A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Alford, Henry

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Alford, Henry (1810-1871).—Theologian, scholar, poet, and miscellaneous writer, s. of a clergyman, was b. in London. After passing through various private schools, he proceeded to Cambridge, where he had a distinguished career, and after entering the Church and filling various preferments in the country, became minister of Quebec Chapel, London, whence he was promoted to be Dean of Canterbury. His great work was his Greek Testament in 4 vols., of which the first was pub. in 1849 and the last in 1861. In this work he largely followed the German critics, maintaining, however, a moderate liberal position; and it was for long the standard work on the subject in this country. A. was one of the most versatile men, and prolific authors, of his day, his works consisting of nearly 50 vols., including poetry (School of the Heart and Abbot of Munchelnaye, and a translation of the Odyssey), criticism, sermons, etc. In addition to the works above mentioned he wrote Chapters on the Greek Poets (1841), the Queen's English (1863), and many well-known hymns, and he was the first editor of the Contemporary Review. He was also an accomplished artist and musician. His industry was incessant and induced a premature breakdown in health, which terminated in his death in 1871. He was the friend of most of his eminent contemporaries, and was much beloved for his amiable character.