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Barlow, Joel. (1754 - 1812).

L i f e

- born in Connectitut

- received university education (Yale)

- became an army chaplain to have leisure for writing poetry, then a businessman in France, and finally a consul for US

W o r k

- his early opinions conventional enough to qualify him as one of the Hartford Wits

x but: radicalised by his experience of the French Revolution

- his later works depart from the spirit of his formerly fellow Wits

The Anarchiad: A New England Poem (1786 – 87):

- a major contributor to the Hartford Wits satirical poem

The Vision of Columbus (1786):

- an American epic, famous both in America and Europe

The Columbiad (1807):

- a later revised version of The Vision

Advice to the Privileged Orders (1792):

- his own experience of living through the events of the French Revolution as a friend of T. Paine and a honorary French citizen

- similar in tone to T. Paine’s Rights of Man

“Hasty Pudding” (1796):

- commemorates his contented exile years as a consul


"No Raven’s wing can stretch the flight so far / As the torn bandrols of Napoleon’s war. / Choose then your climate, fix your best abode, / He’ll make you deserts and he’ll bring you blood".

From "Advice to a Raven in Russia" (1812).


(Picture: Wikimedia Commons).

  • Author

    Joel Barlow. (1754 - 1812). American.
  • Work

    Poet. Member of the Connectitut Wits.
  • Genres

    Political verse. Satire.


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.

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.


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