William Sotheby

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William Sotheby FRS (9 Nov 1757 - 30 Dec 1833) was an English poet and translator.

He was born into a wealthy London family, the son of William and Elizabeth (née Sloan) Sotheby, and was educated at Harrow School and the Military Academy, Angers, France before joining the army at 17. where he served until 1780.

He then published a few dramas and books of poems, which had limited success; his reputation rests upon his translations of the Oberon of Wieland, the Georgics of Virgil, and the Iliad and Odyssey by Homer. The last two were begun when he was over 70, but he lived to complete them. His Georgics is considered one of the best translations from the classics in the English language.

He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in November 1794.

He died in London in 1833 and was buried in Hackney churchyard.


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