[John William Donaldson, philologist, classicist, and biblical scholar.] Autograph Memorandum, signed 'J. W. Donaldson', giving four 'reasons' why 'Hercules was the husband & not the purchased slave of Omphale'.

J. W. Donaldson [John William Donaldson] (1811-1861), philologist., classicist and biblical scholar [Sir Thomas Gery Cullum (1777-1855) of Hardwick House and his wife Lady Ann Cullum (1807-1875)]
Publication details: 
No place [King Edward's School, Bury St Edmunds]. 2 April 1844.
SKU: 22397

See Donaldson's entry in the Oxford DNB, which states that he was 'greatly beloved by his friends, who included N. C. Thirlwall and W. H. Thompson. The diarist Henry Crabb Robinson spoke enthusiastically of the charm of his conversation.' 3pp, 16mo. Bifolium. In good condition, lightly aged, with minor traces of mount adhering to blank reverse of second leaf. No salutation or valediction, and the recipient is not named, but the item derives from the papers of Sir Thomas Gery Cullum and his wife Lady Anne Cullum, of Hardwick House. Donaldson was headmaster at nearby King Edward's School, Bury St Edmunds, between 1841 and 1855. (The ODNB states that he was 'active in the cultural life of Bury St Edmunds, where he greatly improved the Athenaeum'.) The document simply begins: 'That Hercules was the husband & not the purchased slave of Omphale appears from the following reasons.' Four numbered 'reasons' follow, covering twenty-four lines. The last reads: '(4) The spirit of the fable or allegory presumes that Hercules was the husand of Omphale – i.e. that Strength allied itself to Beauty, & yielded to the gentle influence of the fair sex: this is the view taken by Propertius, II, 9 (11), 17.' At the end he signs: 'J. W. Donaldson | 2 April 1844.'