|John Stuart Blackie|
July 28 1809|
March 2 1895 (aged 85)|
John Stuart Blackie (28 July 1809 - 2 March 1895) was a Scottish poet and academic.
Blackie was born in Glasgow. He was educated at the New Academy and afterwards at Marischal College, in Aberdeen (where his father was manager of the Commercial Bank). After attending classes at Edinburgh University (1825–1826), Blackie spent 3 years at Aberdeen as a student of theology.
In 1829 he went to Germany, and after studying at Göttingen and Berlin (where he came under the influence of Heeren, Otfried Müller, Schleiermacher, August Neander, and Böckh) he accompanied Christian Charles Josias Bunsen to Italy and Rome. The years spent abroad extinguished his former wish to enter the Church, and at his father's desire he gave himself up to the study of law.
He had already, in 1824, been placed in a lawyer's office, but only remained there 6 months. By the time he was admitted a member of the Faculty of Advocates in 1834, he had acquired a strong love of the classics and a taste for letters in general. A translation of Faust, which he published in 1834, met with considerable success, winning the approbation of Carlyle. After a year or 2 of desultory literary work he was (May 1839) appointed to the newly instituted chair of Humanity (Latin) in the Marischal College.
Difficulties arose in the way of his installation, owing to the action of the Presbytery on his refusal to sign unreservedly the Confession of Faith; but these were eventually overcome, and he took up his duties as professor in November 1841. In the following year he married. From the first his professorial lectures were conspicuous for the unconventional enthusiasm with which he endeavoured to revivify the study of the classics; and his growing reputation, added to the attention excited by a translation of Aeschylus which he published in 1850, led to his appointment in 1852 to the professorship of Greek at Edinburgh University, in succession to George Dunbar, a post which he continued to hold for 30 years.
He was somewhat erratic in his methods, but his lectures were a triumph of influential personality. A journey to Greece in 1853 prompted his essay On the Living Language of the Greeks, a favorite theme of his, especially in his later years; he adopted for himself a modern Greek pronunciation, and before his death he endowed a travelling scholarship to enable students to learn Greek at Athens.
Scottish nationality was another source of enthusiasm with him; and in this connection he displayed real sympathy with highland home life and the grievances of the crofters. The foundation of the Celtic chair at Edinburgh University was mainly due to his efforts. In spite of the many calls upon his time he produced a considerable amount of literary work, usually on classical or Scottish subjects, including some poems and songs of no mean order.
Blackie was a Radical and Scottish nationalist in politics, of a fearlessly independent type; possessed of great conversational powers and general versatility, his picturesque eccentricity made him one of the characters of the Edinburgh of the day, and a well-known figure as be went about in his plaid, worn shepherd-wise, wearing a broad-brimmed hat, and carrying a big stick.
In the 1880s and 1890s, he lectured at Oxford on the pronunciation of Greek, and corresponded on the subject with William Hardie. In May 1893, he gave his last lecture at Oxford, but afterwards admitted defeat, stating: "It is utterly in vain here to talk reasonably in the matter of Latin or Greek pronunciation: they are case-hardened in ignorance, prejudice and pedantry".
He died in Edinburgh.
- Lyrical Poems. Edinburgh: Sutherland & Knox, 1860.
- Musa burschicosa: A book of songs for students and university men. Edinburgh: Edmonston & Douglas, 1869.
- Lays of the Highlands and Islands. London: Strahan, 1872.
- Songs of Religion and Life. New York: Scribner, Armstrong, 1876.
- Lays and Legends of Ancient Greece. Edinburgh: William Blackwood, 1880.
- Messis vitae: Gleanings of song from a happy life. London: Macmillan, 1886.
- A Song of Heroes. Edinburgh & London: William Blackwood, 1890.
- The Selected Poems of John Stuart Blackie (edited by Archibald Stodart Walker). London: John MacQueen, 1896.
- On Subscription to Articles of Faith: A plea for the liberties of the Scottish universities, with special reference to the Free Church professors. Edinburgh: William Tait, 1843.
- Education in Scotland: An appeal to the Scottish people, on the improvement of their scholastic and academical institutions. Edinburgh: William Tait, 1846.
- republished as A letter to the people of Scotland on the reform of their academical institutions. Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1888.
- On the rhythmical declamation of the ancients. Edinburgh: Sutherland and Knox, 1852.
- Classical Literature in its Relation to the Nineteenth Century and Scottish University Education: An inaugural lecture delivered in the University of Edinburgh, November 2, 1852. Edinburgh: Sutherland & Knox / London: Simpkin & Marshall, 1852.
- The pronunciation of Greek; accent and quantity. A philological inquiry. Edinburgh: Sutherland & Knox, 1852.
- On the Advancement of Learning in Scotland: A letter to the Right Honourable the Lord Provost and Town Council of Edinburgh, patrons of the university. Edinburgh: Sutherland & Knox, 1855.
- On the Living Language of the Greeks, and its Utility to the Classical Scholar: An introductory lecture delivered in the University of Edinburgh, at the opening of session 1853-4/ Edinburgh: Sutherland & Knox / London: Simpkin & Marshall, 1853.
- On Beauty: Three discourses delivered in the University of Edinburgh. Edinburgh: Sutherland & Knox, 1858.
- The Gaelic Language: its classical affinities and distinctive character. Edinburgh: Edmonston & Douglas, 1864.
- Homeric Dissertations. Volume I of Homer and the Iliad. (4 volumes), Edinburgh: Edmonston & Douglas, 1866.
- Notes philological and archaeological. Edinburgh: 1866.
- On Democracy: A lecture delivered to the Working Men's Institute, Edinburgh on the 3rd January 1867 (pamphlet). Edinburgh: Edmonston & Douglas, 1867.
- On Forms of Government: A historical review and estimate of the growth of the principal types of political organism in Europe, from the Greeks and Romans down to the present time. London: Whittaker, 1867,
- On Government. Edinburgh: Edmonston & Douglas, 1868.
- Political Tracts. Edinburgh: Edmonston & Douglas, 1868.
- On Education. Edinburgh: Edmonston & Douglas, 1868.
- War songs of the Germans; with historical illustrations of the Liberation war and the Rhine boundary question. Edinburgh: Edmonston & Douglas, 1870.
- Greek and English Dialogues, for use in schools and colleges. London & New York: Macmillan, 1871.
- Four Phases of Morals: Socrates, Aristotle, Christianity, Utilitarianism. New York: Scribner, Armstrong, 1872.
- On Self-Culture, Intellectual, Physical, and Moral: A vade meccum for young men and students. Edinburgh: Edmonston & Douglas, 1874; New York: Scribner, Armstrong, 1874; New York: Funk 1908.
- Horae Hellenicae: Essays and discussion on some important points of Greek philology and antiquity. London: Macmillan, 1874.
- The Language and Literature of the Scottish Highlands. Edinburgh: Edmonston & Douglas, 1876.
- The Natural History of Atheism. London: Daldy, 1877; New York: Scribner, Armstrong, 1878.
- The Wise Men of Greece: In a series of dramatic dialogues. London: Macmillan, 1877.
- The Egyptian dynasties: With the principal kings according to Manetho and the monumental history of Brugsch. Edinburgh: James Thin, 1879.
- Gaelic Societies, Highland depopulation, and land law reform (Inaugural address to the Gaelic Society, Perth, Oct. 7 1880). Edinburgh: 1880.
- Lay Sermons. London: Macmillan, 1881.
- Altavona: Fact and fiction from my life in the Highlands.Edinburgh: Douglas, 1882.
- The Wisdom of Goethe. Edinburgh & London: William Blackwood, 1883; New York: Scribner's, 1883.
- The Scottish Highlanders and the Land Laws: A historico-economical inquiry. London: Chapman & Hall, 1885.
- Democracy : a debate between Prof. Blackie and the late Ernest Jones of Manchester, held at Edinburgh, January, 1867 (with Ernest Charles Jones). Manchester, UK: Abel Heywood / London: Simpkin Marshall, 1885.
- What Does History Teach? Two Edinburgh lectures. London: Macmillan, 1886; New York: Scribner's, 1886.
- Life of Robert Burns. London: Walter Scott, 1888.
- Scottish Song: Its wealth, wisdom, and historical significance. Edinburgh & London: William Blackwood, 1889; New York: AMS Press, 1976.
- Essays on Subjects of Moral and Social Interest. Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1890.
- Greek Primer: Colloquial and constructive. London: Macmillan, 1891.
- The Union of 1707 and its Results: A plea for Scottish home rule. Glasgow: Morrison Brothers, 1892.
- Christianity and the Ideal of Humanity in Old Times and New. Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1893
- Aeschylus, The Lyrical Dramas of Aeschylus, from the Greek, translated into English verse. London: J.W. Parker, 1850;
- reprinted as Aeschylus, Lyrical Dramas. London: J.M. Dent / New York: E.P. Dutton (Everyman's Library), 1936.
- Homer, The Iliad. Volume II and Volume III of Homer and the Iliad. (4 volumes), Edinburgh: Edmonston & Douglas, 1866.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, [http://archive.org/details/faustatragedy00blacgoog Faust: A tragedy. London" Macmillan, 1880.
Letters and journalsEdit
- The Day-book of John Stuart Blackie (edited by Archibald Stodart Walker). London: Richards, 1901.
- The Letters of John Stuart Blackie to His Wife, With a few earlier ones to his parents. Edinburgh: William Blackwood, 1909.
- Notes of a Life (edited by Archibald Stodart Walker). Edinburgh & London: William Blackwood, 1910.
- Template:Cite SBDEL
- 12px This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain, the 1911 Edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. This work in turn cites:
- Anna M. Stoddart, John Stuart Blackie (1895)
- A. Stodart-Walker, Selected Poems of J. S. Blackie, with an appreciation (1896)
- Howard Angus Kennedy, Professor Blackie (1895)
- "All Things Are Full of God"
- Blackie in A Victorian Anthology: "My Bath," "The Emigrant Lassie," "The Working Man's Song"
- John Stuart Blackie at PoemHunter (5 poems)
- Poems of John Stuart Blacki at the Poetry Archive (7 poems)
- John Stuart Blackie at Poetry Nook (9 poems)
- "On Democracy" [.HTML]
- Blackie's Inaugural Lecture on Classical Literature and Scottish University Education in the 19th C. [.PDF]
- Blackie's "On the Advancement of Learning in Scotland"
- Blackie's "The Scottish Highlanders and the Land Laws: An Historico-Economical Enquiry" [.PDF]
- Significant Scots: Professor John Stuart Blackie at Electric Scotland.
- John Stuart Blackie by Anna M. Stoddart at Electric Scotland
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain, the 1911 Edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. Original text is at "John Stuart Blackie"
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