A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Forster, John (historian)

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Forster, John (1812-1876). -- Historian and biographer, b. at Newcastle, ed. at the Grammar School there, and at Univ. Coll., London, became a barrister of the Inner Temple, but soon relinquished law for literature. In 1834 he accepted the post of assistant ed. of the Examiner, and was ed. 1847-55. In this position F. exercised a marked influence on public opinion. He also ed. the Foreign Quarterly Review 1842-3, the Daily News in 1846, and was Sec. to the Lunacy Commission and a Commissioner 1861-72. His historical writings were chiefly biographies, among which are Statesmen of the Commonwealth of England (1836-9), Life of Goldsmith (1854), Biographical and Historical Essays (1859), Sir John Eliot (1864), Lives of Walter S. Landor (1868), and Charles Dickens (1871-4). He also left the first vol. of a Life of Swift. F., who was a man of great decision and force of character, concealed an unusually tender heart under a somewhat overbearing manner.