Symonds, John Addington, 1840-93, English author. Educated at Harrow and Oxford, constant ill health exiled him for the greater part of his life to Italy and Switzerland. His many writings include travel books, Sketches in Italy and Greece (1874) and Italian Byways (1883); literary essays, Introduction to the Study of Dante (1872) and Studies of Greek Poets (1873-76); biographies of Shelley (1878), Sir Philip Sidney (1886), Ben Jonson (1886), and Michelangelo (1893); a masterly translation of the autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini (1888); and several volumes of verse, notably Many Moods (1878) and Animi Figura (1882). Symonds's major work, The Renaissance in Italy (7 vol., 1875-86), is a classic collection of sketches in cultural history.

See biography by P. Grosskurth (1964); study by V. W. Brooks (1914, repr. 1970).

People named Symonds

Places named Symonds

  • Peter Symonds' School (1897-1974) a boys' grammar school in Winchester, Hampshire
  • Peter Symonds College (founded 1974) a coeducational 16-19 college in Winchester, Hampshire
  • Symonds Yat village within the Forest of Dean, England
  • Symonds Yat Rapids grade 2 man-made canoeing facility on the River Wye, England


Symonds is a name with French, English and German origins. It is an alternate spelling of Simmons and can also be spelt as:

  • Simond
  • Simmonds
  • Simond
  • Simons
  • Simmance
  • Simmence
  • Semmens
  • Seamans

The name has two possible meanings:

  1. Derived rom the Biblical name 'Simon' or the Greek form of the Hebrew name Shim'on which meant "hearkening" or "listening."
  2. A variation on the name Seaman, meaning 'navigator' or 'sailor'.


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