Symonds, John Addington sĭm´ənz [key]
, 1840–93, English author. Educated at Harrow and Oxford, constant ill health exiled him for the greater part of his life to Italy and Switzerland. His many writings include travel books, Sketches in Italy and Greece
(1874) and Italian Byways
(1883); literary essays, Introduction to the Study of Dante
(1872) and Studies of Greek Poets
(1873–76); biographies of Shelley (1878), Sir Philip Sidney (1886), Ben Jonson (1886), and Michelangelo (1893); a masterly translation of the autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini (1888); and several volumes of verse, notably Many Moods
(1878) and Animi Figura
(1882). Symonds's major work, The Renaissance in Italy
(7 vol., 1875–86), is a classic collection of sketches in cultural history.
See biography by P. Grosskurth (1964); study by V. W. Brooks (1914, repr. 1970).
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