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William (Bill) Auld


1924 - 2006

Leading Esperanto poet, author and translator. Born in Kent (England) of Scottish parents, the family returned to Glasgow when Auld was nine and he was educated at Alan Glen's School in the city. He began studying Esperanto while still at school and was soon writing poetry. Following service in the Royal Air Force during World War II, he read English at the University of Glasgow, and trained as a teacher. In 1960, he accepted a teaching position in Alloa, where he was to remain for the rest of his career. He and his wife settled in Dollar. His prodigious output included essays, textbooks, translations and running literary periodicals, and included the much-praised long poem La Infana Raso (1956) and a remarkable translation of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings (1995). Described as "the best translator of Esperanto in the World" he also translated works by Shakespeare and Burns.

A modest and unassuming man, his output was largely ignored by the literary establishment. However, in 1999, he was the first Esperantist to be nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature. This was followed by two further nominations in 2004 and 2006.

The National Library of Scotland holds his library, an internationally-important resource for Esperanto studies comprising some 4000 items, donated by Auld in 2000.


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