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John Oxenford

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Published : 19 Articles
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Oxenford, John I Oxenford l, 1812–1877, dramatist, translator, critic. Almost entirely self-educated; articled to solicitor; turned to writing. Contributed to Punch, Ainsworth's, lllus. London News, Westm. Rev., Cornhill, Macmillan's, and other periodicals; also to Knight's Penny Cyclopaedia and George Cruikshank's Table-Book. Reviewer of German works for Athenaeum; dramatic critic for almost thirty years for The Times. Wrote some ninety pieces for the stage – farces, comedies, serio-comic dramas, libretti – some of them original pieces, others translations or adaptations. Noted for his scholarly translations from Spanish, Italian, French, and German literature, as from Calderón, Boiardo, Molière, Goethe. 


      Oxenford was acquainted with Dickens. One of his pieces for the stage was an adaptation (1868) of Oliver Twist (Fitz-Gerald, Dickens and the Drama, p. 108). 
      Dickens supplied the title for Oxenford's "Receipt of Fern-Seed" [VII, 138–39. April 9, 1853] which had originally been titled "Vegetable Miracles"; he liked Oxenford's "Touching the Lord Hamlet" [XVI, 372–76. Oct. 17, 1857] (to Wills, March 10, 1853; Sept. 26, 1857). The latter contribution obviously motivated Heraud's article "Re-Touching the Lord Hamlet," Dec. 5, 1857. Oxenford wrote also for A.Y.R.
      In the Office Book, Oxenford is recorded as author of "A Last Emotion"; his name is marked out and substituted by that of Dixon.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       D.N.B

Author: Anne Lohrli; © University of Toronto Press, 1971

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

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