North American Scholar

HUTTON, James

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1902-11-30
  • Born City: Airth, Stirlingshire
  • Born State/Country: Scotland
  • Parents: John & Elizabeth Arthur H.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1980-10-29
  • Death City: Ithaca
  • Death State/Country: NY
  • Education:

    A.B. Cornell, 1924; A.M., 1925; Ph.D., 1927.

  • Professional Experience:

    Instr. Gk. & Lat. Columbia, 1926-27; instr. to prof, class. Cornell, 1927-61; Kappa Alpha prof, class., 1961-8; chair, dept. class., 1946-52; Guggenheim fell., 1958-9.

  • Dissertation:

    “The Influence of the Greek Anthology” (Cornell, 1927).

  • Publications:

    “The First Idyl of Moschus in Imitations to the Year 1800,” AJP 49 (1928) 105-36; The Greek Anthology in Italy (Ithaca, NY, 1935); The Greek Anthology in France and in the Latin Writers of the Netherlands to the Year 1800 (Ithaca, NY, 1946; repr. New York, 1967); “Spenser's 'Adamantine Chains': A Cosmological Metaphor,” Studies Caplan, 572-94; Essays on Renaissance Poetry, ed. with Rita Guerlac (Ithaca, NY, & London, 1980); Aristotle's Poetics (trans.) (New York & London, 1982); Themes of Peace in Renaissance Poetry, ed. with Rita Guerlac (Ithaca, NY & London, 1984).Festschrift: Poetry and Poetics from Ancient Greece to the Renaissance. Studies in Honor of James Hutton, ed. G. M. Kirkwood (Ithaca, NY & London, 1975).

  • Notes:

    James Hutton published two monumental studies of the influence of the Greek Anthology on subsequent European poetry, works impressive no less for the acumen and sensitivity of their criticism than for their remarkable thoroughness. These two volumes, completed rather early in Hutton's career, secured him a place of eminence among historians and critics of European literature. Thereafter, until near the close of his life, his published work took the form of a series of erudite and polished essays, in numerous journals, on topics relevant to Renaissance poetry and its classical background. In his last year several of these papers, along with three previously unpublished studies, were issued in a volume entitled Essays on Renaissance Poetry, a volume that well illustrates Hutton's many-sided learning, his elegance of style, his wit, and his sensitivity in the criticism of poetry.A man of retiring disposition, and little inclined, especially in his later years, to leave his Ithaca residence except to visit his beloved farm in nearby North Lansing, NY, with its spacious and handsome early 19th-century house, Hutton had nevertheless a wide circle of devoted friends who delighted in his gentle but pointed wittiness as well as his vast but unassuming erudition. He kept up an active correspondence with a number of friends and admirers, among them some of the most eminent humanists of North America and Europe.

  • Sources:

    Friedrich Solmsen, Gnomon 53 (1981) 98-9; WhAm 7:292-3.

  • Author: Gordon Kirkwood