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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Carlyle's laugh and other surprises, chapter 23 (search)
y. Frederic Henry Hedge, who had studied in Gottingen as a schoolboy and belonged to a younger circle, did not become professor until many years later. But while the immediate results of personal service to the college on the part of this group of remarkable men may have been inadequate, --since even Ticknor, ere parting, had with the institution a disagreement never yet fully elucidated,--yet their collective influence both on Harvard University and on American education was enormous. They helped to break up that intellectual sterility which had begun to show itself during the isolation of a merely colonial life; they prepared the way for the vast modern growth of colleges, schools, and libraries in this country, and indirectly helped that birth of a literature which gave us Irving, Cooper, Bryant, and the North American Review ; and culminated later in the brilliant Boston circle of authors, almost all of whom were Harvard men, and all of whom had felt the Harvard influence.
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Carlyle's laugh and other surprises, XXIV. a half-century of American literature (1857-1907) (search)
she recognized in our nation this tinge of the French temperament, while perhaps giving to it an inadequate explanation. Iii The local literary prominence given, first to Philadelphia by Franklin and Brockden Brown, and then to New York by Cooper and Irving, was in each case too detached and fragmentary to create more than these individual fames, however marked or lasting these may be. It required time and a concentrated influence to constitute a literary group in America. Bryant and Chasing, so that the mental tie between that nation and our own was perhaps never stronger than now. In respect to literature, the increased tendency to fiction, everywhere visible, has nowhere been more marked than in America. Since the days of Cooper and Mrs. Stowe, the recognized leader in this department has been Mr. Howells; that is, if we base leadership on higher standards than that of mere comparison of sales. The actual sale of copies in this department of literature has been greater
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