Stephen, James Kenneth

(1859-1892)
   Born in London, the son of a judge, he was educated at Eton and graduated from King's College, Cambridge, with firsts in history and law in 1881, and was elected a fellow in 1885. In 1883 for a short time he was tutor at Sandringham to Prince Edward of Wales, the future Duke of Clarence (who died in 1892). Although called to the bar in 1884, he devoted most of his energy to journalism and started a weekly paper, the Reflector, in 1888. He settled at Cambridge in 1891 to lecture on history and writing. His pamphlet The Living Languages (1891) was a defense of keeping Greek as an essential for a degree. In 1886 he suffered a head injury which affected his brain and he died in an asylum. He was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery. Both the Duke of Clarence and Stephen have been suggested as the possible identities of the serial killer Jack the Ripper. Some of his poems: "A Grievance," "After the Golden Wedding," "An Election Address," "Cynicus to W. Shakspere," "England and America," "My Education," "The Ballade of the Incompetent BalladeMonger."
   Sources: 19th Century British Minor Poets. W.H. Auden, ed. Delacorte Press, 1966. A Century of Humorous Verse, 1850-1950. Roger Lancelyn Green, ed. E.P. Dutton (Everyman's Library), 1959. Casebook: Jack the Ripper, James Kenneth Stephen (http://www.casebook.org/suspects/jkstephen.html). Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Lapsus Calami and Other Verses, by James Kenneth Stephen. Macmillan and Bowes, 1892. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Oxford Book of Marriage. Helge Rubenstein, ed. Oxford University Press, 1990. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000. Victorian Literature: Poetry. Donald Gray and G.B. Tennyson, eds. Macmillan, 1976.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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