See also:English poet and essayist, son of
See also:Frederic Myers of Keswick—author of Lectures on
See also:Great Men (1856) and Catholic Thoughts (first collected 1873), a
See also:book marked by a most admirable
See also:prose style—was
See also:born at
See also:Cumberland, on the 6th of
See also:February 1843, and educated at
See also:Cheltenham and Trinity
See also:College, Cambridge, where he won a long
See also:list of honours and in 1865 was appointed classical lecturer . He had no love for teaching, which he soon discontinued, but he took up his permanent abode at Cambridge . in 1872, when he became a school inspector under the
See also:Education Department . Meanwhile he published, in 1867, an unsuccessful
See also:essay for the Seatonian prize, a poem entitled St Paul, which met at the hands of the general public with a success that would be difficult to explain, for it lacks sincerity and represents views which the writer rapidly outgrew . It was followed by small volumes of collected verses in 1870 and 1882: both are marked by a flow of rhetorical ardour which culminates in a poem of real beauty, " The Renewal of Youth," in the 1882 collection . His best
See also:verse is in heroic couplets . Myers is more likely to be remembered by his two volumes of Essays, Classical and
See also:Modern (1883) . The essay on Virgil, by far the best thing he ever wrote, represents the matured
See also:enthusiasm of a student and a
See also:disciple to whom the exquisite artificiality and refined culture of Virgil's method were profoundly congenial . Next to this in value is the carefully wrought essay on
See also:Ancient Greek Oracles (this had first appeared in Hellenica) . Scarcely less delicate in phrasing and perception, if less penetrating in insight, is the monograph on
See also:Wordsworth (1881) for the " English Men of Letters " series . In 1882, after several years of inquiry and discussion, Myers took the lead among a small
See also:band of explorers (including
See also:Sidgwick and
See also:Hodgson, Edmund Gurney and F . Podmore), who founded the society for Psychical
See also:Research . He continued for many years to be the mouthpiece of the society, a position for which his perfervidum. ingenium, still more his abnormal fluency and alertness, admirably fitted him .
He contributed greatly to the coherence of the society by steering a
See also:mid-course between extremes (the extreme sceptics on the one
See also:hand, and the enthusiastic spiritualists on the other), and by helping to sift and revise the cumbrous mass of Proceedings, the chief concrete results being the two volumes of Phantasms of the Living (r886), to which he contributed the introduction . Like many theorists, he had. a
See also:faculty for ignoring hard facts, and in his anxiety to generalize plausibly upon the alleged data, and to
See also:hammer out striking formulae, his insight into the real character of the evidence may have
See also:left something to be desired . His long series of papers on subliminal consciousness, the results of which were embodied in a
See also:work called Human
See also:Personality and its Survival of Bodily
See also:Death (2 vols . 1903), constitute his own chief contribution to psychical theory . This, as he himself would have been the first to admit, was little more than provisional; but
See also:James has pointed out that the series of papers on subliminal consciousness is " the first attempt to consider the phenomena of
See also:double personality and mediumship, as connected parts of one whole subject." The last work published in his lifetime was a small collection of essays, Science and a Future
See also:Life (1893) . He died at Rome on the 17th of
See also:January 19o1, but was buried in his native
See also:soil at Keswick .
MYELITIS (from Gr. µueN6s, marrow)
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