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The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Blackie, John Stuart

BLACKIE, John Stuart, Scottish poet, litterateur and professor; b. Glasgow, 28 July 1809; d. 2 March 1895. He was educated at the universities of Aberdeen and Edinburgh; subsequently went to Göttingen, Berlin and Rome, where he continued his studies, which were chiefly connected with philology. In 1834 he published a translation of Goethe's ‘Faust,’ and the same year became an advocate at the Scottish bar; in 1841 he was inducted to the chair of humanity in Marischal College, Aberdeen. This position he held until, in 1852, he was appointed to the professorship of Greek in the University of Edinburgh, a chair which he resigned in 1882. By his unwearied efforts to preserve the Gaelic language, he succeeded in raising $60,000, with which sum a Celtic chair was endowed in Edinburgh University. He was one of the most popular Scotsmen of his time, his breezy, unconventional personality making him a favorite with all classes. Perhaps his most enduring work is the hymn he wrote on his honeymoon, ‘Angels holy, high and lowly.’ Among his more important writings are ‘Lyric Poems’; ‘Homer and the Iliad’; ‘Horæ Hellenicæ’; ‘Self-culture’; ‘Songs of Religion and Life’; ‘Lays of the Highlands and Islands’; ‘Lay Sermons’; ‘Altavona’; ‘Wisdom of Goethe’; and ‘Life of Burns.’ His biography has been published (2 vols.) by Anna M. Stoddart.