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WILLIAM GEORGE CLARK (1821—1878)

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Originally appearing in Volume V06, Page 443 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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WILLIAM GEORGE CLARK (1821—1878), English classical and Shakespearian scholar, was born at Barford Hall, Darlington, in March 1821. He was educated at Sedbergh and Shrewsbury schools and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was elected fellow after a brilliant university career. In 1857 he was appointed public orator. He travelled much during the long vacations, visiting Spain, Greece, Italy and Poland. His Peloponnesus (1858) was an important contribution to the knowledge of the country at that time. In 1853 Clark had taken orders, but left the Church in 187o after the passing of the Clerical Disabilities Act, of which he was one of the promoters. He also resigned the public oratorship in the same year, and in consequence of illness left Cambridge in 1873. He died at York on the 6th of November 1878. He bequeathed a sum of money to his old college for the foundation of a lectureship in English literature. Although Clark was before all a classical scholar, he published little in that branch of learning. A contemplated edition of the works of Aristophanes, a task for which he was singularly fitted, was never published. He visited Italy in 1868 for the express purpose of examining the Ravenna and other MSS., and on his return began the notes to the Acharnians, but they were left in too incomplete a state to admit of publication in book form even after his death (see Journal of Philology, viii., 1879). He established the Cambridge Journal of Philology, and co-operated with B. H. Kennedy and James Riddell in the production of the well-known Sabrinae Corolla. The work by which he is best known is the Cambridge Shakespeare (1863—1866), containing a collation of early editions and selected emendations, edited by him at first with John Glover and afterwards with W. Aldis Wright. Gazpacho (1853) gives an account of his tour in Spain; his visits to Italy at the time of Garibaldi's insurrection, and to Poland during the insurrection of 1863, are described in Vacation Tourists, ed. F. Galton, i. and iii. H. A. J. Munro in Journal of Philology (viii. 1879) describes Clark as " the most accomplished and versatile man he ever met "; see also notices by W. Aldis Wright in Academy (Nov. 23, 1878) ; R. Burn in Athenaeum (Nov. 16, 1878) ; The Times (Nov. 8, 1878) ; Notes and Queries, 5th series, x. (1878), p. 400.
End of Article: WILLIAM GEORGE CLARK (1821—1878)
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