Page:Cousins's Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature.djvu/19

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Dictionary of English Literature

livelihood on a Mr. Dyson. His talents brought him a good deal of consideration in society, but the solemn and pompous manner which he affected laid him open to some ridicule, and he is said to have been satirised by Smollett (q.v.) in his Peregrine Pickle. He endeavoured to reconstruct his poem, but the result was a failure. His collected poems were pub. 1772. His works, however, are now little read. Mr. Gosse has described him as "a sort of frozen Keats."

Alcott, Louisa M. (1832–1888).—Writer of juvenile and other tales, dau. of Amos Bronson Alcott, an educational and social theorist, lecturer, and author, was b. in Pennsylvania. During the American civil war she served as a nurse, and afterwards attained celebrity as a writer of books for young people, of which the best is Little Women (1868). Others are Little Men and Jo's Boys. She also wrote novels, including Moods and Work.

Alcuin or Ealhwine (735–804).—Theologian and general writer, was b. and ed. at York. He wrote in prose and verse, his subjects embracing educational, theological, and historical matters. Returning from Rome, to which he had been sent to procure the pallium for a friend, he met Charlemagne at Parma, and made upon him so favourable an impression that he was asked to enter his service as preceptor in the sciences to himself and his family. His numerous treatises, which include metrical annals, hagiographical and philosophical works, are not distinguished by originality or profundity, but he is the best representative of the culture and mental activity of his age, upon which, as the minister of education of the great emperor, he had a widely-spread influence.

Aldrich, Thomas Bailey (1836–1906).—Poet and novelist, b. at Portsmouth, N.H., was for some time in a bank, and then engaged in journalism. His first book was The Bells, a Collection of Chimes (1855), and other poetical works are The Ballad of Babie Bell, Cloth of Gold, Flower and Thorn, etc. In prose he wrote Daisy's Necklace, The Course of True Love, Marjorie Daw, Prudence Palfrey, etc.

Alesius, Alexander (1500–1565).—Theologian and controversialist. His unlatinised name was Aless or Alane, and he was b. at Edinburgh and ed. at St. Andrews, where he became a canon. Originally a strong and able defender of the Romish doctrines, he was chosen to argue with Patrick Hamilton, the proto-martyr of the Reformation in Scotland, with the object of inducing him to recant. The result, however, was that he was himself much shaken in his allegiance to the Church, and the change was greatly accelerated by the martyrdom of H. His subsequent protest against the immorality of the clergy led to his imprisonment, and ultimately, in 1532, to his flying for his life to Germany, where he became associated with Luther and Melancthon, and definitely joined the reforming party. Coming to England in 1535, he was well received by Cranmer and other reformers. While in England he studied medicine, and practised as a physician in London. On the fall of T. Cromwell in 1540 he again retired to Germany, where, at Leipzig, he obtained a professorship. During the reign of Edward VI. he re-visited England and was employed by Cranmer in connection with the 1st