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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, John Greenleaf Whittier 327 1 Browse Search
Bliss Perry, The American spirit in lierature: a chronicle of great interpreters 86 0 Browse Search
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Walcott Boynton, Reader's History of American Literature 82 0 Browse Search
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing) 44 0 Browse Search
Charles E. Stowe, Harriet Beecher Stowe compiled from her letters and journals by her son Charles Edward Stowe 42 0 Browse Search
Cambridge History of American Literature: volume 2 (ed. Trent, William Peterfield, 1862-1939., Erskine, John, 1879-1951., Sherman, Stuart Pratt, 1881-1926., Van Doren, Carl, 1885-1950.) 38 0 Browse Search
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 38 0 Browse Search
Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life 36 0 Browse Search
Archibald H. Grimke, William Lloyd Garrison the Abolitionist 32 0 Browse Search
Lydia Maria Child, Letters of Lydia Maria Child (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier, Wendell Phillips, Harriet Winslow Sewall) 32 0 Browse Search
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indubitably as if he had defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. It gave him the Presidency. The analogy holds in literature. Certain expressions of American sentiment or conviction have served to summarize or to clarify the spirit of the nation. The authors of these productions have frequently won the recognition and affection of their contemporaries by means of prose and verse quite unsuited to sustain the test of severe critical standards. Neither Longfellow's Excelsior nor Poe's Bells nor Whittier's Maud Muller is among the best poems of the three writers in question, yet there was something in each of these productions which caught the fancy of a whole American generation. It expressed one phase of the national mind in a given historical period. The historian of literature is bound to take account of this question of literary vogue, as it is highly significant of the temper of successive generations in any country. But it is of peculiar interest to the student of the literatur
Bliss Perry, The American spirit in lierature: a chronicle of great interpreters, Chapter 3: the third and fourth generation (search)
he Magnalia Christi Americana, treating the history of New England from 1620 to 1698, was published in a tall London folio of nearly 800 pages in 1702. It is divided into seven books, and proceeds, by methods entirely unique, to tell of Pilgrim and Puritan divines and governors, of Harvard College, of the churches of New England, of marvelous events, of Indian wars; and in general to justify, as only a member of the Mather dynasty could justify, the ways of God to Boston men. Hawthorne and Whittier, Longfellow and Lowell knew this book well and found much honey in the vast carcass. To have had four such readers and a biographer like Barrett Wendell must be gratifying to Cotton Mather in Paradise. The Diary of Mather's fellow-townsman Judge Samuel Sewall has been read more generally in recent years than anything written by Mather himself. It was begun in 1673, nine years earlier than the first entry in Mather's Diary, and it ends in 1729, while Mather's closes in 1724. As a pictu
cribed so captivatingly in his chapter entitled What is an American--was ending tragically in civil war. Another whitesouled itinerant of that day was John Woolman of New Jersey, whose Journal, praised by Charles Lamb and Channing and edited by Whittier, is finding more readers in the twentieth century than it won in the nineteenth. A man unlettered, said Whittier, but with natural refinement and delicate sense of fitness, the purity of whose heart enters into his language. Woolman died at fifWhittier, but with natural refinement and delicate sense of fitness, the purity of whose heart enters into his language. Woolman died at fifty-two in far-away York, England, whither he had gone to attend a meeting of the Society of Friends. The three tall volumes of the Princeton edition of the poems of Philip Freneau bear the sub-title, Poet of the American Revolution. But our Revolution, in truth, never had an adequate poet. The prose-men, such as Jefferson, rose nearer the height of the great argument than did the men of rhyme. Here and there the struggle inspired a brisk ballad like Francis Hopkinson's Battle of the Kegs,
Bliss Perry, The American spirit in lierature: a chronicle of great interpreters, Chapter 5: the Knickerbocker group (search)
land. For by 1826 Hawthorne and Longfellow were out of college and were trying to learn to write. Ticknor, Prescott, and Bancroft, somewhat older men, were settling to their great tasks. Emerson was entering upon his duties as a minister. Edgar Allan Poe, at that University of Virginia which Jefferson had just founded, was doubtless revising Tamerlane and other poems which he was to publish in Boston in the following year. Holmes was a Harvard undergraduate. Garrison had just printed Whittier's first published poem in the Newburyport Free Press. Walt Whitman was a barefooted boy on Long Island, and Lowell, likewise seven years of age, was watching the birds in the treetops of Elmwood. But it was Washington Irving who showed all of these men that nineteenth century England would be interested in American books. The very word Knickerbocker is one evidence of the vitality of Irving's happy imaginings. In 1809 he had invented a mythical Dutch historian of New York named Diedri
Bliss Perry, The American spirit in lierature: a chronicle of great interpreters, Chapter 7: romance, poetry, and history (search)
to patronize Longfellow assume toward John Greenleaf Whittier an air of deference. This attitude w so much resembled Cooper's LeatherStocking. Whittier knew that his friend Longfellow was a better cism visited upon the active Abolitionists. Whittier entered the fight with absolute courage and wand image of country and the human. race. Whittier had now found himself as a poet. It is true t bits of foreign lore and fancy. For though Whittier never went abroad, his quiet life at Amesbury the unerring rightness of feeling with which Whittier's genius recreated his own lost youth and paior all time a true New England hearthside. Whittier was still to write nearly two hundred more pout we have never bred a more genuine man than Whittier, nor one who had more kinship with the saints. A few days before Whittier's death, he wrote an affectionate poem in celebration of the eightyt stories of Hawthorne, the political verse of Whittier and Lowell, presupposed a keen, reflecting au[5 more...]
r, Walter — was four, the family moved to Brooklyn. The boy had scanty schooling, and by the time he was twenty had tried type-setting, teaching, and editing a country newspaper on Long Island. He was a big, dark-haired fellow, sensitive, emotional, extraordinarily impressible. The next sixteen years were full of happy vagrancy. At twenty-two he was editing a paper in New York, and furnishing short stories to the Democratic review, a literary journal which numbered Bryant, Longfellow, Whittier, Poe, Hawthorne, and Thoreau among its contributors. He wrote a novel on temperance, mostly in the reading-room of Tammany Hall, and tried here and there an experiment in free verse. He was in love with the pavements of New York and the Brooklyn ferry-boats, in love with Italian opera and with long tramps over Long Island. He left his position on The Brooklyn Eagle and wandered south to New Orleans. By and by he drifted back 199 to New York, tried lecturing, worked at the carpenter's t
arch for the preservation of the status quo, for the avoidance of mutual recrimination between North and South, for obedience to the law of the land. It was his supreme effort to reconcile an irreconcilable situation. It failed, as we know. Whittier, Emerson, Theodore Parker, and indeed most of the voters of New England, believed that Webster had bartered his private convictions in the hope of securing the Presidential nomination in 1852. They assailed him savagely, and Webster died, a brossue itself. Any collection of American political verse produced during this period exhibits spirited and sincere writing, but the combination of mature literary art and impressive general ideas is comparatively rare. There are single poems of Whittier, Lowell, and Whitman which meet every test of effective political and social verse, but the main body of poetry, both sectional and national, written during the thirty years ending with 1865 lacks breadth, power, imaginative daring. The contine
hroughout the Republic to which he was ever an alien. No poet of the new era has won the national recognition enjoyed by the veterans. It will be recalled that Bryant survived until 1878, Longfellow and Emerson until 1882, Lowell until 1891, Whittier and Whitman until 1892, and Holmes until 1894. Compared with these men the younger writers of verse seemed overmatched. The National Ode for the Centennial celebration in 1876 was intrusted to Bayard Taylor, a hearty person, author of capital glow his verse sometimes refused to sing. The most perfect poetic craftsman of the period --and, many think, our one faultless worker in verse — was Thomas Bailey Aldrich. His first volume of juvenile verse had appeared in 1855, the year of Whittier's Barefoot boy and Whitman's Leaves of Grass. By 1865 his poems were printed in the then well-known Blue and Gold edition, by Ticknor and Fields. In 1881 he succeeded Howells in the editorship of the Atlantic. Aldrich had a versatile talent t
e, Life by M. D. Conway, 2 volumes (1892), Works edited by Conway, 4 volumes (1895), Philip Freneau, Poems, 3 volumes (Princeton edition, 1902), Thomas Jefferson, Works edited by P. L. Ford, 10 volumes (1892-1898), J. Woolman, Journal (edited by Whittier, 1871, and also in Everyman's Library), the Federalist (edited by H. C. Lodge, 1888). Chapter 5. Washington Irving, Works, 40 volumes (1891-1897), also his Life and letters by P. M. Irving, 4 volumes (1862-1864). Fenimore Cooper, Works, 32 Swift, Brook Farm (1900), and The Dial, reprint by the Rowfant Club (1902). Chapter 7. Hawthorne, Works, 12 volumes (1882), Life by G. E. Woodberry (1902). Longfellow, Works, 11 volumes (1886), Life by Samuel Longfellow, 3 volumes (1891). Whittier, Works, 7 volumes (1892), Life by S. T. Pickard, 2 volumes (1894). Holmes, Works, 13 volumes (1892), Life by J. T. Morse, Jr. (1896). Lowell, Works, 11 volumes (1890), Life by Ferris Greenslet (1905), Letters edited by C. E. Norton, 2 volumes (1
ly American, 265 Cobbler Keezar's vision, Whittier 161 Cody, W. F. (Buffalo Bill), 243 Colth century, 262-63 Eternal Goodness, the, Whittier 161 Ethan Brand, Hawthorne 134 Evangelineior, Longfellow 5-6, 156 Exiles' Departure, Whittier 159 Fablefor critics, Lowell 170 Fall of 46-47 Mather, Increase, 43 Maud Muller, Whittier 5-6 Memorial Odes, Lowell 172 Miller, C. 156 My Mark Twain, Howells 251 My Psalm, Whittier 160 My study windows, Lowell 170 Mysteriollow 156 Ramona, Jackson 248 Ramoth Hill, Whittier 138 Raven, the, Poe 192 Read, T. B., 225 book, Irving 89, 91 Skipper Ireson's Ride, Whittier 161 Slavery, influence on literature, 207 er tales, the, Hawthorne 145 Songs of labor, Whittier 161 South Carolina in 1724, 44 South, T 89 Taylor, Bayard, 255 Telling the Bees, Whittier 158 Tennessee's partner, Harte 242 Thaneq., 218; bibliography, 270-71 Tritemius, Whittier 161 True Relation, Smith 8-10, 25-26 True[6 more...]