Men of the Time, eleventh edition/Arnason, Jón

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ARNASON, Jón, the son of a Lutheran clergyman, was born at Hof, on the northern coast of Iceland, Aug. 17, 1819. Having lost his father in early boyhood, he was indebted to his mother for elementary instruction. After completing his education at the college of Bessestad, then the only school in the island, he became private tutor in the family of the late Seveinbjörn Egilsson, the rector of the college. Arnason devoted much time to the study of the history and literature of Iceland, and made himself thorough master of the classical tongues. In 1849 he was appointed keeper of the library at Reykjavik, and, in 1856, Secretary to the Bishop of Iceland. He has published several biographical works, including the life of his friend, Dr. Egilsson. In conjunction with M. Grimson he edited a small collection of Icelandic Fairy Tales and Adventures, entitled "Islenzk Æfintyri." English translations of a number of these quaint stories will be found in the appendix to Symington's "Pen and Pencil Sketches of Faroe and Iceland," 1862. The work on which his fame chiefly rests is derived from the folk-lore of Iceland, and entitled "Icelandic Popular Tales and Adventures" (Leipeig, 1862–4). An English version, by G. E. J. Powell and E. Magnússon, of some of these tales appeared in 1864, under the title of "Icelandic Legends."