John Mason Good - Encyclopedia

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JOHN MASON GOOD (1764-1827), English writer on medical, religious and classical subjects, was born on the 25th of May 1764 at Epping, Essex. After attending a school at Romsey kept by his father, the Rev. Peter Good, who was a Nonconformist minister, he was, at about the age of fifteen, apprenticed to a surgeon-apothecary at Gosport. In 1783 he went to London to prosecute his medical studies, and in the autumn of 1784 he began to practise as a surgeon at Sudbury in Suffolk. In 1793 he removed to London, where he entered into partnership with a surgeon and apothecary. But the partnership was soon dissolved, and to increase his income he began to devote attention to literary pursuits. Besides contributing both in prose and verse to the Analytical and Critical Reviews and the British and Monthly Magazines, and other periodicals, he wrote a large number of works relating chiefly to medical and religious subjects. In 1794 he became a member of the British Pharmaceutical Society, and in that connexion, and especially by the publication of his work, A History of Medicine (1795), he did much to effect a greatly needed reform in the profession of the apothecary. In 1820 he took the diploma of M.D. at Marischal College, Aberdeen. He died at Shepperton, Middlesex, on the 2nd of January 1827. Good was not only well versed in classical literature, but was acquainted with the principal European languages, and also with Persian, Arabic and Hebrew. His prose works display wide erudition; but their style is dull and tedious. His poetry never rises above pleasant and well-versified commonplace. His translation of Lucretius, The Nature of Things (1805-1807), contains elaborate philological and explanatory notes, together with parallel passages and quotations from European and Asiatic authors.

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