Richard Garnett (writer)

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"Printed Books"
Garnett as caricatured by Spy (Leslie Ward) in Vanity Fair, April 1895

Richard Garnett C.B.[1] (27 February 1835 – 13 April 1906) was a scholar, librarian, biographer and poet. He was son of Richard Garnett, an author, philologist (historical linguist) and assistant keeper of printed books in the British Museum.

Life[edit]

Born at Lichfield in England, and educated at a school in Bloomsbury, he entered the British Museum in 1851 (the year following his father's death) as an assistant librarian. In 1875, he became superintendent of the Reading Room, in 1881, editor of the General Catalogue of Printed Books, and in 1890 until his retirement in 1899, Keeper of Printed Books.

His literary works include numerous translations from the Greek, German, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese; several books of verse; the book of short stories The Twilight of the Gods (1888, 16 stories; 12 stories added in the 1903 edition);[2] biographies of Thomas Carlyle, John Milton, William Blake, and others; The Age of Dryden (1895); a History of Italian Literature; English Literature: An Illustrated Record (with Edmund Gosse); and many articles for encyclopaedias and the Dictionary of National Biography. He also discovered and edited some unpublished poems of Shelley (Relics of Shelley, 1862) and edited the republication of the newly discovered poetry collection Original Poetry by Victor and Cazire in 1898. His poem "Where Corals Lie" was set to music by Sir Edward Elgar as part of Sea Pictures and was first performed in 1899. Long interested in astrology, in 1880 he published a monograph on the subject, "The Soul and the Stars", in the University Magazine under the peusdonym "A.G. Trent"; ill health prevented him from writing more on the subject.[3]

According to Joseph McCabe, Garnett "cherished a genuine and somewhat mystical belief in religion, which combined hostility to priestcraft and dogma with a modified belief in astrology".[4]

The writer, critic and editor Edward Garnett was his son, the translator Constance Garnett was his daughter-in-law, and the Bloomsbury Group writer David (Bunny) Garnett was his grandson.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "New Year Honours". London: The Times. Tuesday 1 January 1895; Issue 34462. p. 4; col A.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ Brian Stableford, "Garnett,Richard" in St. James Guide To Fantasy Writers, edited by David Pringle. St. James Press, 1996, pp. 222–3.
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ Joseph McCabe, A Biographical Dictionary of Modern Rationalists. Watts & Co.: London, 1920. (p. 280)

External links[edit]