Erskine, John,1509–91, Scottish reformer, called Erskine of Dun. After several years on the Continent he returned to Scotland, where he introduced the study of Greek in Scottish schools. He was the friend and firm supporter of John KnoxKnox, John,
1514?–1572, Scottish religious reformer, founder of Scottish Presbyterianism. Early Career as a Reformer
Little is recorded of his life before 1545. He probably attended St. Andrews Univ.
..... Click the link for more information. and George WishartWishart, George
, 1513?–1546, Scottish religious reformer, Protestant martyr. He was master of a grammar school in Montrose. In 1538 he fled Scotland to escape charges of heresy; he was in England for a short time, then on the Continent.
..... Click the link for more information. . Erskine was a witness at the marriage (1557) of Mary Queen of Scots to Francis II of France and a participant in the coronation (1567) of James VI at Stirling. As a member of a noble family and a person of gracious manner, he was a valuable intermediary between the reforming party and Mary and, later, James. Although a layman, he was several times moderator of the general assembly of the Scottish Reformed Church. In 1578 he took part in compiling the Second Book of Discipline and in 1579 became a member of the king's council.
Erskine, John,1695–1768, Scottish jurist and professor (1737–65) of Scots law in the Univ. of Edinburgh. He is best known for his authoritative Institutes of the Law of Scotland (1754). His Principles of the Law of Scotland was published posthumously in 1773.
Erskine, John,1721?–1803, Scottish theologian. A leader of the evangelical party in the Church of Scotland, he was minister successively at Kirkintilloch, Culross, and New Greyfriars Church, Edinburgh, until, in 1767, he became the colleague of Dr. William Robertson at Old Greyfriars. He corresponded with many representatives of foreign churches, including Jonathan Edwards, whose works he edited and published in Great Britain.
Erskine, John,1879–1951, American educator, author, and musician, b. New York City, grad. Columbia (B.A., 1900; Ph.D., 1903). He taught first at Amherst (1903–9) and then at Columbia, becoming professor of English in 1916. Among his many works on literature and music are The Literary Discipline (1923), The Delight of Great Books (1928), and What Is Music? (1944); he also edited scholarly works and served as coeditor of The Cambridge History of American Literature. He is best known for his delightful, satiric novels based on legend, including The Private Life of Helen of Troy (1925) and Galahad (1926). In his late 40s he began appearing as a concert pianist and from 1928 to 1937 was president of Juilliard.
See his autobiographical The Memory of Certain Persons (1947), My Life as a Writer (1951), and My Life in Music (1950, repr. 1973).
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Erskine, John(1879–1951) educator, novelist, musician; born in New York City. As a youth he showed serious talent as a pianist (studying under Edward MacDowell) but after taking his Ph.D. from Columbia University (1903), he became a professor of English; most of his academic career was at Columbia (1909–37), where his emphasis on studying the classic texts gave rise to the "great books" programs adopted by many educational institutions. As a literary scholar, his editions (1915–22) introduced Lafcadio Hearn's writings to the West and he coedited the Cambridge History of American Literature (1917–21). Another reputation was launched with The Private Life of Helen of Troy (1925), the first of his satirical novels treating legendary individuals in modern settings. He had kept up his interest in music, giving occasional public concerts, and he was active in the new Juilliard School of Music, serving as its president (1928–37). On retiring from Juilliard and Columbia in 1937, he devoted himself to writing critical and historical works and his memoirs.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.