Lowell, James Russell. (1819 - 1891).
L i f e
- one of the most versatile and respected literary figures in America in the 2nd half of the 19th century
- a poet, critic, essayist, editor, linguist, teacher, reformer, and diplomat
- received university education (studied law at Harvard) x but: abandoned law for literature
- became speaker for the cause of temperance, woman suffrage, and abolitionism
- succeeded H. W. Longfellow as Professor of Modern Languages and Literature at Harvard
- associated with the ‘Saturday Club’: chosen for editor of the Atlantic Monthly when it launched (1857)
- also edited the North American Review
W o r k
P o e t r y :
- includes also much topical verse on social and political issues
Poems: Second Series:
- a collected 2-volume edition of his verse
The Vision of Sir Launfal:
- a Christian allegory
A Fable for Critics (1848):
- his most famous work
- represents the best features of his writing
- demonstrates his facility and wit in rhyming grounded on his familiarity with the classic and modern literature
- expresses a supreme confidence in his own ability to evaluate the achievements of others
C r i t i c i s m :
The Biglow Papers (1846):
- a newspaper series expressing his opposition to the Mexican War
- stands for one of the earliest and most artful uses of local dialect and humour for political purpose
- includes political and social parodies
=> established his reputation as a satirist and wit
Among My Books
My Study Windows:
- collections of essays
AuthorJames Russell Lowell. (1819 - 1891). American.
WorkCritic. Poet. Editor. Member of the New England Brahmins.
GenresRomantic poetry and prose.
Baym, Nina, ed. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. New York: W. W. Norton, 1995.
Bercovitch, Sacvan, ed. The Cambridge History of American Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
Cunliffe, Marcus. The Literature of the United States. London: Penguin, 1991.
Lauter, Paul, ed. The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Lexington: D. C. Heath, 1994.
McQuade, Donald, gen.ed. The Harper American Literature. New York: Harper & Collins, 1996.
Ruland, Richard, Malcolm Bradbury. Od puritanismu k postmodernismu. Praha: Mladá fronta, 1997.
Vančura, Zdeněk, ed. Slovník spisovatelů: Spojené státy americké. Praha: Odeon, 1979.
"Nature fits all her children with something to do, / He who would write and can't write, can surely review".
From A Fable for Critics (1848).