James Kenneth Stephen

(25 February 1859 – 3 February 1892 / England)

James Kenneth Stephen
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James Kenneth Stephen was an English poet, and tutor to Prince Albert Victor, eldest son of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales.

Early Life

Stephen was the second son of Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, barrister-at-law, and his wife Mary Richenda Cunningham. James Kenneth Stephen was known as 'Jem' among his family and close friends; he was first-cousin to Virginia Woolf (née Stephen).

He was a King's Scholar at Eton, where he proved to be a highly competent player of the Eton Wall Game; and then went up to King's College, Cambridge, again as a King's Scholar. In the Michaelmas term of 1880, he was President of the Cambridge Union Society. In 1883 he became tutor to ... more »

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Best Poem of James Kenneth Stephen

My Education

At school I sometimes read a book,
And learned a lot of lessons;
Some small amount of pains I took,
And showed much acquiescence
In what my masters said, good men!
Yet after all I quite
Forgot the most of it: but then
I learned to write.

At Lincoln's Inn I'd read a brief,
Abstract a title, study
Great paper-piles, beyond belief
Inelegant and muddy:
The whole of these as time went by
I soon forgot: indeed
I tried to: yes: but by and by
I learned to read.

By help of Latin, Greek and Law
I now can write and read too:
Then perish each ...

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