The New International Encyclopædia/Forster, John

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

FOR'STER, John (1812-76). An English political and historical writer, born at Newcastle. He was educated for the bar, but early devoted himself to periodical writing. His political articles in the London Examiner, for which he began writing in 1832, attracted unusual attention, owing to their vigor and outspoken honesty. In 1846 he succeeded Dickens as editor of the Daily News, but resigned the next year to assume the editorship of the Examiner, a post which he held for nine years. He is the author of many admirable biographical and historical essays dealing with the statesmen and the times of the English Commonwealth. Among them are: Lives of the Statesmen of the Commonnwealth (1836-39); The Debates on the Grand Remonstrance (1860); Arrest of the Five Members (1860); Sir John Eliot: A Biography (1864). His literary memoirs are also excellent. The chief are: The Life and Adventures of Oliver Goldsmith (1848, enlarged, with a slight change in the title—Life and Times of Oliver Goldsmith—1854); Walter Savage Landor (1869); The Life of Charles Dickens (1872-74); and the first volume of a Life of Swift (1876). Forster's style is clear and forcible. He was appointed Secretary to the Commissioners in Lunacy in 1855, and a Commissioner in Lunacy in 1861.