|Intro||British scholar, librarian, biographer and poet|
|Was||Librarian Writer Poet|
|Birth||27 February 1835, Lichfield, United Kingdom|
|Death||13 April 1906 (aged 71 years)|
Richard Garnett C.B. (27 February 1835 – 13 April 1906) was a scholar, librarian, biographer and poet. He was son of Richard Garnett, an author, philologist (historical linguist) and assistant keeper of printed books in the British Museum, i.e. what is now the British Library.
Born at Lichfield in Staffordshire, and educated at a school in Bloomsbury, he entered the British Museum in 1851 as an assistant librarian. Anthony Panizzi, a close friend of Garnett's father, invited the then 16-year-old Richard to work at the British Museum following his father's death. 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 Thomas Carlyle, John Milton, William Blake, and others; The Age of Dryden (1895); a History of Italian Literature; English Literature: An Illustrated Record (with Edmund Gosse); 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 He also discovered and edited some unpublished poems of Shelley (Relics of Shelley, 1862) and edited the republication of the newly discovered poetry collection Original Poetry by Victor and Cazire in 1898. His poem "Where Corals Lie" was set to music by Sir Edward Elgar as part of Sea Pictures and was first performed in 1899. Long interested in astrology, in 1880 he published a monograph on the subject, "The Soul and the Stars", in the University Magazine under the pseudonym "A. G. Trent"; ill health prevented him from writing more on the subject. He wrote a biography of prime minister Charles James Fox, published 1910.
According to Joseph McCabe, Garnett "cherished a genuine and somewhat mystical belief in religion, which combined hostility to priestcraft and dogma with a modified belief in astrology".