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Richard Garnett

Richard Garnett books and biography

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The Twilight Of The Gods And Other Tales


By Richard Garnett
Short Stories

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Richard Garnett

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Richard Garnett (February 27, 1835 – April 13, 1906) was a scholar, librarian, biographer and poet. He was son of Richard Garnett, an assistant keeper of Printed Books in the British Museum.

Born at Lichfield, and educated at a school in Bloomsbury, he entered the British Museum in 1851 as an assistant librarian. In 1875, he became superintendent of the Reading Room, in 1881, editor of the General Catalogue of Printed Books, and in 1890 until his retirement in 1899, Keeper of Printed Books.

His literary works include numerous translations from the Greek, German, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese; several books of verse; the book of short stories The Twilight of the Gods (1888, 16 stories; 12 stories added in the 1903 edition); biographies of Carlyle, Milton, Blake, and others; The Age of Dryden (1895); a History of Italian Literature; and many articles for encyclopaedias and the Dictionary of National Biography. He also discovered and edited some unpublished poems of Shelley (Relics of Shelley, 1862). His poem "Where Corals Lie" was set to music by Sir Edward Elgar and first performed in 1899, and more recently recorded by Dame Janet Baker with the London Symphony Orchestra under Sir John Barbirolli.

The deeps have music soft and low
When winds awake the airy spry,
It lures me, lures me on to go
And see the land where corals lie.
The land, the land where corals lie.

By mount and steed, by lawn and rill,
When night is deep, and moon is high,
That music seeks and finds me still,
And tells me where the corals lie.
And tells me where the corals lie.

Yes, press my eyelids close, 'tis well,
Yes, press my eyelids close, 'tis well,
But far the rapid fancies fly
The rolling worlds of wave and shell,
And all the lands where corals lie.

Thy lips are like a sunset glow,
Thy smile is like a morning sky,
Yet leave me, leave me, let me go
And see the land where corals lie.
The land, the land where corals lie.

The writer, critic and editor Edward Garnett was his son, the translator Constance Garnett was his daughter-in-law and the writer David Garnett was his grandson.



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