Aytoun, William Edmondstoune

(1813-1865)
   Scottish poet, novelist, journalist, lawyer, and sheriff of Orkney, famous for parodies and light verse. Sir Robert Ayton (see above) was one of his ancestors. Educated at Edinburgh University and in Germany, in 1840 he was called to the Scottish bar. In 1844 he joined the staff of Blackwoods Edinburgh Magazine, to which he contributed political, humorous and satirical items. He was a highly popular professor of rhetoric and belles lettres at Edinburgh University, where he wrote fiction and political essays and translated Goethe. A prolific poet, his main publications are: Poland, Homer, and Other Poems, 1832. Lays of the Cavaliers, 1848. Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers, 1849. Bothwell, 1856 (a poetical monologue in six parts, dealing with the relations between the hero and Mary Queen of Scots). Some of his other poems: "Blind Old Milton," "The Execution of Montrose," "The Massacre of MacPherson," "The Refusal of Charon."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite DVD, 2006. Poem hunter (www.poemhunter.com). Scotland's Lawyer Poets, Sir Robert Aytoun (http://www.wvu.edu/Aytoun, William Edmondstounelawfac/jelkins/lp2001/intro/scots.html). 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 National Portrait Gallery (www.npg.org.uk). 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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  • Aytoun, William Edmondstoune — ▪ Scottish poet born June 21, 1813, Edinburgh, Scot. died Aug. 4, 1865, Elgin, Moray       poet famous for parodies and light verse that greatly influenced the style of later Scottish humorous satire.       Born into a literary family, Aytoun… …   Universalium

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