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Henry, James

HENRY, JAMES (1798-1876), Irish classical scholar, was born in Dublin on the 13th of December 1798. He was educated at Trinity College, and until 1845 practised as a physician in the city. In spite of his unconventionality and unorthodox views on religion and his own profession, he was very successful. His accession to a large fortune enabled him to devote himself entirely to the absorbing occupation of his life the study of Virgil. Accompanied by his wife and daughter, he visited all those parts of Europe where he was likely to find rare editions or MSS. of the poet. He died near Dublin on the 14th of July 1876. As a commentator on Virgil Henry will always deserve to be remembered, notwithstanding the occasional eccentricity of his notes and remarks. The first fruits of his researches were published at Dresden in 1853 under the quaint title Notes of a Twelve Years' Voyage of Discovery in the first six Books of the Eneis. These were embodied, with alterations and additions, in the Aeneidea, or Critical, Exegetical and Aesthetical Remarks on the Aeneis (1873-1892), of which only the notes on the first book were published during the author's lifetime. As a textual critic Henry was exceedingly conservative. His notes, written in a racy and interesting style, are especially valuable for their wealth of illustration and references to the less-known classical authors. Henry was also the author of several poems, some of them descriptive accounts of his travels, and of various pamphlets of a satirical nature.

See obituary notice by J. P. Mahaffy in the Academy of the 12th of August 1876, where a list of his works, nearly all of which were privately printed, is given.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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