MacKail, John William

(1859-1945)
   Scottish poet, the son of Rev. John Mackail, a Free Church minister, he was born on the Isle of Bute, Scotland's jewel on the River Clyde. He graduated literae humaniores from Balliol College, Oxford, in 1881, and winning four major scholarships, he was reckoned the most brilliant undergraduate scholar of his time. From 1884 to 1919 he worked for the Education Department of the Privy Council, which later became the Board of Education, and was active in establishment of secondary education under the 1902 Education Act. From 1906 to 1911 he was professor of poetry at Oxford. He received honorary degrees from six universities in Britain and in Adelaide, Australia, and was appointed Order of Merit in 1935. He died in London. In 1890 he published Select Epigrams from the Greek Antholog y, and with Henry Beeching and Bowyer Nichols (see entries) he published Mensae Secundae, 1879. Some of his other publications: Love in Idleness, 1883. Love's Looking-glass, 1891. Some of his poems: "An Autumn Lily," "Confession of Faith," "Debate of the Heart and Soul," "Fate's Prisoner," "Mountain Echo," "Summer and Winter," "The Golden Book of Cupid and Psyche," "Within and Without."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Love's Looking Glass, Beeching, Mackail, and Nichols, Percival and Co., 1891. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org).

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

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