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Symonds

studies, english and italy

SYMONDS, John Addington, English author and critic: b. Bristol, 5 Oct. 1840; d. Rome, 19 April 1893. Graduated from Balliol College, Oxford, in 1860, he was elected Fellow of Magdalen in 1862, undertook but abandoned legal studies, and entered literature as a pro fession. For many years he was compelled by ill-health to reside at Davos-Platz, canton of the Grisons, Switzerland. His studies were largely concerned with the Renaissance and the representative personages of that period. His chief work is the 'Renaissance in Italy' (1875 86), a historical narrative with mingled criticism. Its scholarship is very accurate and compre hensive, and its insight into the spirit of the time and movement is notably acute. If it fail in well-roundedness and system some excuse may be found in the complexity of the subject and some reparation in the brilliancy of indi vidual passages. Other volumes in this general field are 'An Introduction to the Study of Dante' (1872) ; 'Shakespere's Predecessors in the English Drama' (1884), an excellent con tribution to the history of English literature; lives of Sidney (1887) and Jonson (1%7) in the 'English Men of Letters' series; of Michel angelo (1893) and Boccaccio (1895) ; and Eng lish renderings of the 'Sonnets of Michelangelo and Campanella' (1878) and the 'Autobiog raphy of Benvenuto Cellini' (1888). Others of

Symonds' works are 'Studies of the Greek Poets' (1873-76), designed for the popular reader and approaching Hellenic literature through the individuality of the authors; 'Sketches in Italy and Greece' (1874); 'Sketches and Studies in Italy' (1879) ; 'Es says, Speculative and Suggestive' (1890); 'In the Key of Blue,' essays (1893) ; Whit man' (1893); and three books of verse, 'Many Moods (1878) ; 'New and Old' (1880), and Libellus,' a collection of sonnets (1885). Symonds critical work is marked by a finished style and a distinctive note of lib eral culture. Consult the 'Life' prepared from correspondence by H. F. Brown (1895) ; Her bert Warren in Miles' 'Poets and Poetry of the Century' ; Brooks, V., 'J. A. Symonds: A Biographical Study' (New York 1914).