A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Arnold, Sir Edwin

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Arnold, Sir Edwin (1832-1904). -- Poet, s. of a Sussex magistrate, was b. at Gravesend, and ed. at King's School, Rochester, London, and Oxford. Thereafter he was an assistant master at King Edward's School, Birmingham, and was in 1856 appointed Principal of the Government Deccan College, Poona. Here he received the bias towards, and gathered material for, his future works. In 1861 he returned to England and became connected with The Daily Telegraph, of which he was ultimately editor. The literary task which he set before him was the interpretation in English verse of the life and philosophy of the East. His chief work with this object is The Light of Asia (1879), a poem on the life and teaching of Buddha, which had great popularity, but whose permanent place in literature must remain very uncertain. In The Light of the World (1891), he attempted, less successfully, a similar treatment of the life and teaching of Jesus. Other works are The Song of Songs of India (1875), With Saadi in the Garden, and The Tenth Muse. He travelled widely in the East, and wrote books on his travels. He was made K.C.I.E. in 1888.