). — Dramatist, of Dutch descent, was born in London, succeeded his father in business as a jeweller, in which he had good speed, and devoted his leisure to the composition of plays in the line of what was known as the “domestic drama.” He wrote in all seven of these, among which are The London Merchant, or the History of George Barnewell, acted 1731, The Christian Hero (1735), and Fatal Curiosity (1736). He was a friend of Fielding, who said of him that “he had the spirit of an old Roman joined to the innocence of a primitive Christian.”
Lindsay, or Lyndsay, Sir David (1490–1555). — Scottish poet and satirist, son of David L. of Garmylton, near Haddington, was born either there or at The Mount in Fife, and ed. at St. Andrews. Early in life he was at the Court of James IV., and on the King’s death was appointed to attend on the infant James V., whose friend and counsellor he remained, though his advice was, unhappily for his country, not always given heed to. In 1529 he was knighted and made Lyon King at Arms. He was employed on various missions to the Emperor Charles V., and to Denmark, France, and England. He was always in sympathy with the people as against the nobles and the clergy, and was their poet, with his words in their mouths. He favoured the Reformers, and was one of those who urged Knox to become a preacher. He did not, however, adhere to the reformed congregation, and died at least nominally in the Roman Church. Yet he lashed the vices of the clergy as they had never been lashed before, and only escaped their vengeance by the protection of the King, who also condoned the severities directed against himself. His latter days were spent at The Mount, where he died His chief writings are The Dreme, written 1528, The Complaynt to the King (1529), The Testament and Complaynt of our Soverane Lord’s Papyngo (Parrot) (1530), Ane Pleasant Satyre of the Three Estaitis, A Dialogue betwixt Experience and a Courtier (1552), The Monarchy (1554), and The History of Squyer Meldrum. L. was a true poet, gifted with fancy, humour, and a powerful satiric touch and a love of truth and justice. He had a strong influence in turning the minds of the common people in favour of the Reformation.
Works ed. by Chalmers (3 vols., 1806), and D. Laing (3 vols., 1879).
Lindsay, or Lindesay, Robert (1500?-1565?). — Historian, Laird or tenant of Pitscottie, Fife, wrote a history entitled The Chronicles of Scotland, intended as a continuation of that of Boece. It deals with the period 1436–1515, and though often inaccurate in detail, is often vivid and quaint.
Lingard, John (1771–1851). — Historian, born at Winchester of humble Roman Catholic parentage, was in 1782 sent to the English College at Douay, whence he escaped from the revolutionaries in 1793, and returning to England, went to Crookhall College, near Durham, and afterwards to Ushaw. Ordained a priest in 1795, he became Vice–Pres. and Prof. of Philosophy at the latter coll. In 1806 he published The Antiquities of the Anglo–Saxon Church, and while a missioner at Hornby, Lancashire, began his History of England to the Accession of William and Mary (8 vols., 1819–30). In the preparation of this work L. had access to material hitherto unpub., and not available for Protestant historians, such as documents in the Vatican and other Roman Catholic sources, and was consequently able to throw new light on various parts of his subject. The work was attacked by various writers from the Protestant standpoint. L. replied to his critics with the result that it is now generally admitted that the history, while in parts coloured by the theological and political point of view of the author, is generally an impartial and valuable work, and it remains a leading authority on the Reformation period viewed from the side of the enlightened Roman Catholic priesthood. This opinion is supported by the fact that the Ultramontane party among the Roman Catholics regarded the book as a dangerous one in respect of the interests of their Church.
Linton, Mrs. Eliza Lynn (1822–1898). — Novelist and miscellaneous writer, daughter of a clergyman, settled in London in 1845, and next year produced her first novel, Azeth, the Egyptian; Amymone (1848), and Realities (1851), followed. None of these had any great success, and she then joined the staff of the Morning Chronicle, and All the Year Round. In 1858 she married W.J. Linton, an eminent wood-engraver, who was also a poet of some note, a writer upon his craft, and a Republican. In 1867 they separated in a friendly way, the husband going to America, and the wife devoting herself to novel-writing, in which she attained wide popularity. Her most successful works were The True History of Joshua Davidson (1872), Patricia Kemball (1874), and Christopher Kirkland. She was a severe critic of the “new woman.”
Lister, Thomas Henry (1800–1842). — Novelist, ed. at Westminster and Cambridge, was latterly the first Registrar–General for England and Wales. He wrote several novels, among which are Granby (1826), Herbert Lacy (1828), Arlington (1832). He was also the author of a Life of Clarendon.
Lithgow, William (1582–1645). — Traveller, born at Lanark, claimed at the end of his various peregrinations to have tramped 36,000 miles on foot. Previous to 1610 he had visited Shetland, Switzerland, and Bohemia. In that year he set out for Palestine and Egypt. His next journey, 1614–16, was in Tunis and Fez; but his last, 1619–21, to Spain, ended unfortunately in his apprehension at Malaga and torture as a spy. He gave an account of his travels in Rare Adventures and Paineful Peregrinations, and wrote The Siege of Breda, The Siege of Newcastle, and Poems.
Livingstone, David (1813–1873). — Missionary explorer, born at Blantyre, Lanarkshire, spent the years between 10 and 24 as an operative in a cotton mill there. Becoming interested in foreign missions he qualified himself, and entering the service of the London Missionary Society, set out in 1846 to South Africa. He subsequently made journeys into the interior, which ultimately developed into his great pioneering and exploration expeditions, in which he discovered Lake Ngami 1849, and the river Zambesi 1851. In 1856 he visited England, published his Missionary Travels (1857), and retired from the service of the London Missionary Society. He was Consul at Quilimane 1858–64, and in 1858 commanded an expedition for exploring Eastern and Central Africa, in the course of which he discovered Lakes Shirwa and Nyassa 1859. Again visiting England he published his second book, The Zambesi and its Tributaries (1865). Returning to Africa he organised an expedition to the Nile basin, discovered Lake Bangweolo, explored the cannibal country, enduring terrible sufferings and dangers, from which he was rescued just in time by H.M. Stanley. His last journey was to discover the sources of the Nile, but it proved fatal, as he died at a village in Ilala. His remains were brought home and buried in Westminster Abbey. L. was a man of indomitable courage, and of a simple nobility of character. His writings are plain, unadorned statements of his work and experiences. He ranks among the greatest explorers and philanthropists. The diary which he kept was published as Last Journals of David Livingstone in Central Africa (1874). His view of his duty in the circumstances in which he found himself was to be a pioneer opening up new ground, and leaving native agents to work it up.
Lloyd, Robert (1733–1764). — Poet, ed. at Westminster and Cambridge, published The Actor (1760), a poem which had considerable popularity, some miscellaneous verses, and a comic opera, The Conscious Lovers (1764). He was a friend of Churchill, who showed him much kindness in his frequent misfortunes; and on hearing of C.’s death he took to bed, and soon died, apparently of a broken heart.
Locke, David Ross (Petroleum V. Nasby) (1833–1888). — Humorist, born in New York State. His political satires really influenced opinion during the war. He was a printer and then a journalist, and his writings include Swingin’ round the Cirkle, Struggles of P.V. Nasby, Nasby in Exile, and two novels, A Paper City and The Demagogue.
Locke, John (1632–1704). — Philosopher, son of a landsteward, was born at Wrington, near Bristol, and ed. at Westminster School and Oxford In 1660 he became lecturer on Greek, in 1662 on Rhetoric, and in 1664 he went as secretary to an Embassy to Brandenburg. While a student he had turned from the subtleties of Aristotle and the schoolmen, had studied Descartes and Bacon, and becoming attracted to experimental science, studied medicine, and practised a little in Oxford At the same time his mind had been much exercised by questions of morals and government, and in 1667 he wrote his Essay on Toleration. In the same year he became known to Lord Ashley (afterwards 1st Earl of Shaftesbury), in whose house he went to reside. Here he made the acquaintance of Buckingham, Halifax, and other leading men of the time, and was entrusted by Ashley with the education of his son, and afterwards of his grandson, the famous 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury (q.v.). He was also employed by him to draw up a constitution for the new colony of Carolina, the provisions of which in regard to religion were regarded as too liberal and were, at the instance of the Established Church, departed from. In 1672 when Ashley became Chancellor he bestowed upon L. the office of Sec. of Presentations, and afterwards a post at the Board of Trade. In 1675 L. graduated M.B., and in the same year went for the benefit of his health, which had always been delicate, to Montpelier, where there was then a celebrated medical school, and subsequently to Paris, where he became acquainted with most of the eminent Frenchmen of the day. Recalled by Shaftesbury in 1679 he returned to England but, his patron having in 1682 been obliged to take refuge in Holland from a prosecution for high treason, he followed him there. In consequence of this he became obnoxious to the Government, and was in 1684 deprived of his studentship at Christ Church. Shaftesbury having died in Holland, L. remained there until the Revolution, when he returned to England in the fleet which carried the Princess of Orange. He was now in favour with Government, and had the offer of diplomatic employment which, on account of his health, he declined, but was appointed a Commissioner of Appeals. In 1698 he was an adviser of the Government on the question of the coinage, and was made a member of the newly instituted Council on Trade, which position he resigned in 1700. During his last years he lived with Sir Francis and Lady Masham at Gates in Essex, where Lady M., who was a daughter of Ralph Cudworth (q.v.), and an old friend, assiduously tended his last years. The services of L. to his country in civil and religious matters were various and great; but it is upon his philosophical writings, and chiefly on his Essay on the Human Understanding (1690) that his fame rests. It is divided into four books, of which the first treats of innate ideas (the existence of which he denies), the second traces the origin of ideas, the third deals with language, and the fourth lays down the limits of the understanding. Other works of his are Thoughts concerning Education (1693), On the Conduct of the Understanding (published posthumously), The Reasonableness of Christianity (1695), Treatise on Government, and Letters on Toleration. If not a very profound or original philosopher L. was a calm, sensible, and reasonable writer, and his books were very influential on the English thought of his day, as well as on the French philosophy of the next century. His style is plain and clear, but lacking in brightness and variety.
Lives by Lord King (1829), and Bourne (1876). Works ed. by Prof. A.C. Fraser (1894). See also T.H. Green’s Introduction to Hume (1874).
Locker-Lampson, Frederick (1821–1895). — Poet, son of the secretary of Greenwich Hospital, held appointments in Somerset House and the Admiralty. He wrote a number of clever vers de societé, which were collected as London Lyrics (1857). He also compiled Lyra Elegantiarum, an anthology of similar verse by former authors, and Patchwork, a book of extracts, and wrote an autobiography, My Confidences (1896).
Lockhart, John Gibson (1794–1854). — Novelist and biographer, son of a minister of the Church of Scotland of good family, was born at Cambusnethan, Lanarkshire, and ed. at Glasgow and Oxford He studied law at Edinburgh, and was called to the Scottish Bar in 1816, but had little taste for the profession. Having, however, already tried literature (he had translated Schlegel’s Lectures on the History of Literature), he devoted himself more and more to a literary life. He joined John Wilson, and became one of the leading contributors to Blackwood’s Magazine. After bringing out Peter’s Letters to his Kinsfolk (1819), sketches mainly of Edinburgh society, he produced four novels, Valerius (1821), Adam Blair (1822), Reginald Dalton (1824), and Matthew Wald (1824). His Life of Burns appeared in 1828. He was ed. of the Quarterly Review 1824–53. In 1820 he had married Sophia, daughter of Sir Walter Scott, which led to a close friendship with the latter, and to his writing his famous Life of Scott, undoubtedly one of the greatest biographies in the language. His later years were overshadowed with deep depression caused by the death of his wife and children. A singularly reserved and cold manner led to his being regarded with dislike by many, but his intimate friends were warmly attached to him.
Lodge, Thomas (1558?-1625). — Poet and dramatist, son of Sir Thomas L., Lord Mayor of London, was ed. at Merchant Taylor’s School and Oxford He was a student of Lincoln’s Inn, but abandoned law for literature, ultimately studied medicine, and took M.D. at Oxford 1603; having become a Roman Catholic, he had a large practice, chiefly among his co-religionists. In 1580 he published A Defence of Plays in reply to Gosson’s School of Abuse; and he wrote poems, dramas, and romances. His principal dramatic works are The Wounds of Civil War, and (in conjunction with Greene, q.v.) A Looking-glass for London and England. Among his romances may be mentioned Euphues’ Shadow, Forbonius and Prisceria (1584), and Rosalynde, Euphues’ Golden Legacie (1590). His poems include Glaucus and Scilia (1589), Phillis honoured with Pastoral Sonnets, Elegies, and Amorous Delights (1593). Rosalynde, his best known work, and the source from which Shakespeare is said to have drawn As you like It, was written to beguile the tedium of a voyage to the Canaries. Robin the Divell and William Longbeard are historical romances. L. was also a voluminous translator. He was one of the founders of the regular English drama, but his own plays are heavy and tedious. His romances, popular in their day, are sentimental and over-refined in language, but are enlivened by lyrical pieces in which he is far more successful than in his dramatic work.
Logan, John (1748–1788). — Poet, son of a small farmer at Soutra, Midlothian, was destined for the ministry of a small Dissenting sect to which his father belonged, but attached himself to the Church of Scotland, and became minister of South Leith in 1773. He read lectures on the philosophy of history in Edinburgh, and was the author of a vol. of poems. He also ed. those of his friend, Michael Bruce (q.v.), in such a way, however, as to lead to a controversy, still unsettled, as to the authorship of certain of the pieces inserted. L., in fact, suppressed some of Bruce’s poems and introduced others of his own. Unfortunately for the reputation of both poets the disputed authorship extends to the gem of the collection, the exquisite Ode to the Cuckoo, beginning “Hail, beauteous stranger of the grove,” which Burke considered the most beautiful lyric in the language. L. fell into dissipated habits, resigned his ministerial charge, and went to London, where he took an active part in the controversy regarding the impeachment of Warren Hastings.
Long, George (1800–1879). — Classical scholar, ed. at Cambridge He was Prof. of Ancient Languages in the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, 1824–28, of Greek at University College, London, 1828–31, and of Latin there, 1842–46. He did much for the diffusion of education, was one of the founders and secretary of the Royal Geographical Society, and ed. of the Penny Cyclopædia. He translated Marcus Aurelius (1862), and The Discourses of Epictetus (1877), and wrote Two Discourses on Roman Law (1847), a subject on which he was the greatest English authority.
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth (1807–1882). — Poet, was born at Portland, Maine, the son of Stephen L., a lawyer. From childhood he cared little for games, but was always devoted to reading. In 1822 he was sent to Bowdoin College, of which his father was a Trustee, and after graduating was appointed to a new Chair of Modern Languages, which the coll. had decided to establish, and with the view of more completely qualifying him for his duties, he was sent to Europe for a three years’ course of study. He accordingly went to France, Spain, and Italy. Returning in 1829 he commenced his professional duties, writing also in the North American Review. In 1831 he entered into his first marriage, and in 1833 he published his first books, a translation from the Spanish, followed by the first part of Outre Mer, an account of his travels. At the end of the year L. was invited to become Prof. of Modern Languages at Harvard, an offer which he gladly accepted. He paid a second visit to Europe accompanied by his wife, who, however, died at Amsterdam. He returned to his duties in 1836, and in 1838 appeared Voices of the Night, containing the “Psalm of Life” and “Excelsior,” which had extraordinary popularity, and gave him a place in the affections of his countrymen which he held until his death. The same year saw the publication of Hyperion. His next work was Ballads and other Poems, containing “The Wreck of the Hesperus” and “The Village Blacksmith.” In 1843 he married his second wife, and in the same year appeared The Spanish Student, a drama. The Belfry of Bruges and Evangeline (1847), generally considered his masterpiece, followed. In 1849 he published Kavanagh, a novel which added nothing to his reputation, and in 1851 Seaside and Fireside, and The Golden Legend. Having now a sufficient and secure income from his writings, he resigned his professorship, and devoted himself entirely to literature. Hiawatha appeared in 1855, and The Courtship of Miles Standish in 1858. In 1861 he lost his wife under tragic circumstances, a blow which told heavily upon him. His latest works were a translation of Dante’s Divina Commedia, Tales of a Wayside Inn, The New England Tragedies, and The Divine Tragedy, the last two of which he combined with The Golden Legend into a trilogy, which he named Christus. In 1868 he paid a last visit to England, where he was received with the highest honour. Later works were Three Books of Song, Aftermath, and Ultima Thule. He died on March 14, 1882. L. lacked the intensity of feeling and power of imagination to make him a great poet; but few poets have appealed to a wider circle of readers. If he never soars to the heights or sounds the deeps of feeling he touches the heart by appealing to universal and deep-seated affections. He was a man of noble and chivalrous character.
Lives by S. Longfellow in Riverside ed. of works (11 vols. 1886–90), Robertson (Great Writers Series), and Higginson (American Men of Letters).
Lovelace, Richard (1618–1658). — Poet, born at Woolwich, son of Sir William L., was ed. at Oxford, where he is described by Anthony Wood as “the most amiable and beautiful person that eye ever beheld.” He was an enthusiastic Royalist, and spent his whole fortune in support of that cause. For presenting “the Kentish petition” in favour of the King, he was imprisoned in 1642, when he wrote his famous song, When Love with unconfinéd wings. After his release he served in the French army, and was wounded at Dunkirk. Returning, he was again imprisoned, 1648, and produced his Lucasta: Epodes, Odes, etc. He lives in literature by a few of his lyrics which, though often careless, are graceful and tender. He died in poverty.
Lover, Samuel (1797–1868). — Song-writer and novelist, was a painter of portraits, chiefly miniatures. He produced a number of Irish songs, of which several — including The Angel’s Whisper, Molly Bawn, and The Four-leaved Shamrock — attained great popularity. He also wrote some novels, of which Rory O’More (in its first form a ballad), and Handy Andy are the best known, and short Irish sketches, which, with his songs, he combined into a popular entertainment called Irish Nights. He joined with Dickens in founding Bentley’s Magazine.
Lowell, James Russell (1819–1891). — Poet and essayist, born at Cambridge, Massachusetts, son of a Unitarian minister, was ed. at Harvard. He began active life as a lawyer, but soon abandoned business, and devoted himself mainly to literature. In 1841 he published a vol. of poems, A Year’s Life, and in 1843 a second book of verses appeared. He also wrote at this time political articles in the Atlantic and North American Review. In 1848 he published a third vol. of Poems, A Fable for Critics, The Biglow Papers, and The Vision of Sir Launfal; and he was in 1855 appointed Professor of Modern Languages at Harvard in succession to Longfellow. Among my Books appeared in 2 series, in 1870 and 1876. His later poems included various Odes in celebration of national events, some of which were collected in Under the Willows, The Cathedral, and Heartsease and Rue. In 1877 he was appointed United States minister to Spain, and he held a similar appointment in England 1880–85. He died at Elmwood, the house in which he was born L. was a man of singularly varied gifts, wit, humour, scholarship, and considerable poetic power, and he is the greatest critic America has yet produced. He was a strong advocate of the abolition of slavery.
Lowth, Robert (1710–1787). — Theologian and scholar, son of William L., Prebendary of Winchester, and author of a Commentary on the Prophets, was born at Winchester, and ed. there and at Oxford Entering the Church he became Bishop successively of St. David’s, Oxford, and London. In 1753 he published De Sacra Poesi Hebræorum. He also wrote a Life of William of Wykeham, the founder of Winchester College, and made a new translation of Isaiah.
Lydgate, John (1370?-1451?). — Poet, born in Suffolk, was ordained a priest in 1397. After studying at Oxford, Paris, and Padua, he taught literature in his monastery at Bury St. Edmunds. He appears to have been a bright, clear-minded, earnest man, with a love of the beautiful, and a faculty of pleasant, flowing verse. He wrote copiously and with tiresome prolixity whatever was required of him, moral tales, legends of the saints, and histories, and his total output is enormous, reaching 130,000 lines. His chief works are Troy Book (1412–20), written at the request of Henry V. when Prince of Wales, The Falls of Princes (1430–38), and The Story of Thebes (c. 1420). These books were first printed in 1513, 1494, and c. 1500 respectively. L. also wrote many miscellaneous poems. He was for a time Court poet, and was patronised by Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester; but the greater part of his life was spent in the monastery at Bury St. Edmunds. He was an avowed admirer of Chaucer, though he largely follows the French romancists previous to him.
Lyell, Sir Charles (1797–1875). — Geologist and writer, son of Charles L., of Kinnordy, Forfarshire (a distinguished botanist and student of Dante), was brought up near the New Forest. After going to school at various places in England, he was sent to Oxford, where under Buckland he imbibed a taste for science. He studied law, and was called to the Bar, but soon devoted himself to geology, and made various scientific tours on the Continent, the results of his investigations being published chiefly in the Transactions of the Geological Society, of which he was afterwards repeatedly Pres. His two chief works are The Principles of Geology (1830–33), and The Elements of Geology (1838). In these books he combated the necessity of stupendous convulsions, and maintained that the greatest geologic changes might be produced by remote causes still in operation. He also published, among other works, Geological Evidence of the Antiquity of Man (1863). He was Prof. of Geology in King’s College, London, 1831–33, Pres. of the British Association 1864, knighted in 1848, and created a Baronet in 1864. He was buried in Westminster Abbey. In his later years he was generally recognised as the greatest of living geologists.
Lyly, John (1554?-1606). — Dramatist and miscellaneous writer, was born in the Weald of Kent, and ed. at both Oxford and Cambridge He wrote several dramas, most of which are on classical and mythological subjects, including Campaspe and Sapho and Phao (1584), Endymion (1591), and Midas (1592). His chief fame, however, rests on his two didactic romances, Euphues, the Anatomy of Wit (1579), and Euphues and his England (1580). These works, which were largely inspired by Ascham’s Toxophilus, and had the same objects in view, viz., the reform of education and manners, exercised a powerful, though temporary, influence on the language, both written and spoken, commemorated in our words “euphuism” and “euphuistic.” The characteristics of the style have been set forth as “pedantic and far-fetched allusion, elaborate indirectness, a cloying smoothness and drowsy monotony of diction, alliteration, punning, and such-like puerilities, which do not, however, exclude a good deal of wit, fancy, and prettiness.” Many contemporary authors, including Shakespeare, made game of it, while others, e.g. Greene, admired and practised it. L. also wrote light dramatic pieces for the children of the Chapel Royal, and contributed a pamphlet, Pappe with an Hatchet (1589) to the Mar-prelate controversy in which he supported the Bishops. He sat in Parliament for some years.
Lyndesay, Sir D., (see Lindsay.)
Lyte, Henry Francis (1793–1847). — Hymn-writer, born at Ednam, near Kelso, of an ancient Somersetshire family, and ed. at Trinity College, Dublin, took orders, and was incumbent of Lower Brixham, Devonshire. He published Poems: chiefly religious (1833). He is chiefly remembered for his hymns, one of which, Abide with Me, is universally known and loved.
Lyttelton, George, 1st Lord Lyttelton (1709–1773). — Poet, son of Sir Thomas L., of Hagley, Worcestershire, ed. at Eton and Oxford, was the patron of many literary men, including Thomson and Mallet, and was himself a somewhat voluminous author. Among his works are Letters from a Persian in England to his friend in Ispahan (1735), a treatise On the Conversion of St. Paul (1746), Dialogues of the Dead (1760), which had great popularity, and a History of the Reign of Henry II., well-informed, careful, and impartial, but tedious. He is chiefly remembered by his Monody on the death of his wife. The stanza in The Castle of Indolence in which Thomson is playfully described (canto 1, st. lxviii.), is by L., who is himself referred to in lxv. He took some part in public affairs, and was Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1756.
Lytton, Edward George Earle Lytton-Bulwer, 1st Lord (1803–1873). — Novelist and statesman, third son of General Earle Bulwer of Heydon and Dalling, Norfolk, and of Elizabeth Lytton, heiress of Knebworth, Herts, was born in London, and ed. privately and at Cambridge He began to write when still a boy, and published, in 1820, Ismael and other Poems. His marriage in 1825 to Rosina Wheeler, an Irish beauty, caused a quarrel with his mother, and the loss of his income, and thus incidentally gave the impulse to his marvellous literary activity. The marriage proved an unhappy one, and was terminated by a separation in 1836. During its continuance, however, his life was a busy and productive one, its literary results including Falkland (1827), Pelham (1828), Paul Clifford (1830), Eugene Aram (1832), The Pilgrims of the Rhine, Last Days of Pompeii, Rienzi (1835), besides England and the English, Athens its Rise and Fall, and innumerable tales, essays, and articles in various reviews and magazines, including the New Monthly, of which he became ed. in 1831. In the same year he entered Parliament as a Liberal, but gradually gravitated towards Conservatism, and held office in the second government of Lord Derby as Colonial Sec. 1858–59. As a politician he devoted himself largely to questions affecting authors, such as copyright and the removal of taxes upon literature. He continued his literary labours with almost unabated energy until the end of his life, his works later than those already mentioned including the Last of the Barons (1843), Harold (1848), the famous triad of The Caxtons (1850), My Novel (1853), and What will he do with it? (1859); and his studies in the supernatural, Zanoni (1842), and A Strange Story (1862). Later still were The Coming Race (1870) and Kenelm Chillingly (1873). To the drama he contributed three plays which still enjoy popularity, The Lady of Lyons, Richelieu, both (1838), and Money (1840). In poetry he was less successful. The New Timon, a satire, is the best remembered, largely, however, owing to the reply by Tennyson which it brought down upon the author, who had attacked him. In his works, numbering over 60, L. showed an amazing versatility, both in subject and treatment, but they have not, with perhaps the exception of the Caxton series, kept their original popularity. Their faults are artificiality, and forced brilliancy, and as a rule they rather dazzle by their cleverness than touch by their truth to nature. L. was raised to the peerage in 1866.
Life, Letters, etc., of Lord Lytton by his son, 2 vols., comes down to 1832 only. Political Memoir prefaced to Speeches (2 vols., 1874).
Lytton, Edward Robert Bulwer, 1st Earl of Lytton (1831–1891). — Poet and statesman, son of the above, was ed. at Harrow and Bonn, and thereafter was private secretary to his uncle, Sir H. Bulwer, afterwards Lord Dalling and Bulwer (q.v.), at Washington and Florence. Subsequently he held various diplomatic appointments at other European capitals. In 1873 he succeeded his father in the title, and in 1876 became Viceroy of India. He was created an Earl on his retirement in 1880, and was in 1887 appointed Ambassador at Paris, where he died in 1891. He valued himself much more as a poet than as a man of affairs; but, though he had in a considerable degree some of the qualities of a poet, he never quite succeeded in commanding the recognition of either the public or the critics. His writings, usually appearing under the pseudonym of “Owen Meredith,” include Clytemnestra (1855), The Wanderer (1857), Lucile (1860), Chronicles and Characters (1868), Orval, or the Fool of Time (1869), Fables in Song (1874), and King Poppy (1892). As Viceroy of India he introduced important reforms, and his dispatches were remarkable for their fine literary form.
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