Martin, Sir Theodore

Martin, Sir Theodore
(1816-1909)
   Poet, biographer, and translator, s. of James M., solicitor in Edin., where he was b. and ed. at the High School and Univ. He practised as a solicitor in Edin. 1840-45, after which he went to London and became head of the firm of Martin and Leslie, parliamentary agents. His first contribution to literature was The Bon Gaultier Ballads, written along with W.E. Aytoun (q.v.), full of wit and humour, which still retain their popularity; originally contributed to a magazine, they appeared in book form in 1855. His translations include Dante's Vila Nuova, Oehlenschläger's Correggio and Aladdin, Heine's Poems and Ballads, Schiller's Song of the Bell, and Hertz's King René's Daughter. He also pub. a complete translation of Horace with a Life, and one of Catullus. He is, however, perhaps best known for his Life of the Prince Consort (1874-80), the writing of which was committed to him by Queen Victoria, a work which he executed with such ability and tact as to win for him her lifelong friendship. He also wrote Lives of Prof. Aytoun and Lord Lyndhurst. He m. in 1851 Miss Helen Faucit (d. 1898), the well-known actress, and authoress of studies on Shakespeare's Female Characters, whose Life he pub. in 1901. M. kept up his intellectual activity into old age, pub. in 1905 a translation of Leopardi's poems, and Monographs (1906). He was Lord Rector of St. Andrews 1881, LL.D. of Edin. 1875, and K.C.B. 1880.

Short biographical dictionary of English literature . . 2011.

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