1867 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Anster

Anonymous, Obituary in Gentleman's Magazine (August 1867) 250.



June 9. At Dublin, aged 73, Professor John Anster, LL.D.

The deceased was the eldest son of the late John Anster, Esq. of Charleville, co. Cork, where he was born in 1793. He received his University education at Trinity College Dublin, where he obtained a scholarship in 1814, and took the degree of Doctor of Laws in 1825. He was called to the Irish bar in Easter Term, 1821, and for several years went the Munster circuit; he was appointed registrar of the High Court of Admiralty in Ireland in 1837, which office he held until his death. He was elected Regius Professor of Civil Law in Trinity Coll. Dublin, in 1850. Dr. Anster, in 1819, obtained a prize, offered by Trinity Coll. for a poem on the death of the Princess Charlotte; and in the same year published a small volume of poems, comprising the prize ode, together with a number of short pieces, original and translated. In 1820 Dr. Anster translated some extracts from Goethe's Faust, which appeared in Blackwood's Magazine, and were the first rendering of any part of that poem into English. In 1835 the complete translation of the first part of Faust appeared, followed in 1837 by a volume entitled Xeniola, containing translations from Schiller and De La Motte Fouque. The translation of the first part of Faust has been for many years out of print in England; but in 1864 the second part was completed and published. Dr. Anster's translation has been accepted in Germany as the standard English translation of Goethe, and the first part has been twice reprinted there. At the time of his death he was engaged in preparing a third German reprint, to be published by Baron Tauchnitz, of Leipsic. In 1839 he published an Introductory Lecture on the Study of the Civil Law. As a proof of the estimation in which his work is held in Germany it may be mentioned that, since his death, an address has been presented to Dr. Anster's widow by a number of Germans resident in Ireland, distinguished for their literary position, who, while expressing their sympathy with Mrs. Anster, have desired "to place on record their profound sense of the important services rendered by Dr. Anster as an eminent scholar and poet in the promotion of German literature in this country." In addition to those works which bear his name, Dr. Anster was the author of many contributions to the Dublin University Magazine, North British Review, and other literary periodicals.

The late Dr. Anster married, in 1832, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of William Blacker Bennett, Esq., of Castle Crea, co. Limerick, by whom he has left two sons and three daughters.

The deceased was buried at Drumcondra, near Dublin, in the presence of a numerous and highly distinguished assembly of friends.