Greg, Percy (DNB00)

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GREG, PERCY (1836–1889), author, son of William Rathbone Greg [q. v.], was born at Bury in 1836, and died in London on 24 Dec. 1889. His career during the greater part of his life was that of a journalist, and in his later years that of a novelist and historian. He contributed largely to the 'Manchester Guardian,' 'Standard,' and 'Saturday Review,' and obtained much distinction as a political writer. But, although endowed with great ability' he lacked the equity that characterised his father, and always tended to violent extremes; in youth a secularist, in middle life a spiritualist, in his later years a champion of feudalism and absolutism, and in particular an embittered adversary of the American Union. The violence of his political sympathies has entirely spoiled his attempted 'History of the United States to the Reconstruction of the Union,' 1887, which can only be regarded as a gigantic party pamphlet. His ultimate convictions, political and religious, found expression in two volumes of essays, 'The Devil's Advocate,' 1878, and 'Without God; Negative Science and Natural Ethics,' 1883; and in a series of novels displaying considerable imagination and invention: 'Across the Zodiac,' 1880; 'Errant,' 1880; 'Ivy cousin and bride,' 1881; 'Sanguelac,' 1883; and 'The Verge of Night,' 1885. Of his sincerity there could be no question, and his polemical virulence did not exclude a tender vein of lyrical poetry, pleasingly manifested in his early poems, published under the pseudonym of Lionel H. Holdreth, and in his 'Interleaves' (1875).

[Manchester Guardian, 30 Dec. 1889; Academy, 18 Jan. 1890; personal knowledge.]

R. G.