Wilkie, William

(1721-1772)
   The "Scottish Homer" was born at Echlin, parish of Dalmeny, Midlothian, the son of a farmer, and educated at the local parish school and Edinburgh University. Licensed as a preacher of the Church of Scotland in 1745, he became the incumbent of Ratho, Midlothian, in 1746. In 1759 he was appointed professor of natural philosophy at St. Andrews University, which conferred on him the honorary degree of D.D. in 1766. After settling in St. Andrews, he purchased some acres of land and resumed his farming occupation, in which he succeeded so well as to leave at his death at St. Andrews property to the amount of Ј3000. His two publications were The Epigoniad (1769), a poem in nine books, in the style of Homer's Iliad, dealing with the Epigoni, sons of the seven heroes who fought against Thebes; and a collection of sixteen Moral Fables, in Verse, 1768. Some of his fables/poems: "The Ape, the Parrot, and the Jackdaw," "The Boy and the Rainbow," "The Crow and the Other Birds," "The Grasshopper and the Glow-Worm," "The Lover and His Friend," "The Muse and the Shepherd."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. English Poetry: Author Search. Chadwyck-Healey Ltd., 1995 (http://www.lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author.html). Significant and Famous Scots (http://www.electricscotland.com/history/men/wilkie_william.htm). Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources (http://library.stanford.edu). 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 Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000.

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

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