John Hoole

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Profile by George Dance

John Hoole (December 1727 – 2 August 1803) was an English translator, the son of Samuel Hoole and Sarah Drury. He was born in London, and worked in India House (1744–83), of which he rose to be principal auditor. In 1757 he married Susannah Smith and they had a son, Reverend Samuel Hoole.


Hoole translated Torquato Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered (1763), and Ariosto's Orlando Furioso (1773–83), as well as other works from the Italian. He was also the author of Cleonice, a Tragedy and two other dramas, which failed.

Samuel Johnson was a personal friend of Hoole, who wrote an account of Johnson's final days in the European Magazine of 1799.[1] Robert Southey recalled that Hoole's Jerusalem Delivered was "the first book he ever possessed," apart from a set of sixpenny children's books.[2] Hoole was a genial character, but as a translator he was described not unfairly by Sir Walter Scott as "a noble transmuter of gold into lead."[3]

David Barclay of Youngsbury turned to Hoole to write the biography of his friend John Scott of Amwell, when Johnson, his first choice, died before being able to undertake the work.[4][5]


  •  [ "Hoole, John" ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  1. [1]. Accessed May 19, 2010.
  2. The Early Diary of Frances Burney 1768-1778. Edited by Annie Raine Ellis (London: G. Bell and Sons Ltd., 1913 [1889]), p. 308n.
  3. Scott, Walter. The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, From the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford. Edinburgh: D. Douglas, 1891, p. 204. Accessed August 26, 2007.
  4. David Perman, Scott of Amwell: Dr. Johnson's Quaker Critic, pp. 15–7
  5. Spenserians, John Hoole, An Account of the Life and Writings of John Scott, Esq., Scott, Critical Essays (1785) i-lxxxix.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainCousin, John William (1910). A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature. London: J. M. Dent & Sons. Wikisource