1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Nichol, John

NICHOL, JOHN (1833–1894), Scottish man of letters, son of the astronomer J. P. Nichol (1804–1859), was born on the 8th of September 1833, and educated at Glasgow and Balliol College, Oxford, where he had a brilliant career. After taking his first class in classics, he remained at Oxford as a coach. With Albert Venn Dicey, Thomas Hill Green, Swinburne and others, he formed the Old Mortality Society for discussions on literary matters. In 1862 he was made professor of English literature at Glasgow. He, had already made a reputation as an acute critic and a successful lecturer, and his influence at Glasgow was very marked. He visited the United States in 1865, and in 1882 he wrote the article on American literature for the ninth edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica—an article which is a good example of his pungent (sometimes unduly pungent) style. He left Glasgow for London in 1889, and died on the 11th of October 1894. Among his best works were his drama Hannibal (1873), The Death of Themistocles, and other Poems (1881), his Byron in the “English Men of Letters” series (1880), his Robert Burns (1882) and Carlyle (1892).

A Memoir by Professor Knight was published in 1896.