Gifford, William (17571826)

Gifford, William, an English man of letters, born in Ashburton, Devonshire; left friendless and penniless at an early age by the death of his parents, he first served as a cabin-boy, and subsequently for four years worked as a cobbler's apprentice; through the generosity of a local doctor, and afterwards of Earl Grosvenor, he obtained a university training at Oxford, where in 1792 he graduated; a period of travel on the Continent was followed in 1794 by his celebrated satire the “Baviad,” and in two years later by the “Mæviad”; his editorship of the Anti-Jacobin (1797-1798) procured him favour and office at the hands of the Tories; the work of translation, and the editing of Elizabethan poets, occupied him till 1809, when he became the first editor of the Quarterly Review; his writing is vigorous, and marked by strong partisanship, but his bitter attacks on the new literature inaugurated by Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, and others reveal a prejudiced and narrow view of literature (17571826).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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Ethryg, George
Ford, John