Posted by Dennis » 1 Comment »
I’m sure others have discovered this already, but all four volumes of James Henry’s life’s labor, the Aeneidea are available on Google Books in multiple editions. If you’re not familiar with James Henry, we’ll first consider him as a scholar, then as a sadly symapthetic figure:
Among Latin scholars in Ireland we note the name of James Henry (1796–1876), the gold medallist of Trinity College, Dublin, who practised as a physician till 1845, when he published a verse translation of Aeneid i and ii. After travelling abroad, he produced in 1853 his ‘Notes of a Twelve Year’ Voyage of Discovery in the First Six Books of the Aeneis.’ His personal knowledge of all the best MSS and editions of Virgil is embodied in the four volumes of his larger work, the Aeneidea (1873–1998), which includes many original and valuable contributions to the interpretation of the text.
—Sandys iii. 346
Here are the texts, including the early translation and the later critical editions:
- The Eneis (1845)
- Notes of a Twelve Years’ Voyage (1853)
- Aeneidea: Volume 1 (1873)
- Aeneidea: Volume 2 (1878)
- Aeneidea: Volume 3 (1889)
- Aeneidea: Volume 4 (1889)
And now the sad part:
At age 11 he fell in love with the poetry of Virgil and got into the habit of always carrying a copy of the Aeneid in his left breast-pocket. … He married Anne Jane Patton, from Donegal, and had three daughters, only one of whom, Katherine, born 1830, survived infancy.
. . . . .
When his wife died in Tyrol he continued his work with his daughter, who became quite a Virgil expert in her own right, and crossed the Alps seventeen times. After the death of his daughter in 1872 he returned to Dublin and continued his research at Trinity College, Dublin.
The one constant in his life seemed to the poem, as his infant daughters, his wife, and finally his daughter Katherine died. From boyhood to his own final days he had Virgil as his guide. One wonders if he ever saw himself as Dante and sought consolation in verse.