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March 31, 2017 | History

John Stuart Blackie

1809 - 1895

John Stuart Blackie was born in Glasgow in 1809 but moved the Aberdeen in the same year when his father secured employment with the Commercial Bank. He was educated in Aberdeen and Edinburgh before continuing his studies in various locations throughout Europe, including Berlin and Rome. He returned to Britain in 1831 and was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1834. He was appointed as the first incumbent of the chair of Humanity at Aberdeen University and gave popular lectures on a variety of subjects. He went on to succeed to the Greek chair at Edinburgh University.

His classical publications included translations of Greek literature as well as the study of the Greek language, his translation of the 'Iliad' appearing in 1866. He also published works on Scottish, philosophical, religious and political topics. He was a keen advocate of university reform and was instrumental in setting two further chairs in Fine Art and Celtic. His flamboyant, eccentric persona made him easily recognisable by the students and citizens of Edinburgh.

Blackie had a great fondness for the Highlands and Islands and he and his wife spent their summers on the west coast at Oban, eventually building their own house there. He was sympathetic to the plight of the Highland crofters and was very enthusiastic about the Gaelic language. Publications from this period include 'The Gaelic Language' (1864), 'Lays of the Highlands and Islands' (1871), 'The Language and Literature of the Highlands' (1876), and 'Altavona: Fact and Fiction From My Life in the Highlands' (1882).

He died at his Edinburgh home on 2 March 1895, and after the funeral service at St Giles, was buried in the Dean cemetery.

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March 31, 2017 Edited by Clean Up Bot add VIAF and wikidata ID
March 5, 2013 Edited by Tracey Carroll Added info about the Author.
March 5, 2013 Edited by Tracey Carroll Added new photo
June 7, 2012 Edited by VacuumBot Removed period from death date
September 10, 2008 Edited by RenameBot fix author name