Men of the Time, eleventh edition/Austin, Alfred
AUSTIN, Alfred, poet, critic, and journalist, born at Headingley, near Leeds, May 30, 1835. His father was a merchant in Leeds, and his mother was the sister of Joseph Locke, the eminent civil engineer. Both his parents being Catholics, he was sent to Stonyhurst College, and afterwards to St. Mary's College, Oscott. From Oscott he took his degree at the University of London in 1853, and in 1857 he was called to the bar at the Inner Temple. It is understood that Mr. Austin has abandoned the faith in which he was brought up. As he failed to obtain practice at the bar, he took to literary pursuits, and published anonymously a poem entitled "Randolph." His first acknowledged volume of verse, "The Season, a Satire," appeared in 1861, and was very severely criticised. Mr. Austin replied to his critics in a poem now suppressed, entitled "My Satire and its Censors," 1861. A third and revised edition of "The Season" appeared in 1869. His other poetical productions are:—"The Human Tragedy: a Poem," 1862, republished in an amended form 1876; "The Golden Age: a Satire," 1871; "Interludes," 1872; "Rome or Death!" 1873; "Madonna's Child," 1873; "The Tower of Babel," a drama, 1874; "Leszko the Bastard: a Tale of Polish Grief," 1877; and "Savonarola," a tragedy, 1881. He has published three novels:—"Five Years of it," 1858; "An Artist's Proof," 1864; and "Won by a Head," 1866; also "The Poetry of the Period," reprinted from Temple Bar, 1870; and "A Vindication of Lord Byron," 1869, occasioned by Mrs. Stowe's article, "The True Story of Lord Byron's Life." Mr. Austin is an ardent advocate of the policy of the Conservative party, and has made two unsuccessful attempts to enter Parliament, for Taunton in 1865, and for Dewsbury in 1880. He has written much for the Standard newspaper and for the Quarterly Review. During the sittings of the Œcumenical Council of the Vatican he represented the Standard at Rome, and he was a special correspondent of that journal at the headquarters of the King of Prussia in the Franco-German war. His political writings include "Russia before Europe," 1876; "Tory Horrors," 1876, a reply to Mr. Gladstone's "Bulgarian Horrors"; and "England's Policy and Peril: a letter to the Earl of Beaconsfield," 1877. He has now in the press a volume of lyrical poems, entitled "Soliloquies in Song." It is stated that he is to be the editor of the new Conservative monthly magazine. Mr. Austin resides at Swinford House, Ashford, Kent, and is a deputy-lieutenant for the county of Hereford.