John Addington Symonds

(2938 words)

John Addington Symonds, the cultural historian, writer on homosexuality, poet and translator, was born in 1840, the son of a Bristol doctor (also called John Addington Symonds) and his wife Harriet Sykes. Both families were well-connected, something that was to fascinate Symonds; in later life he was to write a pamphlet on his family tree. (Symonds is often confused with Arthur Symons, the author of The Symbolist Movement in Literature (1899). They did correspond, and much of what they had to say concerned whether or not they were distantly related.) More important than the blood relatives though were the many key figures in Victorian liberalism who passed through his father's house, giving the young Symonds a feeling for work …

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Citation:
Booth, Howard J.. "John Addington Symonds". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 June 2003
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=4302, accessed 22 December 2014.]