John William Mackail (1859 -1945) was a Scottish man of letters and socialist, now best remembered as a Virgil scholar. He was also a poet, literary historian and biographer. He was born in Ascog on the Isle of Bute, Strathclyde. In his early career he worked at the Ministry of Education (1884-1919). He was later Oxford Professor of Poetry (1906-1911), and President of the British Academy (1932-1936). He was a friend of William Morris, and wrote the 1899 official biography. He also published works on Virgil, the Latin poets, the Icelandic sagas, Shakespeare and the sayings of Jesus. He married Margaret Burne-Jones (1866-1953), the only daughter of artist and designer Edward Burne- Jones. They lived in Kensington and later Holland Park. He became a member of the Order of Merit in 1935. He died in London.