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Trumbull, John. (1750 - 1831).

L i f e

- born in Connectitut

- received university education (Yale)

- became a tutor at Yale >> later a lawyer in Hartford

- his cousin of the same name was a painter famous for his paintings from American history

W o r k

- articulate and erudite

- associated with T. Dwight and D. Humphreys: their Yale curricular reform made way for the study of modern literature

- wrote essays, poetry, and satire

“The Progress of Dullness” (1772 – 73):

- a satirical poem criticising the American education

- wrote as a tutor at Yale

M’Fingal: A Modern Epos (1775 – 82):

- a long Hudibrastic poem satirising the Tory-Loyalist arguments

- comic-heroic in form, celebrating the Revolution in content

The Anarchiad: A New England Poem (1786 - 7):

- in collaboration with T. Dwight & other Connectitut Wits

- satirises the disorganisation of the post-war America

- expresses a scepticism about the democratic theory and practice

The Echo (1791 – 1805):

- a verse satire attacking the Jeffersonian democracy in favour of the Federalism


"But optics sharp it needs, I ween,        "No man e’er felt the halter draw,

To see what is not to be seen".            With good opinion of the law".


Both from M'Fingal (1775 - 1782).


(Painting: John Trumbull, the poet's cousin. Source: Wikimedia Commons).

  • Author

    John Trumbull. (1750 - 1831). American.
  • Work

    Poet. Figure of the Connecticut Wits.
  • Genre

    Poetry. Political 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.

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.


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