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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing) 539 1 Browse Search
Cambridge History of American Literature: volume 3 (ed. Trent, William Peterfield, 1862-1939., Erskine, John, 1879-1951., Sherman, Stuart Pratt, 1881-1926., Van Doren, Carl, 1885-1950.) 88 0 Browse Search
Cambridge History of American Literature: volume 1, Colonial and Revolutionary Literature: Early National Literature: Part I (ed. Trent, William Peterfield, 1862-1939., Erskine, John, 1879-1951., Sherman, Stuart Pratt, 1881-1926., Van Doren, Carl, 1885-1950.) 58 0 Browse Search
C. Edwards Lester, Life and public services of Charles Sumner: Born Jan. 6, 1811. Died March 11, 1874. 54 0 Browse Search
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Women and Men 54 0 Browse Search
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Book and heart: essays on literature and life 44 0 Browse Search
Adam Badeau, Grant in peace: from Appomattox to Mount McGregor, a personal memoir 39 1 Browse Search
George Bancroft, History of the United States from the Discovery of the American Continent, Vol. 7, 4th edition. 38 0 Browse Search
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The new world and the new book 38 0 Browse Search
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 2 36 0 Browse Search
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Browsing named entities in Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Book and heart: essays on literature and life. You can also browse the collection for Americans or search for Americans in all documents.

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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Book and heart: essays on literature and life, Chapter 6: Lowell's closing years in Cambridge (search)
which Lowell was always ready to praise, and his presentation copy of which he bequeathed expressly to the Cambridge Public Library. They show, as does this magazine paper, those especial qualities of trained style which have been familiar to Americans for so many years in the great English weeklies; the clearness, the terseness, the practised ease of execution, the level quality of excellence, as if one remarkably clever man wrote them all. This makes it the more worth while to take exceptiocked and was resumed. It was not, in short, a case of tardy, but of interrupted development. That he gained vastly in the power of self-repression and of mutual deference by going to London is unquestionable. It is the best thing taught to Americans by the admirable discipline of the dinner-tables of that city, that we unlearn the habit of monologue. No one needed this more than Lowell, except perhaps Holmes; the two had sat at opposite ends of the table so long, during the early dinners
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Book and heart: essays on literature and life, Chapter 8: local fiction (search)
ed respectively by Sarah Orne Jewett, Mary Wilkins, and Alice Brown. Miss Jewett will find in hers an element of higher breeding and more refined living. Her people will be more influenced by sentiment, perhaps sometimes too much so. Miss Wilkins's people will be wonders of keen delineation, but their life will be grim-sometimes too grim. Undoubtedly the whole life of New England seems to all English readers much more stern and sombre than it is, because of her delineations; just as all Americans form a highly exaggerated impression of the good looks of the English people because of Du Maurier's pictures in Punch. The latest New England story-teller, Miss Alice Brown, is in a fair way to rank as the best of the three, because the widest, mellowest, and most genial. Her tales smack of the soil in the last degree, and yet leave an impression of wholesome enjoyment of life. In fact, one of her favorite adverbs is happily --Miss Lucinda went happily along. Probably all these auth
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Book and heart: essays on literature and life, Chapter 16: Anglomania and Anglophobia (search)
land; but whence comes this vague and widely spread dislike of her? Why is it that our naval officers tell us that they fraternize more cordially in foreign ports with French or Russian naval officers than with English? Why is it that if sane Americans could soberly contemplate the prospect of a war with any nation on earth, there is no question that a war with England would be more popular than any other, in almost all parts of the United States? Undoubtedly there are many causes. There ses; after immediate blood-relationship, the relationship of the soul is the only important thing; and this one has far more with the French, Italians, or Germans than with the Americans. Letters, I., 182. Very well, if this be so, why should Americans not accept the situation, and fraternize more readily with the French, the Italians, or the Germans than with the English? And if it be said that though kindred may quarrel yet an emergency commonly reunites them, it must be remembered that
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Book and heart: essays on literature and life, Chapter 17: English and American gentlemen (search)
ses as the humble minstrel for whom it is honor enough to sit in the doorway of his liege and amuse that august leisure. That this attitude was not inevitable we know by the very different tone of Burns; but the facility with which Scott fell into it shows the strength of the feudal tradition; while the attitude of Trollope and Besant shows that it still survives. But Scott's letters are of especial value for this: that they absolutely defeat the theory held by many Englishmen and some Americans as to the close resemblance between an aristocracy of birth and one of wealth. No one can read these letters of Scott's and imagine for an instant an American man of genius as writing in the same tone to any merely rich man. He might write more beseechingly when he had favors to ask, he might use more direct flattery; but the feudal flavor would not be there, nor would it be possible to put it on. It would not, like Scott's tone, be spontaneous, unaffected, and in that point of view almos
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Book and heart: essays on literature and life, Chapter 18: the future of polite society (search)
cond husband a professional musician, Signor Piozzi, all London society thought that she had degraded herself; whereas, when she went to Italy, her husband's musical relatives wondered that she could ever, even in youth, have stooped so low as to marry a brewer. It was a period when in society, described by Miss Berry from girlish recollection, authors, actors, composers, singers, musicians were all equally considered as profligate vagrants. Thus various are the habits of nations. With Americans, again, the brewer sinks in comparative standing, and the musician rises. Once accept the fiction of hereditary nobility, and it leads you to extend its traditions over all your circle. The first effort of acquired wealth is to supply itself with a coat of arms — to sail, that is, under the flag of the old families. A Scotch antiquarian, Ferne, writing The Blaen of Gentry in 1586, carrying the process a little further, affirms that the Twelve Apostles of Christianity, although apparentl
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Book and heart: essays on literature and life, Chapter 20: classes and masses (search)
of wealth and that of birth. Hereditary aristocracy is simply a skilful device for perpetuating the prestige of wealth; it is a longer investment, a securer mortgage, the structure being built in stone instead of wood. The rich man in this country knows that if his son loses his wealth he loses everything; the rich man in England knows that his descendants, once ennobled, can hold their own in spite of poverty, folly, and even vice. This is a very poor result for the community, as most Americans would agree, but it is a great convenience for the family immediately concerned. Nothing works better in American life than the promptness with which the degenerate scions of honored parents drop out of sight; in England they simply marry a fortune and retain their power. As one result, most people in England, even radical reformers, have acquired the habit of cringing more or less before hereditary rank. In America there is more or less jealousy of wealth, but very little cringing. It
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Book and heart: essays on literature and life, Chapter 21: international marriages (search)
urely in spite of poverty, or even of crime. This is a clew to much of the charm possessed by hereditary rank for rich Americans; and the repeated instances of misery which have followed its pursuit always leave room for a hope that the next experi English soil, by hearing himself called Me Lud. It is very striking to see the unanimity with which highly cultivated Americans-Sumner, Ticknor, Motley, Hawthorne, Lowell-have expressed in their diaries or letters an American reaction against thesre worth what they cost to the whole community simply as public parks or pleasure-grounds, then there is no reason why Americans, who certainly enjoy them even more than Europeans, should not contribute their share-beyond the entering sixpence — tonheim was sold at auction to pay the debts of a spendthrift. It must always be remembered that individual wealth among Americans is greater in proportion than European wealth, because the latter is almost always encumbered with the necessity of kee
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Book and heart: essays on literature and life, Chapter 22: more mingled races (search)
s, told me that in one respect it brought a distinct moral improvement: the ignorant Irish girls were more uniformly chaste than the Protestant farmers' daughters whom they superseded. Now the French Canadians have replaced the Irish; but a Protestant physician of great experience, whose practice included several large manufacturing villages, almost wholly French, told me that he had never known an illegitimate birth to occur there. At the old North end of Boston, where Irish superseded Americans, and have now given place to Italians and Russian Jews, a city missionary has testified to a moral improvement from the change; the Italians, though quarrelsome, are temperate, and he says that he never saw a Jew intoxicated. No doubt the prisons show a larger proportion of foreigners than of natives, because the foreigners represent the poorer class and the less befriended class. But the eminent scoundrels, who are rich and shrewd enough to keep out of prison, are rarely foreigners; the
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Book and heart: essays on literature and life, Chapter 27: the antidote to money (search)
Chapter 27: the antidote to money One can hardly read the letters from Europe describing fashionable society without discovering that it is perfectly possible for Americans, even those who have been regarded at home as rather vulgar and pushing, to get at least far enough in the English circles of fashion to see and describe the grandest functions. How the knowledge is obtained is not the question. Like the snubbed man of the world in the inimitable Dolly Dialogues, these witnesses may at least claim that if they do not meet Lord Mickleham socially they know his valet. Even in the smaller field of America it is known that old John, the black head-waiter at the Ocean House, in Newport, used to furnish regular material for certain lady journalists by his hints of conversations overheard, reminiscences of family history, and even descriptions of dress. In a more highly developed fashionable life in England, John appears in the form of some impoverished cousin of a countess, or
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Book and heart: essays on literature and life, Chapter 28: the really interesting people (search)
Chapter 28: the really interesting people A newly arrived English authoress, sitting beside an American author at the dinner-table a few years since, looked up and said to him with the cheerful frankness of her nation, Isn't it a pity, don't you think, that all the really interesting Americans are dead? It was not, perhaps, a very encouraging inducement for a surviving American to make himself interesting; and probably the talk which followed became a series of obituaries. As a matter of fact, it always seems as if the interesting people had just passed away, as in any town it always seems as if the really fine trees had lately died or had been cut down. But, as Goethe remarked, the old trees must fall in order to give the younger growth a chance; and it would be wiser to say that the really interesting people are always those who survive. The younger they are, indeed, the more interesting. The older ones have been gauged and measured; they may yet, while they live, do som
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