John Gibson Lockhart

Scottish writer and editor (1794-1854)

John Gibson Lockhart (July 12, 1794November 25, 1854) was a Scottish biographer, literary critic, novelist and journalist, best known for his biography of his father-in-law, Walter Scott.

John Gibson Lockhart


  • It is strange that no one seems to think it at all necessary to say a single word about another new school of poetry which has of late sprung up among us. This school has not, I believe, as yet received any name; but if I may be permitted to have the honour of christening it, it may henceforth be referred to by the designation of The Cockney School.
    • Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, October 1817, p. 38.
  • It is a better and a wiser thing to be a starved apothecary than a starved poet; so back to the shop Mr. John, back to "plasters, pills, and ointment boxes," &c. But, for Heaven's sake, young Sangrado, be a little more sparing of extenuatives and soporifics in your practice than you have been in your poetry.
    • Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, August 1818, p. 524.
    • Reviewing Endymion.
  • It is an old belief
    That on some solemn shore
    Beyond the sphere of grief
    Dear friends shall meet once more.
  • Barring drink and the girls, I ne'er heard of a sin –
    Many worse, better few, than bright, broken Maginn.
    • "Here, early to bed, lies kind William Maginn" (1842), line 19; cited from R. Shelton Mackenzie (ed.) The Fraserian Papers of the Late William Maginn (New York: Redfield, 1857) p. cviii.
  • Here lies the peerless paper lord, Lord Peter,
    Who broke the laws of God and man, and metre.
    • Epitaph on Patrick ("Peter"), Lord Robertson (1845); cited from Mary Gordon "Christopher North": A Memoir of John Wilson (New York: W. J. Widdleton, 1863) p. 286.


  • Lockhart's Life of Walter Scott may be said to be the most admirable biography in the English language, after Boswell's Samuel Johnson.
    • Joseph Collins The Doctor Looks at Biography (New York: George H. Doran, 1925) p. 25.
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