MASSON, DAVID ( 1822-1907) , Scottish man of letters, was born at Aberdeen on Dec. 2, 1822, and educated at the grammar school there and at Marischal College. He studied theology at Edinburgh university, under Dr. Chalmers. He gave up his intention to enter the ministry, and became editor of the Banner, a weekly paper which advocated Free Church principles. After two years he returned to Edinburgh, where he became a frequent contributor to Fraser's Magazine, Dublin University Magazine (in which appeared his essays on Chatterton), and other periodicals. In 1847 he went to London, where he became secre tary (1851-2) of the "Society of the Friends of Italy." In 1852 he was appointed professor of English literature at University col lege, London, and from 1858 to 1865 he edited the newly estab lished Macmillan's Magazine. From 1865-93 he occupied the chair of rhetoric and English literature at Edinburgh, and pro moted the movement for the university education of women. In
1879 he became editor of the Register of the Scottish Privy Council, and in 1893 was appointed Historiographer Royal for Scotland. His magnum opus is his Life of Milton in Connexion with the History of His Own Time (6 vols. 1858-80). He also edited the library edition of Milton's Poetical Works (3 vols., 1874), and De Quincey's Collected Works (14 vols., 1889-90). He died on Oct. 6, 1907. Professor Masson had married Rosaline Orme. His son Orme Masson became professor of chemistry in the university of Melbourne.
Among his other publications are Essays, Biographical and Critical (1856, reprinted with additions, 3 vols., 1874), British Novelists and their Styles (1859), Drummond of Hawthornden (1873), Chatterton (1873) and Edinburgh Sketches (1892).