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Urquhart, Sir Thomas


Heroes & Famous Scots (U)



Thomas Urquhart was born in Cromarty, in the North of Scotland. He was to become famous for his original translation of Rabelais from French into English. Following studies at King's College, Aberdeen , Urquhart fought for King Charles I against the Covenanters in the year of 1641 and then for Charles II ten years later. He was imprisoned in the bloody Tower of London by the infamous Oliver Cromwell, but during parole, managed to flee to the Continent.
Urquhart tried his hand at writing poetry, but it was undistinguished and unsuccessful. His treatise on trigonometry got the same response, as did his chronology of the Urquharts and his own personal reminiscences.

Sir Thomas Urquhart
He found a suitable medium for his highly eclectic, personal style of writing when he translated the imaginative, idiosyncratic Works of Mr. Francis Rabelais, beginning in the year of 1653. The work is considered a classic of translation, and Urquhart had been lucky in the fact that he had been helped by a Frenchman friend who was holidaying over here. Urquharts work was maybe the most vivid example of seventeenth century English prose. Urquhart gave Rabelais to an eager English-language reading audience, who were hungry for new works to read and enjoy.The picture is of the man who made Thomas Urquhart's life worth while it is Mr. Francis Rabelais.

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