The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume XIV. The Victorian Age, Part Two.

VIII. The Literature of Science

§ 10. H. J. S. Smith

Henry John Stephen Smith, who was educated at the sister university of Oxford, will be long remembered for his work on the theory of numbers, especially on linear determinate equations, and the orders and genera of ternary quadratic forms. He was a graceful lecturer and writer; but, while the value of his researches was recognised, he founded no school. His paper on the representation of numbers by sums of four, six, eight, five and seven squares was the occasion of a curious incident, which illustrates, incidentally, the widespread ignorance of his work. Fourteen years after it had been published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, the problem, for the single case of five squares, was proposed by the French Academy as a subject for its grand prize, open to the world. The problem had, in fact, years before, been completely solved by Smith, who, to secure the reward, had only to write out his demonstration for the special case proposed.