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Smith, William Henry, Author

SMITH, WILLIAM HENRY, AUTHOR (1808-1872), English author, was born at Hammersmith, London, in 1808. He was educated at Radley School, and in 1821 was sent to Glasgow University. In 1823 he entered a lawyer's office, in which he remained for five years. He was called to the bar, but had no practice. He contributed to the Literary Gazette and to the Athenaeum, under the name of " Wool-gatherer," attracting some attention by the delicacy and finish of his style. Ernesto, a philosophical romance, appeared in 1835, two poems, Guidone and Solitude, in 1836, and in 1839 he formed a connexion with Blackwood's Magazine, for which he acted as philosophical critic for thirty years. In 1846 a visit to Italy led to the writing of a tale entitled Mildred, which was too purely reflective to be successful. In 1851 he declined the chair of moral philosophy at Edinburgh, being unwilling to abandon his quiet, studious life in the Lake District. There he completed his philosophic romance Thorndale (1857), which was considered at the time to be a work of real intellectual value. A similar production, Gravenhiirsl, appeared in 1862; a second edition contained a memoir of the author by his wife. Smith died at Brighton on 28th March 1872. He also wrote two plays, one of which, Athelwold, was produced by Macready in 1843. It was published with his other tragedy, Sir William Crichton, in 1846.

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

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