13 results in English
Washington Irving
Washington Irving (1783‒1859) was one of the most widely read American authors of his day, and one of the first to be recognized in Europe for his works of fiction. Born in New York City of Scottish and Cornish ancestry, Irving frequently wrote about old New York (New Amsterdam) and the Hudson Valley under the original Dutch settlers, at first by creating a literary persona, the fictional Dutchman “Diedrich Knickerbocker.” His most famous work, The Sketch-Bookof Geoffrey Crayon (1819‒20), purportedly by another persona, contained the famous “Rip ...
William Cullen Bryant
William Cullen Bryant (1794‒1878) was an American poet and journalist. Born in western Massachusetts of New England Puritan stock, he practiced law in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, for a short time before achieving literary fame with the publication in 1817 of “Thanatopsis,” his best known poem. Bryant’s poems of nature, in which he found moral lessons in the natural beauties of the local landscape, earned him the appellation the “American Wordsworth,” after the English poet William Wordsworth (1770‒1850). He also worked as a journalist, editing The New York ...
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803‒82) was the most prominent American essayist and philosopher of the 19th century. Born in Boston, he was educated at the Boston Latin School and at Harvard College. He studied divinity and served for a time as a Unitarian minister but left the ministry in 1832, after the death of his first wife. He then settled in Concord, Massachusetts, and spent the remainder of his life writing and lecturing. He made several trips to Europe, where he met such poets and thinkers as Walter Savage Landor ...
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807‒82) was an American poet, translator, and educator, whose poems were immensely popular with the reading public of his day. A graduate of Bowdoin College in his native Maine, he served as professor of modern European languages first at Bowdoin and later at Harvard. In his long career he managed to combine the writing of poems on American subjects with translation of works by many of the great European poets. His narrative poems on American historical subjects include Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie (1847), The Song ...
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804‒64) was an American novelist and short-story writer. Descended from an early Puritan family, he was born in Salem, Massachusetts, and educated at Bowdoin College. His works, many of which are set in colonial New England, explore moral and spiritual conflicts and the power of the past over the present. His best-known works include Twice-Told Tales (1837), Mosses from an Old Manse (1846), The Scarlet Letter (1850), The House of the Seven Gables (1851), and The Blithedale Romance (1852). He served as American consul at Liverpool in ...
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809–94) was an American writer, physician, and professor of medicine and one of the most important medical reformers of his time. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, of Boston Brahmin stock, he attended Harvard University where he studied law and medicine. In 1843 he was credited with the discovery of the contagiousness of puerperal fever. He served as dean of Harvard Medical School from 1847 to 1853. He is most famous for his comic verse and poetry. His most popular works are “Old Ironsides,” a poem published in ...
Portrait of Author Ernest Hemingway Posing with Sailfish
Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961) was an American writer who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1954. He was born in Oak Park, Illinois, and began his writing career as a newspaperman in Kansas City at the age of 17. His experiences in Europe informed his early novels. Hemingway served with a volunteer ambulance unit in the Alps in World War I, lived in Paris for much of the 1920s, and reported on the Greek Revolution and the civil war in Spain. His sense of these events resulted in The ...
Gettysburg Address: Nicolay Copy, 1863
This document represents the earliest of the five known drafts of what is probably the most famous American speech. Delivered by President Abraham Lincoln in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, at the dedication of a memorial cemetery on November 19, 1863, it is now familiarly known as “The Gettysburg Address.” Drawing inspiration from his favorite historical document, the Declaration of Independence, Lincoln equated the catastrophic suffering caused by the Civil War (1861–65) with the efforts of the American people to live up to the proposition that “all men are created equal.” This ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Leaves of Grass
Walt Whitman (1819–92) is generally considered to be the most important American poet of the 19th century. He published the first edition of his major work, Leaves of Grass, in 1855. For the remainder of his life, Whitman produced further editions of the book, ending with the ninth, or "deathbed," edition in 1891–92. What began as a slim book of 12 poems was by the end of his life a thick compendium of almost 400. Whitman regarded each version as its own distinct book and continuously altered the ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Walt Whitman, Half-Length Portrait, Seated in Chair, Facing Left
This portrait of the American poet Walt Whitman was taken circa 1862 by the noted Civil War photographer Matthew Brady. In December 1862, Whitman saw the name of his brother George, a member of the 51st New York Infantry, listed among the wounded at the Battle of Fredericksburg. Whitman rushed from Brooklyn to the Washington area to search the hospitals and encampments for George. Whitman was pickpocketed on his journey and arrived "without a dime." With the help of friends, he secured a pass behind military lines. On December 29 ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Walt Whitman, 1819-1892
The American poet Walt Whitman used this three-quarter length portrait of himself as the frontispiece in the first edition of his major work, Leaves of Grass, published in 1855. It shows the 37-year old Whitman in laborer's clothes. Known as "the carpenter," the image is an icon of the American poet as "one of the roughs," or Everyman. Subsequent editions of Leaves of Grass depicted different Whitmans, ever more sophisticated and venerable. The elderly Whitman in 1891 reverted to an image of a young and urbane self, taken in ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Walt Whitman, Half-Length Portrait, Seated, Facing Left, Wearing Hat and Sweater, Holding Butterfly
This photograph of the American poet Walt Whitman, taken in 1877, was one of Whitman's favorites. He used the butterfly-on-hand as a recurring motif in his books and intended for this photo to be reproduced as the frontispiece in this sample proof of Leaves of Grass from 1891. To foster the image of himself as one with nature, he claimed that insect was real and one of his "good friends." In fact, the die-cut cardboard butterfly was clearly a photographic prop. Now in the collections of the Library of ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Walt Whitman's Cardboard Butterfly
Shown here is the brilliantly colored cardboard butterfly that belonged to the American poet Walt Whitman. In 1877 Whitman had a photograph taken by W. Curtis Taylor of Broadbent & Taylor in Philadelphia of himself holding the butterfly, a portrait Whitman intended to use as the frontispiece for a new edition of Leaves of Grass. To foster the image of himself as one with nature, he claimed that insect was real and one of his "good friends." In fact, the die-cut cardboard butterfly was clearly a photographic prop. Now in the ...
Contributed by Library of Congress