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A. D. Godley (Alfred Dennis Godley) Biography

(1856–1925), (Alfred Dennis Godley), The Histories of Tacitus, The Odes and Epodes of Horace

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Ellen Gilchrist Biography to Grain

British poet and classicist, born in Co. Leitrim, educated at Balliol College, Oxford; he became a fellow and tutor of Magdalen College. In 1910 he was appointed public orator of Oxford, an office he held until his death. His numerous volumes of translation include The Histories of Tacitus (1887, 1890) and The Odes and Epodes of Horace (1898). Among his other works are Socrates and Athenian Society in His Day (1896) and Oxford in the Eighteenth Century (1908). As a poet he is principally noted for his reflections in light verse on the life and institutions of Oxford University; in such examples as ‘The Infant Scholar’ and ‘The Megalopsychiad’ his great dexterity in versification combines to memorable effect with the engaging sense of the ridiculous that is frequently present in his humour. His five collections of poetry include Verses to Order (1892), Lyra Frivola (1899), and The Casual Ward (1912). In addition to his Oxford verses he wrote poetry out of his interests in mountaineering, archaeology, and Irish affairs, generally retaining his humorous emphasis. Fifty Poems (1927) is a selected edition prepared by C. L. Graves and C. R. L. Fletcher.

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