Goldwin Smith was born in Reading in 1823; his father was a doctor with literary tastes and a fortune garnered from an early investment in the railway industry. His upbringing and education leant itself to serious academic study, and he proved himself a very able classicist at university. One year after his graduation in 1845, he became Stowell Law Professor at University College, Oxford. His literary work began with his assistant role in the preparation of Conington's edition of Virgil (published from 1858 onwards). A lifelong Liberal and reformer, he acted as advisor to Gladstone on the Oxford University Reform Act (1854), and became joint secretary of the commission set up to enact it. In 1858 he became Regius Professor of Modern …
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Nixon, Mark. "Goldwin Smith". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 March 2002
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