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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Sir John Bowring (1792–1872)

Bowring, Sir John. An English linguist, author, and diplomat; born in Exeter, Oct. 17, 1792; died there, Nov. 23, 1872. He was a great traveler and a close student; and boasted that he knew 200 languages and could speak 100. In 1825 he became editor of the Westminster Review, in which he advocated Free Trade by repeal of the Corn Laws in advance of Bright and Cobden. He was a Member of Parliament in 1835–37 and 1841–47; was appointed on various commissions, to France, Switzerland, Italy, Syria, etc. In 1849 he was British consul at Hong-Kong, where he became governor in 1853. In 1855 he concluded a treaty with Siam; he was knighted in 1854. He rendered great service to English literature by translating the popular poems and folk-songs of various nations. Among his works are: ‘Specimens of the Russian Poets’ (London, 1821–23); ‘Ancient Poetry and Romances of Spain’ (1824); ‘Specimens of the Polish Poets’ (1827); ‘Servian Popular Poetry’ (1827); ‘Poetry of the Magyars’ (1830); ‘Cheskian Anthology’ (1832); ‘The Flowery Scroll: a Chinese Novel’ (1868); ‘The Oak: Original Tales and Sketches’ (1869); and two important volumes of travel: ‘The Kingdom and People of Siam’ (1857), and ‘A Visit to the Philippine Islands’ (1859). He edited with a biography (22 vols., London, 1838) the works of Jeremy Bentham, of whom he was a disciple and admirer; and wrote a number of books on political and social topics, and also hymns and poems. (See Critical and Biographical Introduction).