Boner, Charles (DNB00)
BONER, CHARLES (1815–1870), author, was the second child and only son of Charles Boner, of Bath, who died at Twickenham, 14 Aug. 1833. He was born at Weston, near Bath, 29 April 1815; was educated at Bath from 1825 to 1827, and then at Tiverton grammar school from 1827 to 1829. From 1831 to 1837 he was tutor to the two elder sons of John Constable, the painter. After his mother's death in 1839, he accepted an invitation from Baron August Doernberg to take up his abode with him in Germany. Some time later, having perfected himself in the language of the country, he accompanied the baron to Ratisbon, where he had the offer of a very honourable post in the family of the Prince Thurn und Taxis. Charles Boner was the lifelong friend of the prince. His pupils valued his society, and he became intimate with a large number of the friends of the art- and literature-loving prince. Whilst in London in 1844 he entered into an arrangement to contribute to the ‘Literary Gazette,’ and he contributed a series of articles on the German poets, which brought him much more fame than profit.
The majority of Boner's poems are dated from St. Emeran, Ratisbon, where he spent twenty years in the family of the Prince Thurn und Taxis. He soon won a place among the poets of the day, and his translations from the German, especially of H. C. Andersen’s ‘A Danish Story Book’ in 1846, and ‘The Dream of Little Tuck’ in 1848, are remarkably faithful and idiomatic. In 1845 he made the acquaintance of Miss Mary Russell Mitford, whom he carried on a literary correspondence for ten years. One of the last acts of his life was an attempt to edit Miss Mitford’s letters to himself, but this work was reserved for other hands. He published ‘C. Boner's Book for those who are young, and those who love what is natural and truthful,’ in 1848; ‘Chamois Hunting,’ in 1853, a new edition of which appeared in 1860; ‘H. Masius's Studies from Nature,’ and ‘Cain,’ in 1855; ‘The New Dance of Death and other Poems,’ in 1857; and ‘Verses,’ in 1858. After he left Ratisbon in 1860 he made Munich his home. His daughter, Marie, was married, 27 Feb. 1865, to Professor Theodor Horschelt, the painter, of Munich. As special correspondent of the ‘Daily News,’ he went to Vienna in August 1865, his connection with that paper lasting from the time when the treaty of commerce between England and Austria was arranged until the conclusion of the seven weeks' war.
He also wrote for the ‘New York Tribune’ and many other papers. In 1867 he went to Salzburg to be present at the meeting of Napoleon III and the Emperor of Austria, and wrote a very graphic description of the scene. One of the last events of importance in his life was a visit to Trieste, where he attended the funeral of the Emperor Maximilian, and compiled a very interesting memoir of that unfortunate prince. Boner’s chief works not yet mentioned are ‘Forest Creatures,’ 1861; ‘Transylvania, its Products and People,’ 1865; ‘Guide for Travellers in the Plain and on the Mountain,’’ 1866; and ‘Siebenbürgen. Land und Leute,’ 1868. Boner died in the house of Professor Horschelt, 5 Louisenstrasse, Munich, 9 April 1870.
[Memoirs and Letters of Charles Boner, edited by Rosa M. Kettle, 1871, 2 vols.]