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Erica Jong

Erica Jong (née Mann; born March 26, 1942) is an American novelist and poet, known particularly for her 1973 novel Fear of Flying. The book became famously controversial for its attitudes towards female sexuality and figured prominently in the development of second-wave feminism. According to Washington Post, it has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. Early life and Education Jong was born on March 26th, 1942 in New York. She was the second of three daughters of Seymore Mann and Eda Mirsky. Jong attended New York’s Public High School of Music and Art in the 1950's, where she developed her passion for art and writing. As a student at Barnard College, Jong edited the Barnard Literary Magazine and created poetry programs for the Columbia University campus radio station. Career A 1963 graduate of Barnard College with an MA (1965) in 18th century English Literature from Columbia University, Jong is best known for her first novel, Fear of Flying (1973), which created a sensation with its frank treatment of a woman’s sexual desires. Although it contains many sexual elements, the book is mainly the account of a hypersensitive young woman, in her late twenties, trying to find who she is and where she is going. It contains many psychological, humorous, descriptive elements, and rich cultural and literary references. The book tries to answer the many conflicts arising in women in late 1960s and early 1970s America, of womanhood, femininity, love, one’s quest for freedom and purpose. Personal life Jong was born and grew up in New York City. She is the middle daughter of Seymour Mann (né Nathan Weisman, died 2004), and Eda Mirsky (1911 - 2012). Her father was a businessman of Polish Jewish ancestry who owned a gifts and home accessories company known as “one of the world’s most acclaimed makers of collectible porcelain dolls”. Her mother was born in England of a Russian Jewish immigrant family, was a painter and textile designer who also designed dolls for her husband’s company. Jong has an elder sister, Suzanna, who married Lebanese businessman Arthur Daou, and a younger sister, Claudia, a social worker who married Gideon S. Oberweger (the chief executive officer of Seymour Mann Inc. until his death in 2006). Among her nephews is Peter Daou, who writes “The Daou Report” for salon.com. Jong has been married four times. Her first two marriages, to college sweetheart Michael Werthman, and to Allan Jong, a Chinese American psychiatrist, reflect those of the narrator of Fear of Flying. Her third husband was Jonathan Fast, a novelist and social work educator, and son of novelist Howard Fast. This marriage was described in How to Save Your Own Life and Parachutes and Kisses. She has a daughter from her third marriage, Molly Jong-Fast. Jong is now married to Kenneth David Burrows, a New York litigation attorney. In the late 1990s, Jong wrote an article about her current marriage in the magazine Talk. Jong lived for three years, 1966–69, in Heidelberg, Germany, with her second husband, on an army base. She was a frequent visitor to Venice, and wrote about that city in her novel Shylock’s Daughter. In 2007, her literary archive was acquired by Columbia University in New York City. Jong is mentioned in the Bob Dylan song “Highlands” (Time Out of Mind (1997) ). Jong supports LGBT rights and legalization of same-sex marriage and she claims that 'Gay marriage is a blessing not a curse. It certainly promotes stability and family. And it’s certainly good for kids.’ Bibliography Fiction * Fear of Flying (1973) * How to Save Your Own Life (1977) * Fanny, Being the True History of the Adventures of Fanny Hackabout-Jones (1980) (a retelling of Fanny Hill) * Megan’s Book of Divorce: a kid’s book for adults; as told to Erica Jong; illustrated by Freya Tanz. New York: New American Library (1984) * Megan’s Two Houses: a story of adjustment; illustrated by Freya Tanz (1984; West Hollywood, CA: Dove Kids, 1996) * Parachutes & Kisses. New York: New American Library (1984) (UK ed. as Parachutes and Kisses: London: Granada, 1984.) * Shylock’s Daughter (1987): formerly titled Serenissima * Any Woman’s Blues (1990) * Inventing Memory (1997) * Sappho’s Leap (2003) * Fear of Dying (Sept. 8, 2015) Non-fiction * Witches; illustrated by Joseph A. Smith. New York: Harry A. Abrams (1981) * The Devil at Large: Erica Jong on Henry Miller (1993) * Fear of Fifty: A Midlife Memoir (1994) * What Do Women Want? bread roses sex power (1998) * Seducing the Demon: writing for my life (2006) * Essay, “My Dirty Secret”. Bad Girls: 26 Writers Misbehave (2007) * It Was Eight Years Ago Today (But It Seems Like Eighty) (2008) Anthology * Sugar in My Bowl: Real Women Write About Real Sex Ed. Erica Jong (2011) Poetry * Fruits & Vegetables (1971, 1997) * Half-Lives (1973) * Loveroot (1975) * At the Edge of the Body (1979) * Ordinary Miracles (1983) * Becoming Light: New and Selected (1991) * Love Comes First (2009) Awards * * Poetry Magazine’s Bess Hokin Prize (1971) * Sigmund Freud Award For Literature (1975) * United Nations Award For Excellence In Literature (1998) * Deauville Award For Literary Excellence In France * Fernanda Pivano Award For Literary In Italy References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erica_Jong

James Joyce

James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (2 February 1882 – 13 January 1941) was an Irish novelist and poet, considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century. Joyce is best known for Ulysses (1922), a landmark work in which the episodes of Homer's Odyssey are paralleled in an array of contrasting literary styles, perhaps most prominently the stream of consciousness technique he perfected. Other major works are the short-story collection Dubliners (1914), and the novels A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Finnegans Wake (1939). His complete oeuvre includes three books of poetry, a play, occasional journalism, and his published letters. Joyce was born to a middle class family in Dublin, where he excelled as a student at the Jesuit schools Clongowes and Belvedere, then at University College Dublin. In his early twenties he emigrated permanently to continental Europe, living in Trieste, Paris and Zurich. Though most of his adult life was spent abroad, Joyce's fictional universe does not extend beyond Dublin, and is populated largely by characters who closely resemble family members, enemies and friends from his time there; Ulysses in particular is set with precision in the streets and alleyways of the city. Shortly after the publication of Ulysses he elucidated this preoccupation somewhat, saying, "For myself, I always write about Dublin, because if I can get to the heart of Dublin I can get to the heart of all the cities of the world. In the particular is contained the universal.” 1882–1904: Dublin James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was born on 2 February 1882 to John Stanislaus Joyce and Mary Jane Murray in the Dublin suburb of Rathgar. He was the eldest of ten surviving children; two of his siblings died of typhoid. His father's family, originally from Fermoy in Cork, had once owned a small salt and lime works. Joyce's father and paternal grandfather both married into wealthy families, though the family's purported ancestor, Seán Mór Seoighe (fl. 1680) was a stonemason from Connemara. In 1887, his father was appointed rate collector (i.e., a collector of local property taxes) by Dublin Corporation; the family subsequently moved to the fashionable adjacent small town of Bray 12 miles (19 km) from Dublin. Around this time Joyce was attacked by a dog, which engendered in him a lifelong cynophobia. He also suffered from keraunophobia, as an overly superstitious aunt had described thunderstorms to him as a sign of God's wrath. n 1891, Joyce wrote a poem, Et Tu Healy on the death of Charles Stewart Parnell. His father was angry at the treatment of Parnell by the Catholic church and at the resulting failure to secure Home Rule for Ireland. The elder Joyce had the poem printed and even sent a part to the Vatican Library. In November of that same year, John Joyce was entered in Stubbs Gazette (a publisher of bankruptcies) and suspended from work. In 1893, John Joyce was dismissed with a pension, beginning the family's slide into poverty caused mainly by John's drinking and general financial mismanagement. James Joyce had begun his education at Clongowes Wood College, a Jesuit boarding school near Clane, County Kildare, in 1888 but had to leave in 1892 when his father could no longer pay the fees. Joyce then studied at home and briefly at the Christian Brothers O'Connell School on North Richmond Street, Dublin, before he was offered a place in the Jesuits', Dublin school, Belvedere College, in 1893. In 1895, Joyce, now aged 13, was elected to join the Sodality of Our Lady by his peers at Belvedere; students were elected to the Sodality on account of their leadership qualities and members of the Sodality, by their positive attitudes and acts of piety, were meant to elicit religious fervour and enthusiasm for studies amongst the student body; most Jesuit Schools and Universities had a Sodality until the 1950s, when families and parishes became the focal point of the Ignatian lay movement, now called the Christian Life Community. By the age of 16 however, Joyce appears to have made a break with his Catholic roots, a subject of varying degrees of dispute. Nonetheless, the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas continued to have a strong influence on him for most of his life. He enrolled at the recently established University College Dublin (UCD) in 1898, studying English, French, and Italian. He also became active in theatrical and literary circles in the city. In 1900 his review of Henrik Ibsen's New Drama was published in Fortnightly Review; it was his first publication and he received a note of thanks from the Norwegian dramatist himself. Joyce wrote a number of other articles and at least two plays (since lost) during this period. Many of the friends he made at University College Dublin appeared as characters in Joyce's works. Joyce was first introduced to the Irish public by Arthur Griffith in his newspaper, The United Irishman, in November 1901. Joyce had written an article on the Irish Literary Theatre and his college magazine refused to print it. Joyce had it printed and distributed locally. Griffith himself wrote a piece decrying the censorship of the student James Joyce. In 1901, the National Census of Ireland lists James Joyce (19) as an English and Irish-speaking scholar living with his mother and father, six sisters and three brothers at Royal Terrace, Clontarf, Dublin. After graduating from UCD in 1903, Joyce left for Paris to study medicine, but he soon abandoned this after finding the technical lectures in French too difficult. He stayed on for a few months, appealing for finance his family could ill afford and reading late in the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève. When his mother was diagnosed with cancer, his father sent a telegraph which read, "NOTHER [sic] DYING COME HOME FATHER". Joyce returned to Ireland. Fearing for her son's impiety, his mother tried unsuccessfully to get Joyce to make his confession and to take communion. She finally passed into a coma and died on 13 August, James and Stanislaus having refused to kneel with other members of the family praying at her bedside. After her death he continued to drink heavily, and conditions at home grew quite appalling. He scraped a living reviewing books, teaching and singing—he was an accomplished tenor, and won the bronze medal in the 1904 Feis Ceoil. On 7 January 1904 he attempted to publish A Portrait of the Artist, an essay-story dealing with aesthetics, only to have it rejected from the free-thinking magazine Dana. He decided, on his twenty-second birthday, to revise the story into a novel he called Stephen Hero. It was a fictional rendering of Joyce's youth, but he eventually grew frustrated with its direction and abandoned this work. It was never published in this form, but years later, in Trieste, Joyce completely rewrote it as A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. The unfinished Stephen Hero was published after his death. The same year he met Nora Barnacle, a young woman from Connemara, County Galway who was working as a chambermaid. On 16 June 1904, they first stepped out together, an event which would be commemorated by providing the date for the action of Ulysses. Joyce remained in Dublin for some time longer, drinking heavily. After one of these drinking binges, he got into a fight over a misunderstanding with a man in Phoenix Park; he was picked up and dusted off by a minor acquaintance of his father's, Alfred H. Hunter, who brought him into his home to tend to his injuries. Hunter was rumoured to be a Jew and to have an unfaithful wife, and would serve as one of the models for Leopold Bloom, the protagonist of Ulysses. He took up with medical student Oliver St John Gogarty, who formed the basis for the character Buck Mulligan in Ulysses. After staying in Gogarty's Martello Tower in Sandycove for six nights, he left in the middle of the night following an altercation which involved another student he lived with, Samuel Chenevix Trench (Haines in Ulysses), firing a pistol at some pans hanging directly over Joyce's bed. He walked all the way back to Dublin to stay with relatives for the night, and sent a friend to the tower the next day to pack his trunk. Shortly thereafter he eloped to the continent with Nora. 1904–20: Trieste and Zurich Joyce and Nora went into self-imposed exile, moving first to Zurich, where he had supposedly acquired a post to teach English at the Berlitz Language School through an agent in England. It turned out that the English agent had been swindled, but the director of the school sent him on to Trieste, which was part of Austria-Hungary until World War I (today part of Italy). Once again, he found there was no position for him, but with the help of Almidano Artifoni, director of the Trieste Berlitz school, he finally secured a teaching position in Pola, then also part of Austria-Hungary (today part of Croatia). He stayed there, teaching English mainly to Austro-Hungarian naval officers stationed at the Pola base, from October 1904 until March 1905, when the Austrians—having discovered an espionage ring in the city—expelled all aliens. With Artifoni's help, he moved back to Trieste and began teaching English there. He would remain in Trieste for most of the next ten years. Later that year Nora gave birth to their first child, George. Joyce then managed to talk his brother, Stanislaus, into joining him in Trieste, and secured him a position teaching at the school. Joyce's ostensible reasons were desire for Stanislaus's company and the hope of offering him a more interesting life than that of his simple clerking job in Dublin. In truth, though, Joyce hoped to augment his family's meagre income with his brother's earnings. Stanislaus and Joyce had strained relations throughout the time they lived together in Trieste, with most arguments centring on Joyce's drinking habits and frivolity with money. With the chronic wanderlust of Joyce's early years, he became frustrated with life in Trieste and moved to Rome in late 1906, having secured employment in a bank. He intensely disliked Rome, and moved back to Trieste in early 1907. His daughter Lucia was born in the summer of the same year. Joyce returned to Dublin in mid-1909 with George, in order to visit his father and work on getting Dubliners published. He visited Nora's family in Galway, meeting them for the first time (a successful visit, to his relief). He also launched Ireland's first cinema, the Volta Cinematograph, with backing from his Italian friends. While preparing to return to Trieste he decided to take one of his sisters, Eva, back with him to help Nora run the home. He spent only a month in Trieste before returning to Dublin, this time as a representative of some cinema owners hoping to set up a regular cinema in Dublin. The venture was successful (but quickly fell apart in Joyce's absence), and he returned to Trieste in January 1910 with another sister, Eileen, in tow. Eva became very homesick for Dublin and returned there a few years later, but Eileen spent the rest of her life on the continent, eventually marrying Czech bank cashier Frantisek Schaurek. Joyce returned to Dublin again briefly in mid-1912 during his years-long fight with his Dublin publisher, George Roberts, over the publication of Dubliners. His trip was once again fruitless, and on his return he wrote the poem "Gas from a Burner" as an invective against Roberts. After this trip, he never again came closer to Dublin than London, despite many pleas from his father and invitations from fellow Irish writer William Butler Yeats. One of his students in Trieste was Ettore Schmitz, better known by the pseudonym Italo Svevo. They met in 1907 and became lasting friends and mutual critics. Schmitz was a Catholic of Jewish origin and became the primary model for Leopold Bloom; most of the details about the Jewish faith in Ulysses came from Schmitz's responses to queries from Joyce. While living in Trieste, Joyce was first beset with eye problems that ultimately required over a dozen surgerical operations. Joyce concocted a number of money-making schemes during this period, including an attempt to become a cinema magnate in Dublin. He also frequently discussed but ultimately abandoned a plan to import Irish tweeds to Trieste. Correspondence relating to that venture with the Irish Woollen Mills are displayed in the windows of their premises on Aston's Quay in Dublin. His skill at borrowing money saved him from indigence. What income he had came partially from his position at the Berlitz school and partially from teaching private students. In 1915, after most of his students were conscripted in Trieste for World War I, he moved to Zurich. Two influential private students, Baron Ambrogio Ralli and Count Francesco Sordina, petitioned officials for an exit permit for the Joyces, who in turn agreed not to take any action against the emperor of Austria-Hungary during the war. There, he met one of his most enduring and important friends, Frank Budgen, whose opinion Joyce constantly sought through the writing of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. It was also here where Ezra Pound brought him to the attention of English feminist and publisher Harriet Shaw Weaver, who would become Joyce's patron, providing him thousands of pounds over the next 25 years and relieving him of the burden of teaching in order to focus on his writing. While in Zurich he wrote Exiles, published A Portrait..., and began serious work on Ulysses. Zurich during the war was home to exiles and artists from across Europe, and its bohemian, multilingual atmosphere suited him. Nevertheless, after four years he was restless, and after the war he returned to Trieste as he had originally planned. He found the city had changed, and some of his old friends noted his maturing from teacher to full-time artist. His relations with his brother (who had been interned in an Austrian prison camp for most of the war due to his pro-Italian politics) were more strained than ever. Joyce headed to Paris in 1920 at an invitation from Ezra Pound, supposedly for a week, but he ended up living there for the next twenty years. 1920–41: Paris and Zurich Joyce set himself to finishing Ulysses in Paris, delighted to find that he was gradually gaining fame as an avant-garde writer. A further grant from Miss Shaw Weaver meant he could devote himself full-time to writing again, as well as consort with other literary figures in the city. During this era, Joyce's eyes began to give him more and more problems. He was treated by Dr Louis Borsch in Paris, undergoing nine operations from him until Borsch's death in 1929. Throughout the 1930s he travelled frequently to Switzerland for eye surgeries and treatments for Lucia, who, according to the Joyces, suffered from schizophrenia. Lucia was analysed by Carl Jung at the time, who after reading Ulysses, concluded that her father had schizophrenia. Jung said she and her father were two people heading to the bottom of a river, except that he was diving and she was falling. In Paris, Maria and Eugene Jolas nursed Joyce during his long years of writing Finnegans Wake. Were it not for their support (along with Harriet Shaw Weaver's constant financial support), there is a good possibility that his books might never have been finished or published. In their literary magazine "Transition," the Jolases published serially various sections of Joyce's novel under the title Work in Progress. He returned to Zurich in late 1940, fleeing the Nazi occupation of France. On 11 January 1941, he underwent surgery for a perforated ulcer. While he at first improved, he relapsed the following day, and despite several transfusions, fell into a coma. He awoke at 2 a.m. on 13 January 1941, and asked for a nurse to call his wife and son before losing consciousness again. They were still on their way when he died 15 minutes later. Joyce's body was interred in the Fluntern Cemetery near Zurich Zoo. Swiss tenor Max Meili sang Addio terra, addio cielo from Monteverdi's L'Orfeo at the burial service. Although two senior Irish diplomats were in Switzerland at the time, neither attended Joyce's funeral, and the Irish government later declined Nora's offer to permit the repatriation of Joyce's remains. Nora, whom Joyce had married in London in 1931, survived him by 10 years. She is buried now by his side, as is their son George, who died in 1976. Joyce and religion L. A. G. Strong, William T. Noon, Robert Boyle and others have argued that Joyce, later in life, reconciled with the faith he rejected earlier in life and that his parting with the faith was succeeded by a not so obvious reunion, and that Ulysses and Finnegans Wake are essentially Catholic expressions. Likewise, Hugh Kenner and T.S. Eliot saw between the lines of Joyce’s work the outlook of a serious Christian and that beneath the veneer of the work lies a remnant of Catholic belief and attitude. Kevin Sullivan maintains that, rather than reconciling with the faith, Joyce never left it. Critics holding this view insist that Stephen, the protagonist of the semi-autobiographical A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man as well as Ulysses, is not Joyce. Somewhat cryptically, in an interview after completing Ulysses, in response to the question "When did you leave the Catholic Church", Joyce answered, "That’s for the Church to say." Eamonn Hughes maintains that Joyce takes a dialectic approach, both assenting and denying, saying that Stephen’s much noted non serviam is qualified – "I will not serve that which I no longer believe…", and that the non serviam will always be balanced by Stephen’s "I am a servant…" and Molly’s "yes". Umberto Eco compares Joyce to the ancient episcopi vagantes (stray bishops) in the Middle Ages. They left a discipline, not a cultural heritage or a way of thinking. Like them, the writer retains the sense of blasphemy held as a liturgical ritual. In any case we have first-hand testimonies coming from the early Joyce, his brother Stanislaus Joyce, and his wife: My mind rejects the whole present social order and Christianity -home, the recognised virtues, classes of life, and religious doctrines. […] Six years ago I left the Catholic church, hating it most fervently. I found it impossible for me to remain in it on account of the impulses of my nature. I made secret war upon it when I was a student and declined to accept the positions it offered me. By doing this I made myself a beggar but I retained my pride. Now I make open war upon it by what I write and say and do. My brother’s breakaway from Catholicism was due to other motives. He felt it was imperative that he should save his real spiritual life from being overlaid and crushed by a false one that he had outgrown. He believed that poets in the measure of their gifts and personality were the repositories of the genuine spiritual life of their race and the priests were usurpers. He detested falsity and believed in individual freedom more thoroughly than any man I have ever known. […] The interest that my brother always retained in the philosophy of the Catholic Church sprang from the fact that he considered Catholic philosophy to be the most coherent attempt to establish such an intellectual and material stability. When the arrangements for Joyce's burial were being made, a Catholic priest offered a religious service, which Joyce's wife Nora declined, saying: "I couldn't do that to him." Notwithstanding their knowledge of such facts, some critics and biographers have opined along the lines of Andrew Gibson: "The modern James Joyce may have vigorously resisted the oppressive power of Catholic tradition. But there was another Joyce who asserted his allegiance to that tradition, and never left it, or wanted to leave it, behind him.” Major works Dubliners Joyce's Irish experiences constitute an essential element of his writings, and provide all of the settings for his fiction and much of its subject matter. His early volume of short stories, Dubliners, is a penetrating analysis of the stagnation and paralysis of Dublin society. The stories incorporate epiphanies, a word used particularly by Joyce, by which he meant a sudden consciousness of the "soul" of a thing. The final and most famous story in the collection, "The Dead", was directed by John Huston as his last feature film in 1987. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a nearly complete rewrite of the abandoned novel Stephen Hero. Joyce attempted to burn the original manuscript in a fit of rage during an argument with Nora, though to his subsequent relief it was rescued by his sister. A Künstlerroman, Portrait is a heavily autobiographical coming-of-age novel depicting the childhood and adolescence of protagonist Stephen Dedalus and his gradual growth into artistic self-consciousness. Some hints of the techniques Joyce frequently employed in later works, such as stream of consciousness, interior monologue, and references to a character's psychic reality rather than to his external surroundings, are evident throughout this novel. Joseph Strick directed a film of the book in 1977 starring Luke Johnston, Bosco Hogan, T.P. McKenna and John Gielgud. Exiles and poetry Despite early interest in the theatre, Joyce published only one play, Exiles, begun shortly after the outbreak of World War I in 1914 and published in 1918. A study of a husband and wife relationship, the play looks back to The Dead (the final story in Dubliners) and forward to Ulysses, which Joyce began around the time of the play's composition. Joyce also published a number of books of poetry. His first mature published work was the satirical broadside "The Holy Office" (1904), in which he proclaimed himself to be the superior of many prominent members of the Celtic revival. His first full-length poetry collection Chamber Music (referring, Joyce explained, to the sound of urine hitting the side of a chamber pot) consisted of 36 short lyrics. This publication led to his inclusion in the Imagist Anthology, edited by Ezra Pound, who was a champion of Joyce's work. Other poetry Joyce published in his lifetime includes "Gas From A Burner" (1912), Pomes Penyeach (1927) and "Ecce Puer" (written in 1932 to mark the birth of his grandson and the recent death of his father). It was published by the Black Sun Press in Collected Poems (1936). Ulysses As he was completing work on Dubliners in 1906, Joyce considered adding another story featuring a Jewish advertising canvasser called Leopold Bloom under the title Ulysses. Although he did not pursue the idea further at the time, he eventually commenced work on a novel using both the title and basic premise in 1914. The writing was completed in October, 1921. Three more months were devoted to working on the proofs of the book before Joyce halted work shortly before his self-imposed deadline, his 40th birthday (2 February 1922). Thanks to Ezra Pound, serial publication of the novel in the magazine The Little Review began in 1918. This magazine was edited by Margaret Anderson and Jane Heap, with the backing of John Quinn, a New York attorney with an interest in contemporary experimental art and literature. Unfortunately, this publication encountered censorship problems in the United States; serialisation was halted in 1920 when the editors were convicted of publishing obscenity. The novel was not published in the United States until 1933. Partly because of this controversy, Joyce found it difficult to get a publisher to accept the book, but it was published in 1922 by Sylvia Beach from her well-known Rive Gauche bookshop, Shakespeare and Company. An English edition published the same year by Joyce's patron, Harriet Shaw Weaver, ran into further difficulties with the United States authorities, and 500 copies that were shipped to the States were seized and possibly destroyed. The following year, John Rodker produced a print run of 500 more intended to replace the missing copies, but these were burned by English customs at Folkestone. A further consequence of the novel's ambiguous legal status as a banned book was that a number of "bootleg" versions appeared, most notably a number of pirate versions from the publisher Samuel Roth. In 1928, a court injunction against Roth was obtained and he ceased publication. With the appearance of both Ulysses and T. S. Eliot's poem, The Waste Land, 1922 was a key year in the history of English-language literary modernism. In Ulysses, Joyce employs stream of consciousness, parody, jokes, and virtually every other established literary technique to present his characters. The action of the novel, which takes place in a single day, 16 June 1904, sets the characters and incidents of the Odyssey of Homer in modern Dublin and represents Odysseus (Ulysses), Penelope and Telemachus in the characters of Leopold Bloom, his wife Molly Bloom and Stephen Dedalus, parodically contrasted with their lofty models. The book explores various areas of Dublin life, dwelling on its squalor and monotony. Nevertheless, the book is also an affectionately detailed study of the city, and Joyce claimed that if Dublin were to be destroyed in some catastrophe it could be rebuilt, brick by brick, using his work as a model. In order to achieve this level of accuracy, Joyce used the 1904 edition of Thom's Directory—a work that listed the owners and/or tenants of every residential and commercial property in the city. He also bombarded friends still living there with requests for information and clarification. The book consists of 18 chapters, each covering roughly one hour of the day, beginning around 8 a.m. and ending some time after 2 a.m. the following morning. Each chapter employs its own literary style, and parodies a specific episode in Homer's Odyssey. Furthermore, each chapter is associated with a specific colour, art or science, and bodily organ. This combination of kaleidoscopic writing with an extreme formal schematic structure renders the book a major contribution to the development of 20th-century modernist literature. The use of classical mythology as an organising framework, the near-obsessive focus on external detail, and the occurrence of significant action within the minds of characters have also contributed to the development of literary modernism. Nevertheless, Joyce complained that, "I may have oversystematised Ulysses," and played down the mythic correspondences by eliminating the chapter titles that had been taken from Homer. Finnegans Wake Having completed work on Ulysses, Joyce was so exhausted that he did not write a line of prose for a year. On 10 March 1923 he informed a patron, Harriet Weaver: "Yesterday I wrote two pages—the first I have since the final Yes of Ulysses. Having found a pen, with some difficulty I copied them out in a large handwriting on a double sheet of foolscap so that I could read them. Il lupo perde il pelo ma non il vizio, the Italians say. The wolf may lose his skin but not his vice or the leopard cannot change his spots." Thus was born a text that became known, first, as Work in Progress and later Finnegans Wake. By 1926 Joyce had completed the first two parts of the book. In that year, he met Eugene and Maria Jolas who offered to serialise the book in their magazine transition. For the next few years, Joyce worked rapidly on the new book, but in the 1930s, progress slowed considerably. This was due to a number of factors, including the death of his father in 1931, concern over the mental health of his daughter Lucia and his own health problems, including failing eyesight. Much of the work was done with the assistance of younger admirers, including Samuel Beckett. For some years, Joyce nursed the eccentric plan of turning over the book to his friend James Stephens to complete, on the grounds that Stephens was born in the same hospital as Joyce exactly one week later, and shared the first name of both Joyce and of Joyce's fictional alter-ego (this is one example of Joyce's numerous superstitions). Reaction to the work was mixed, including negative comment from early supporters of Joyce's work, such as Pound and the author's brother, Stanislaus Joyce. In order to counteract this hostile reception, a book of essays by supporters of the new work, including Beckett, William Carlos Williams and others was organised and published in 1929 under the title Our Exagmination Round His Factification for Incamination of Work in Progress. At his 57th birthday party at the Jolases' home, Joyce revealed the final title of the work and Finnegans Wake was published in book form on 4 May 1939. Later, further negative comments surfaced from doctor and author Hervey Cleckley, who questioned the significance others had placed on the work. In his book, The Mask of Sanity, Cleckley refers to Finnegans Wake as "a 628-page collection of erudite gibberish indistinguishable to most people from the familiar word salad produced by hebephrenic patients on the back wards of any state hospital." Joyce's method of stream of consciousness, literary allusions and free dream associations was pushed to the limit in Finnegans Wake, which abandoned all conventions of plot and character construction and is written in a peculiar and obscure language, based mainly on complex multi-level puns. This approach is similar to, but far more extensive than that used by Lewis Carroll in Jabberwocky. This has led many readers and critics to apply Joyce's oft-quoted description in the Wake of Ulysses as his "usylessly unreadable Blue Book of Eccles" to the Wake itself. However, readers have been able to reach a consensus about the central cast of characters and general plot. Much of the wordplay in the book stems from the use of multilingual puns which draw on a wide range of languages. The role played by Beckett and other assistants included collating words from these languages on cards for Joyce to use and, as Joyce's eyesight worsened, of writing the text from the author's dictation. The view of history propounded in this text is very strongly influenced by Giambattista Vico, and the metaphysics of Giordano Bruno of Nola are important to the interplay of the "characters." Vico propounded a cyclical view of history, in which civilisation rose from chaos, passed through theocratic, aristocratic, and democratic phases, and then lapsed back into chaos. The most obvious example of the influence of Vico's cyclical theory of history is to be found in the opening and closing words of the book. Finnegans Wake opens with the words "riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs." ("vicus" is a pun on Vico) and ends "A way a lone a last a loved a long the." In other words, the book ends with the beginning of a sentence and begins with the end of the same sentence, turning the book into one great cycle. Indeed, Joyce said that the ideal reader of the Wake would suffer from "ideal insomnia" and, on completing the book, would turn to page one and start again, and so on in an endless cycle of reading. Legacy Joyce's work has been subject to intense scrutiny by scholars of all types. He has also been an important influence on writers and scholars as diverse as Samuel Beckett, Seán Ó Ríordáin, Jorge Luis Borges, Flann O'Brien, Máirtín Ó Cadhain, Salman Rushdie, Robert Anton Wilson, John Updike, David Lodge and Joseph Campbell. Ulysses has been called "a demonstration and summation of the entire [Modernist] movement". Some scholars, most notably Vladimir Nabokov, have mixed feelings on his work, often championing some of his fiction while condemning other works. In Nabokov's opinion, Ulysses was brilliant, Finnegans Wake horrible—an attitude Jorge Luis Borges shared. Joyce's influence is also evident in fields other than literature. The sentence "Three quarks for Muster Mark!" in Joyce's Finnegans Wake is the source of the word "quark", the name of one of the elementary particles, proposed by the physicist, Murray Gell-Mann in 1963. The French philosopher Jacques Derrida has written a book on the use of language in Ulysses, and the American philosopher Donald Davidson has written similarly on Finnegans Wake in comparison with Lewis Carroll. Psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan used Joyce's writings to explain his concept of the sinthome. According to Lacan, Joyce's writing is the supplementary cord which kept Joyce from psychosis. In 1999, Time Magazine named Joyce one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century, and stated; "Joyce ... revolutionised 20th century fiction". In 1998, the Modern Library, U.S. publisher of Joyce's works, ranked Ulysses No. 1, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man No. 3, and Finnegans Wake No. 77, on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. The work and life of Joyce is celebrated annually on 16 June, Bloomsday, in Dublin and in an increasing number of cities worldwide, and critical studies in scholarly publications, such as the James Joyce Quarterly, continue. Both popular and academic uses of Joyce's work were hampered by restrictions placed by Stephen J. Joyce, Joyce's grandson and executor of his literary estate. On January 1, 2012, those restrictions were lessed by the expiry of copyright protection for much of the published work of James Joyce. Bibliography * Chamber Music (poems, 1907) * Dubliners (short-story collection, 1914) * A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (novel, 1916) * Exiles (play, 1918) * Ulysses (novel, 1922) * Pomes Penyeach (poems, 1927) * Collected Poems (poems, 1936) * Finnegans Wake (novel, 1939) References Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Joyce

Robinson Jeffers

John Robinson Jeffers (January 10, 1887 – January 20, 1962) was an American poet, known for his work about the central California coast. Much of Jeffers' poetry was written in narrative and epic form, but he is also known for his shorter verse and is considered an icon of the environmental movement. Influential and highly regarded in some circles, despite or because of his philosophy of "inhumanism," Jeffers believed that transcending conflict required human concerns to be de-emphasized in favor of the boundless whole. This led him to oppose U.S. participation in World War II, a stand that was controversial at the time. Jeffers was born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania (now part of Pittsburgh), the son of a Presbyterian minister and biblical scholar, Reverend Dr. William Hamilton Jeffers, and Annie Robinson Tuttle. His brother was Hamilton Jeffers, who became a well-known astronomer, working at Lick Observatory. His family was supportive of his interest in poetry. He traveled through Europe during his youth and attended school in Switzerland. He was a child prodigy, interested in classics and Greek and Latin language and literature. At sixteen he entered Occidental College. At school, he was an avid outdoorsman, and active in the school's literary societies. After he graduated from Occidental, Jeffers went to the University of Southern California to study at first literature, and then medicine. He met Una Call Kuster in 1906; she was three years older than he was, a graduate student, and the wife of a Los Angeles attorney. In 1910 he enrolled as a forestry student at the University of Washington in Seattle, a course of study that he abandoned after less than one year, at which time he returned to Los Angeles. Sometime before this, he and Una had begun an affair that became a scandal, reaching the front page of the Los Angeles Times in 1912. After Una spent some time in Europe to quiet things down, the two were married in 1913, and moved to Carmel, California, where Jeffers constructed Tor House and Hawk Tower. The couple had a daughter who died a day after birth in 1914, and then twin sons (Donnan and Garth) in 1916. Una died of cancer in 1950. Jeffers died in 1962; an obituary can be found in the New York Times, January 22, 1962. Poetic career In the 1920s and 1930s, at the height of his popularity, Jeffers was famous for being a tough outdoorsman, living in relative solitude and writing of the difficulty and beauty of the wild. He spent most of his life in Carmel, California, in a granite house that he had built himself called "Tor House and Hawk Tower". Tor is a term for a craggy outcrop or lookout. Before Jeffers and Una purchased the land where Tor House would be built, they rented two cottages in Carmel, and enjoyed many afternoon walks and picnics at the "tors" near the site that would become Tor House. To build the first part of Tor House, a small, two story cottage, Jeffers hired a local builder, Michael Murphy. He worked with Murphy, and in this short, informal apprenticeship, he learned the art of stonemasonry. He continued adding on to Tor House throughout his life, writing in the mornings and working on the house in the afternoon. Many of his poems reflect the influence of stone and building on his life. He later built a large four-story stone tower on the site called Hawk Tower. While he had not visited Ireland at this point in his life, it is possible that Hawk Tower is based on Francis Joseph Bigger's 'Castle Séan' at Ardglass, County Down, which had also in turn influenced Yeats' poets tower, Thoor Ballylee. Construction on Tor House continued into the late 1950s and early 1960s, and was completed by his eldest son. The completed residence was used as a family home until his descendants decided to turn it over to the Tor House Foundation, formed by Ansel Adams, for historic preservation. The romantic Gothic tower was named after a hawk that appeared while Jeffers was working on the structure, and which disappeared the day it was completed. The tower was a gift for his wife Una, who had a fascination for Irish literature and stone towers. In Una's special room on the second floor were kept many of her favorite items, photographs of Jeffers taken by the artist Weston, plants and dried flowers from Shelley's grave, and a rosewood melodeon which she loved to play. The tower also included a secret interior staircase – a source of great fun for his young sons. During this time, Jeffers published volumes of long narrative blank verse that shook up the national literary scene. These poems, including Tamar and Roan Stallion, introduced Jeffers as a master of the epic form, reminiscent of ancient Greek poets. These poems were full of controversial subject matter such as incest, murder and parricide. Jeffers' short verse includes "Hurt Hawks," "The Purse-Seine" and "Shine, Perishing Republic." His intense relationship with the physical world is described in often brutal and apocalyptic verse, and demonstrates a preference for the natural world over what he sees as the negative influence of civilization. Jeffers did not accept the idea that meter is a fundamental part of poetry, and, like Marianne Moore, claimed his verse was not composed in meter, but "rolling stresses." He believed meter was imposed on poetry by man and not a fundamental part of its nature. nitially, Tamar and Other Poems received no acclaim, but when East Coast reviewers discovered the work and began to compare Jeffers to Greek tragedians, Boni & Liveright reissued an expanded edition as Roan Stallion, Tamar and Other Poems (1925). In these works, Jeffers began to articulate themes that contributed to what he later identified as Inhumanism. Mankind was too self-centered, he complained, and too indifferent to the "astonishing beauty of things." Jeffers's longest and most ambitious narrative, The Women at Point Sur (1927), startled many of his readers, heavily loaded as it was with Nietzschean philosophy. The balance of the 1920s and the early 1930s were especially productive for Jeffers, and his reputation was secure. In 1934, he made the acquaintance of the philosopher J Krishnamurti and was struck by the force of Krishnamurti's person. He wrote a poem entitled "Credo" which many feel refers to Krishnamurti. In Cawdor and Other Poems (1928), Dear Judas and Other Poems (1929), Descent to the Dead, Poems Written in Ireland and Great Britain (1931), Thurso's Landing (1932), and Give Your Heart to the Hawks (1933), Jeffers continued to explore the questions of how human beings could find their proper relationship (free of human egocentrism) with the divinity of the beauty of things. These poems, set in the Big Sur region (except Dear Judas and Descent to the Dead), enabled Jeffers to pursue his belief that the natural splendor of the area demanded tragedy: the greater the beauty, the greater the demand. As Euripides had, Jeffers began to focus more on his own characters' psychologies and on social realities than on the mythic. The human dilemmas of Phaedra, Hippolytus, and Medea fascinated him. Many books followed Jeffers' initial success with the epic form, including an adaptation of Euripides' Medea, which became a hit Broadway play starring Dame Judith Anderson. D. H. Lawrence, Edgar Lee Masters, Benjamin De Casseres, and George Sterling were close friends of Jeffers, Sterling having the longest and most intimate relationship with him. While living in Carmel, Jeffers became the focal point for a small but devoted group of admirers. At the peak of his fame, he was one of the few poets to be featured on the cover of Time Magazine. He was also asked to read at the Library of Congress, and was posthumously put on a U.S. postage stamp. Part of the decline of Jeffers' popularity was due to his staunch opposition to the United States' entering World War II. In fact, his book The Double Axe and Other Poems (1948), a volume of poems that was largely critical of U.S. policy, came with an extremely unconventional note from Random House that the views expressed by Jeffers were not those of the publishing company. Soon after, his work was received negatively by several influential literary critics. Several particularly scathing pieces were penned by Yvor Winters, as well as by Kenneth Rexroth, who had been very positive in his earlier commentary on Jeffers' work. Jeffers would publish poetry intermittently during the 1950s but his poetry never again attained the same degree of popularity that it had in the 1920s and the 1930s. Inhumanism Jeffers coined the word inhumanism, the belief that mankind is too self-centered and too indifferent to the "astonishing beauty of things." In the famous poem "Carmel Point," Jeffers called on humans to "uncenter" themselves. In "The Double Axe," Jeffers explicitly described inhumanism as "a shifting of emphasis and significance from man to notman; the rejection of human solipsism and recognition of the trans-human magnificence. ... This manner of thought and feeling is neither misanthropic nor pessimist. ... It offers a reasonable detachment as rule of conduct, instead of love, hate and envy ... it provides magnificence for the religious instinct, and satisfies our need to admire greatness and rejoice in beauty." In The Loyalties of Robinson Jeffers,the first in-depth study of Jeffers not written by one of his circle, poet and critic J. Radcliffe Squires addresses the question of a reconciliation of the beauty of the world and potential beauty in mankind: “Jeffers has asked us to look squarely at the universe. He has told us that materialism has its message, its relevance, and its solace. These are different from the message, relevance, and solace of humanism. Humanism teaches us best why we suffer, but materialism teaches us how to suffer.” Influence His poems have been translated into many languages and published all over the world. Outside of the United States he is most popular in Japan and the Czech Republic. William Everson, Edward Abbey, Gary Snyder, and Mark Jarman are just a few recent authors who have been influenced by Jeffers. Charles Bukowski remarked that Jeffers was his favorite poet. Polish poet Czesław Miłosz also took an interest in Jeffers' poetry and worked as a translator for several volumes of his poems. Jeffers also exchanged some letters with his Czech translator and popularizer, the poet Kamil Bednář. Writer Paul Mooney (1904–1939), son of American Indian authority James Mooney (1861–1921) and collaborator of travel writer Richard Halliburton (1900–1939), "was known always to carry with him (a volume of Jeffers) as a chewer might carry a pouch of tobacco ... and, like Jeffers," writes Gerry Max in Horizon Chasers, "worshipped nature ... (taking) refuge (from the encroachments of civilization) in a sort of chthonian mysticism rife with Greek dramatic elements ..." Jeffers was an inspiration and friend to western U.S. photographers of the early twentieth century, including Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, and Morley Baer. In fact, the elegant book of Baer's photographs juxtaposed with Jeffers' poetry, combines the creative talents of those two residents of the Big Sur coast. Although Jeffers has largely been marginalized in the mainstream academic community over the last thirty years, several important contemporary literary critics, including Albert Gelpi of Stanford University, and poet, critic and NEA chairman Dana Gioia, have consistently cited Jeffers as a formidable presence in modern literature. His poem "The Beaks of Eagles" was made into a song by The Beach Boys on their album Holland (1973). Two lines from Jeffers' poem "We Are Those People" are quoted toward the end of the 2008 film Visioneers. Several lines from Jeffers' poem "Wise Men in Their Bad Hours" ("Death's a fierce meadowlark: but to die having made / Something more equal to the centuries / Than muscle and bone, is mostly to shed weakness.") appear in Christopher McCandless' diary. Robinson Jeffers is mentioned in the 2004 film I Heart Huckabees by the character Albert Markovski played by Jason Schwartzman, when defending Jeffers as a nature writer against another character's claim that environmentalism is socialism. Markovski says, "Henry David Thoreau, Robinson Jeffers, the National Geographic Society...all socialists?" Further reading and research The largest collections of Jeffers' manuscripts and materials are in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin and in the libraries at Occidental College, the University of California, and Yale University. A collection of his letters has been published as The Selected Letters of Robinson Jeffers, 1887–1962 (1968). Other books of criticism and poetry by Jeffers are: Poetry, Gongorism and a Thousand Years (1949), Themes in My Poems (1956), Robinson Jeffers: Selected Poems (1965), The Alpine Christ and Other Poems (1974), What Odd Expedients" and Other Poems (1981), and Rock and Hawk: A Selection of Shorter Poems by Robinson Jeffers (1987). Stanford University Press recently released a five-volume collection of the complete works of Robinson Jeffers. In an article titled, "A Black Sheep Joins the Fold", written upon the release of the collection in 2001, Stanford Magazine commented that it was remarkable that, due to a number of circumstances, "there was never an authoritative, scholarly edition of California’s premier bard" until the complete works published by Stanford. Biographical studies include George Sterling, Robinson Jeffers: The Man and the Artist (1926); Louis Adamic, Robinson Jeffers (1929); Melba Bennett, Robinson Jeffers and the Sea (1936) and The Stone Mason of Tor House (1966); Radcliffe Squires, The Loyalties of Robinson Jeffers (1956); Edith Greenan, Of Una Jeffers (1939); Mabel Dodge Luhan, Una and Robin (1976; written in 1933); Ward Ritchie, Jeffers: Some Recollections of Robinson Jeffers (1977); and James Karman, Robinson Jeffers: Poet of California (1987). Books about Jeffers's career include L. C. Powell, Robinson Jeffers: The Man and His Work (1940; repr. 1973); William Everson, Robinson Jeffers: Fragments of an Older Fury (1968); Arthur B. Coffin, Robinson Jeffers: Poet of Inhumanism (1971); Bill Hotchkiss, Jeffers: The Sivaistic Vision (1975); James Karman, ed., Critical Essays on Robinson Jeffers (1990); Alex Vardamis The Critical Reputation of Robinson Jeffers (1972); and Robert Zaller, ed., Centennial Essays for Robinson Jeffers (1991). The Robinson Jeffers Newsletter, ed. Robert Brophy, is a valuable scholarly resource. In a rare recording, Jeffers can be heard reading his "The Day Is A Poem" (September 19, 1939) on Poetry Speaks – Hear Great Poets Read Their Work from Tennyson to Plath, Narrated by Charles Osgood (Sourcebooks, Inc., c2001), Disc 1, #41; including text, with Robert Hass on Robinson Jeffers, pp. 88–95. Jeffers was also on the cover of Time – The Weekly Magazine, April 4, 1932 (pictured on p. 90. Poetry Speaks). Jeffers Studies, a journal of research on the poetry of Robinson Jeffers and related topics, is published semi-annually by the Robinson Jeffers Association. Bibliography * Flagons and Apples. Los Angeles: Grafton, 1912. * Californians. New York: Macmillan, 1916. * Tamar and Other Poems. New York: Peter G. Boyle, 1924. * Roan Stallion, Tamar, and Other Poems. New York: Boni and Liveright, 1925. * The Women at Point Sur. New York: Liveright, 1927. * Cawdor and Other Poems. New York: Liveright, 1928. * Dear Judas and Other Poems. New York: Liveright, 1929. * Thurso's Landing and Other Poems. New York: Liveright, 1932. * Give Your Heart to the Hawks and other Poems. New York: Random House, 1933. * Solstice and Other Poems. New York: Random House, 1935. * Such Counsels You Gave To Me and Other Poems. New York: Random House, 1937. * The Selected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers. New York: Random House, 1938. * Be Angry at the Sun. New York: Random House, 1941. * Medea. New York: Random House, 1946. * The Double Axe and Other Poems. New York: Random House, 1948. * Hungerfield and Other Poems. New York: Random House, 1954. * The Beginning and the End and Other Poems. New York: Random House, 1963. * Robinson Jeffers: Selected Poems. New York: Vintage, 1965. * Stones of the Sur. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001. References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robinson_Jeffers

Ben Jonson

Ben Jonson (originally Benjamin Jonson; c. 11 June 1572 – 6 August 1637) was an English playwright, poet, and literary critic of the seventeenth century, whose artistry exerted a lasting impact upon English poetry and stage comedy. He popularised the comedy of humours. He is best known for the satirical plays Every Man in His Humour (1598), Volpone, or The Foxe (1605), The Alchemist (1610), and Bartholomew Fayre: A Comedy (1614), and for his lyric poetry; he is generally regarded as the second most important English dramatist, after William Shakespeare, during the reign of James I. Jonson was a classically educated, well-read, and cultured man of the English Renaissance with an appetite for controversy (personal and political, artistic and intellectual) whose cultural influence was of unparalleled breadth upon the playwrights and the poets of the Jacobean era (1603–1625) and of the Caroline era (1625–1642). Ben Jonson said that his family originally came from the folk of the Anglo-Scottish border country, which genealogy is verified by the three spindles (rhombi) in the Jonson family coat of arms. One spindle is a diamond-shaped heraldic device shared with the Border-country Johnstone family of Annandale. Jonson's clergyman father died two months before his birth; his mother married a master bricklayer two years later.[4][5] Jonson attended school in St. Martin's Lane. Later, a family friend paid for his studies at Westminster School, where the antiquarian, historian, topographer, and officer of arms, William Camden (1551–1623) was one of his masters. In the event, the pupil and the master became friends, and the intellectual influence of Camden's broad-ranging scholarship upon Jonson's art and literary style remained notable, until Camden's death in 1623. On leaving Westminster School, Jonson was to have attended the University of Cambridge, to continue his book learning; but did not, because of his unwilled apprenticeship to his bricklayer stepfather.[2][4] According to the churchman and historian Thomas Fuller (1608–61), Jonson at this time built a garden wall in Lincoln's Inn. After having been an apprentice bricklayer, Ben Jonson went to the Netherlands, and volunteered to soldier with the English regiments of Francis Vere (1560–1609), in Flanders. The Hawthornden Manuscripts (1619), of the conversations between Ben Jonson and the poet William Drummond of Hawthornden (1585–1649), report that, when in Flanders, Jonson engaged, fought, and killed an enemy soldier in single combat, and took for trophies the weapons of the vanquished soldier.[6] After his military activity on the Continent, Jonson returned to England and worked as an actor and as a playwright. As an actor, Jonson was the protagonist “Hieronimo” (Geronimo) in the play The Spanish Tragedy (ca. 1586), by Thomas Kyd (1558–94), the first revenge tragedy in English literature. Moreover, by 1597, he was a working playwright employed by Philip Henslowe, the leading producer for the English public theatre; by the next year, the production of Every Man in His Humour (1598) had established Jonson's reputation as a dramatist. Regarding his marriage Jonson described his wife to William Drummond as "a shrew, yet honest". Since the seventeenth century, the identity of Jonson's wife has been obscure, yet she sometimes is identified as "Ann Lewis", the woman who married a Benjamin Jonson in 1594, at the church of St Magnus-the-Martyr, near London Bridge.[9] Concerning the family of Anne Lewis and Ben Jonson, the St. Martin church registers indicate that Mary Jonson, their eldest daughter, died in November 1593, at six months of age. That a decade later, in 1603, Benjamin Jonson, their eldest son, died of Bubonic plague when he was seven years old; to lament and honour the dead boy, Benjamin Jonson père wrote the elegiac On My First Sonne (1603). Moreover, thirty-two years later, a second son, also named Benjamin Jonson, died in 1635. In that period, Ann Lewis and Ben Jonson lived separate lives for five years; their matrimonial arrangement cast Ann Lewis as the housewife Jonson, and Ben Jonson as the artist who enjoyed the residential hospitality of his patrons, Sir Robert Townshend and Lord Aubigny, Esme Stuart, 3rd Duke of Lennox. Career By summer 1597, Jonson had a fixed engagement in the Admiral's Men, then performing under Philip Henslowe's management at The Rose. John Aubrey reports, on uncertain authority, that Jonson was not successful as an actor; whatever his skills as an actor, he was evidently more valuable to the company as a writer. By this time Jonson had begun to write original plays for the Admiral's Men; in 1598 he was mentioned by Francis Meres in his Palladis Tamia as one of "the best for tragedy." None of his early tragedies survive, however. An undated comedy, The Case is Altered, may be his earliest surviving play. In 1597 a play which he co-wrote with Thomas Nashe, The Isle of Dogs, was suppressed after causing great offence. Arrest warrants for Jonson and Nashe were issued by Queen Elizabeth I's so-called interrogator, Richard Topcliffe. Jonson was jailed in Marshalsea Prison and charged with "Leude and mutynous behavior", while Nashe managed to escape to Great Yarmouth. Two of the actors, Gabriel Spenser and Robert Shaw, were also imprisoned. A year later, Jonson was again briefly imprisoned, this time in Newgate Prison, for killing Gabriel Spenser in a duel on 22 September 1598 in Hogsden Fields[6] (today part of Hoxton). Tried on a charge of manslaughter, Jonson pleaded guilty but was released by benefit of clergy, a legal ploy through which he gained leniency by reciting a brief bible verse (the neck-verse), forfeiting his 'goods and chattels' and being branded on his left thumb.[10] While in gaol Jonson converted to Catholicism, possibly through the influence of fellow-prisoner Father Thomas Wright, a Jesuit priest. In 1598 Jonson produced his first great success, Every Man in His Humour, capitalising on the vogue for humorous plays which George Chapman had begun with An Humorous Day's Mirth. William Shakespeare was among the first actors to be cast. Jonson followed this in 1599 with Every Man out of His Humour, a pedantic attempt to imitate Aristophanes. It is not known whether this was a success on stage, but when published it proved popular and went through several editions. Jonson's other work for the theatre in the last years of Elizabeth I's reign was marked by fighting and controversy. Cynthia's Revels was produced by the Children of the Chapel Royal at Blackfriars Theatre in 1600. It satirised both John Marston, who Jonson believed had accused him of lustfulness, possibly in Histrio-Mastix, and Thomas Dekker. Jonson attacked the two poets again in 1601's Poetaster. Dekker responded with Satiromastix, subtitled "the untrussing of the humorous poet". The final scene of this play, whilst certainly not to be taken at face value as a portrait of Jonson, offers a caricature that is recognisable from Drummond's report – boasting about himself and condemning other poets, criticising performances of his plays, and calling attention to himself in any available way. This "War of the Theatres" appears to have ended with reconciliation on all sides. Jonson collaborated with Dekker on a pageant welcoming James I to England in 1603 although Drummond reports that Jonson called Dekker a rogue. Marston dedicated The Malcontent to Jonson and the two collaborated with Chapman on Eastward Ho, a 1605 play whose anti-Scottish sentiment briefly landed both authors in jail. Poetry Jonson has been called 'the first poet laureate'.[44] If Jonson's reputation as a playwright has traditionally been linked to Shakespeare, his reputation as a poet has, since the early 20th century, been linked to that of John Donne. In this comparison, Jonson represents the cavalier strain of poetry, emphasising grace and clarity of expression; Donne, by contrast, epitomised the metaphysical school of poetry, with its reliance on strained, baroque metaphors and often vague phrasing. Since the critics who made this comparison (Herbert Grierson for example), were to varying extents rediscovering Donne, this comparison often worked to the detriment of Jonson's reputation. In his time Jonson was at least as influential as Donne. In 1623, historian Edmund Bolton named him the best and most polished English poet. That this judgment was widely shared is indicated by the admitted influence he had on younger poets. The grounds for describing Jonson as the "father" of cavalier poets are clear: many of the cavalier poets described themselves as his "sons" or his "tribe". For some of this tribe, the connection was as much social as poetic; Herrick described meetings at "the Sun, the Dog, the Triple Tunne". All of them, including those like Herrick whose accomplishments in verse are generally regarded as superior to Jonson's, took inspiration from Jonson's revival of classical forms and themes, his subtle melodies, and his disciplined use of wit. In these respects Jonson may be regarded as among the most important figures in the prehistory of English neoclassicism. The best of Jonson's lyrics have remained current since his time; periodically, they experience a brief vogue, as after the publication of Peter Whalley's edition of 1756. Jonson's poetry continues to interest scholars for the light which it sheds on English literary history, such as politics, systems of patronage, and intellectual attitudes. For the general reader, Jonson's reputation rests on a few lyrics that, though brief, are surpassed for grace and precision by very few Renaissance poems: "On My First Sonne"; "To Celia"; "To Penshurst"; and the epitaph on boy player Solomon Pavy. References Wikipedia—http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Jonson

Helen Hunt Jackson

Helen Maria Hunt Jackson, born Helen Fiske (October 15, 1830 – August 12, 1885), was a United States writer who became an activist on behalf of improved treatment of Native Americans by the U.S. government. She detailed the adverse effects of government actions in her history A Century of Dishonor (1881). Her novel Ramona dramatized the federal government's mistreatment of Native Americans in Southern California and attracted considerable attention to her cause, although its popularity was based on its romantic and picturesque qualities rather than its political content. It was estimated to have been reprinted 300 times, and contributed to the growth of tourism in Southern California. Early years She was born Helen Fiske in Amherst, Massachusetts, the daughter of Nathan Welby Fiske and Deborah Waterman Vinal. She had two brothers, both of whom died after birth, and a sister Anne. Her father was a minister, author, and professor of Latin, Greek, and philosophy at Amherst College. Her mother died in 1844 when Helen was fourteen, and her father three years later. Her father provided for her education and arranged for an aunt to care for her. Fiske attended Ipswich Female Seminary and the Abbott Institute, a boarding school run by Reverend J.S.C. Abbott in New York City. She was a classmate of the poet Emily Dickinson, also from Amherst. The two corresponded for the rest of their lives, but few of their letters have survived. Marriage and family In 1852 at age 22, Fiske married U.S. Army Captain Edward Bissell Hunt. They had two sons, one of whom, Murray Hunt, died as an infant in 1854 of a brain disease. In 1863, her husband died in a military accident. Her second son, Rennie Hunt, died of diphtheria in 1865. About 1873-1874, Hunt met William Sharpless Jackson, a wealthy banker and railroad executive, while visiting at Colorado Springs, Colorado, at the resort of Seven Falls. They married in 1875 and she took the name Jackson, under which she was best known for her writings. She was a Unitarian. Career Helen Hunt began writing after the deaths of her family members. She published her early work anonymously, usually under the name "H.H." Ralph Waldo Emerson admired her poetry and used several of her poems in his public readings. He included five of them in his anthology Parnassus. She traveled widely. In the winter of 1873-1874 she was in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in search of a cure for tuberculosis. Here she met the man who would become her second husband. Over the next two years, she published three novels in the anonymous No Name Series, including Mercy Philbrick's Choice and Hetty's Strange History. In 1879 her interests turned to Native Americans after hearing a lecture in Boston by the Ponca Chief Standing Bear. He described the forcible removal of the Ponca from their Nebraska reservation and transfer to the Quapaw Reservation in Indian Territory, where they suffered from disease, climate and poor supplies. Upset about the mistreatment of Native Americans by government agents, Jackson became an activist. She started investigating and publicizing government misconduct, circulating petitions, raising money, and writing letters to the New York Times on behalf of the Ponca. A fiery and prolific writer, Jackson engaged in heated exchanges with federal officials over the injustices committed against American Indians. Among her special targets was U.S. Secretary of Interior Carl Schurz, whom she once called "the most adroit liar I ever knew." She exposed the government's violation of treaties with the American Indian tribes. She documented the corruption of US Indian agents, military officers, and settlers who encroached on and stole Indian lands. Jackson won the support of several newspaper editors who published her reports. Among her correspondents were editor William Hayes Ward of the New York Independent, Richard Watson Guilder of the Century Magazine, and publisher Whitelaw Reid of the New York Daily Tribune. Jackson also wrote a book, the first published under her own name, condemning state and federal Indian policy, and detailing the history of broken treaties. A Century of Dishonor (1881) called for significant reform in government policy toward Native Americans.[10] Jackson sent a copy to every member of Congress with a quote from Benjamin Franklin printed in red on the cover: "Look upon your hands: they are stained with the blood of your relations." The New York Times later wrote that she "soon made enemies at Washington by her often unmeasured attacks, and while on general lines she did some good, her case was weakened by her inability, in some cases, to substantiate the charges she had made; hence many who were at first sympathetic fell away." Jackson went to southern California for respite. Having been interested in the area's missions and the Mission Indians on an earlier visit, she began an in-depth study. While in Los Angeles, she met Don Antonio Coronel, former mayor of the city and a well-known authority on early Californio life in the area. He had served as inspector of missions for the Mexican government. Coronel told her about the plight of the Mission Indians after 1833. They were buffeted by the secularization policies of the Mexican government, as well as later U.S. policies, both of which led to their removal from mission lands. Under its original land grants, the Mexican government provided for resident Indians to continue to occupy such lands. After taking control of the territory in 1848, the U.S. generally disregarded such Mission Indian occupancy claims. In 1852, there were an estimated 15,000 Mission Indians in Southern California. By the time of Jackson's visit, they numbered fewer than 4,000. Coronel's account inspired Jackson to action. The U.S. Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Hiram Price, recommended her appointment as an Interior Department agent. Jackson's assignment was to visit the Mission Indians, ascertain the location and condition of various bands, and determine what lands, if any, should be purchased for their use. With the help of the US Indian agent Abbot Kinney, Jackson traveled throughout Southern California and documented conditions. At one point, she hired a law firm to protect the rights of a family of Saboba Indians facing dispossession from their land at the foot of the San Jacinto Mountains. In 1883, Jackson completed her 56-page report. It recommended extensive government relief for the Mission Indians, including the purchase of new lands for reservations and the establishment of more Indian schools. A bill embodying her recommendations passed the U.S. Senate but died in the House of Representatives. Jackson decided to write a novel to reach a wider audience. When she wrote Coronel asking for details about early California and any romantic incidents he could remember, she explained her purpose: "I am going to write a novel, in which will be set forth some Indian experiences in a way to move people's hearts. People will read a novel when they will not read serious books."[14] She was inspired by her friend Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852). "If I could write a story that would do for the Indian one-hundredth part what Uncle Tom's Cabin did for the Negro, I would be thankful the rest of my life," she wrote. Although Jackson started an outline in California, she began writing the novel in December 1883 in her New York hotel room, and completed it in about three months. Originally titled In The Name of the Law, she published it as Ramona (1884). It featured Ramona, an orphan girl who was half Indian and half Scots, raised in Spanish Californio society, and her Indian husband Alessandro, and their struggles for land of their own. The characters were based on people known by Jackson and incidents which she had encountered. The book achieved rapid success among a wide public and was popular for generations; it was estimated to have been reprinted 300 times. Its romantic story also contributed to the growth of tourism to Southern California. Encouraged by the popularity of her book, Jackson planned to write a children's story about Indian issues, but did not live to complete it. Her last letter was written to President Grover Cleveland and said: "From my death bed I send you message of heartfelt thanks for what you have already done for the Indians. I ask you to read my Century of Dishonor. I am dying happier for the belief I have that it is your hand that is destined to strike the first steady blow toward lifting this burden of infamy from our country and righting the wrongs of the Indian race." Jackson died of stomach cancer in 1885 in San Francisco, California. Her husband arranged for her burial on a one-acre plot on a high plateau overlooking Colorado Springs, Colorado. Her grave was later moved to Evergreen Cemetery in Colorado Springs. At the time of her death, her estate was valued at $12,642. She used her married names, Helen Hunt and Helen Jackson, but she is most often referred to as Helen Hunt Jackson. The New York Times referred to her as Helen Hunt Jackson in 1885, reporting on her final illness, and in 1886, reporting on visitors to her grave. The name was used during her lifetime by others, though she disliked the practice. "It is not proper to keep one's first married name, after a second marriage", she wrote to Moncure Conway. To Caroline Healey Dall, she admitted she was "positively waging war" against being called "Helen Hunt Jackson". Critical response and legacy Jackson's A Century of Dishonor remains in print, as does a collection of her poetry. A New York Times reviewer said of Ramona that "by one estimate, the book has been reprinted 300 times." One year after Jackson's death the North American Review called Ramona "unquestionably the best novel yet produced by an American woman" and named it, along with Uncle Tom's Cabin, one of two most ethical novels of the 19th century. Sixty years after its publication, 600,000 copies had been sold. There have been over 300 reissues to date and the book has never been out of print. The novel has been adapted for other media, including three films, stage, and television productions. Valery Sherer Mathes assessed the writer and her work: Ramona may not have been another Uncle Tom's Cabin, but it served, along with Jackson's writings on the Mission Indians of California, as a catalyst for other reformers ....Helen Hunt Jackson cared deeply for the Indians of California. She cared enough to undermine her health while devoting the last few years of her life to bettering their lives. Her enduring writings, therefore, provided a legacy to other reformers, who cherished her work enough to carry on her struggle and at least try to improve the lives of America's first inhabitants. Her friend Emily Dickinson once described her limitations: "she has the facts but not the phosphorescence." In a review of a film version, a journalist wrote about the novel, calling it "the long and lugubrious romance by Helen Hunt Jackson, over which America wept unnumbered gallons in the eighties and nineties," and complained of "the long, uneventful stretches of the novel."[26] In reviewing the history of her publisher, Houghton Mifflin, a 1970 reviewer noted that Jackson typified the house's success: "Middle aged, middle class, middlebrow." Jackson herself wrote, "My Century of Dishonor and Ramona are the only things I have done of which I am glad.... They will live, and... bear fruit." A portion of Jackson's Colorado home has been reconstructed in the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum and furnished with her possessions. Memorials * The Helen Hunt Jackson Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library is a Mission/Spanish Revival style-building built in 1925. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. * The largest collection of the papers of Helen Hunt Jackson is held at Colorado College.[29] * A high school in Hemet, California, and an elementary school in Temecula were named after her. * Helen Hunt Falls, located in North Cheyenne Canyon in Colorado Springs, was named in her memory. Works * Bits about Home Matters (1873) * Saxe Holm's Stories (1874) * Mercy Philbrick's Choice (1876) * Hetty's Strange History(1877) * Bits of Talk in Verse and Prose for Young Folks (1876) * Bits of Travel at Home (1878) * Nelly's Silver Mine: A Story of Colorado Life (1878) * Letters from a Cat (1879) * A Century of Dishonor: A Sketch of the United States Government's Dealings with some of the * Indian Tribes (1882) * Ramona (1884) * Zeph: A Posthumous Story (1885) * Glimpses of Three Coasts (1886) * Between Whiles (1888) * A Calendar of Sonnets (1891) * Ryan Thomas (1892) * The Hunter Cats of Connorloa (1894) References Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Hunt_Jackson

Pauline Johnson

Emily Pauline Johnson (also known in Mohawk as Tekahionwake –pronounced: dageh-eeon-wageh, literally: ‘double-life’) (10 March 1861– 7 March 1913), commonly known as E. Pauline Johnson or just Pauline Johnson, was a Canadian writer and performer popular in the late 19th century. Johnson was notable for her poems and performances that celebrated her Aboriginal heritage; her father was a hereditary Mohawk chief of mixed ancestry. She also drew from English influences, as her mother was an English immigrant. One such poem is the frequently anthologized “The Song My Paddle Sings”. Johnson’s poetry was published in Canada, the United States and Great Britain. Johnson was one of a generation of widely read writers who began to define a Canadian literature. While her literary reputation declined after her death, since the later 20th century, there has been renewed interest in her life and works. A complete collection of her known poetry was published in 2002. Life and work Early life and education Pauline Johnson was born at Chiefswood, the family home built by her father in 1856 on his 225-acre estate at the Six Nations reserve outside Brantford, Ontario. She was the youngest of four children of Emily Susanna Howells Johnson (1824–1898), a native of England, and George Henry Martin Johnson (1816–1884), a Mohawk hereditary clan chief. His mother was of partial Dutch descent and born into the Wolf clan. Her mother was a Dutch girl who became assimilated as Mohawk after being taken captive and adopted by a Wolf clan family. Howells had immigrated to the United States in 1832 as a young child with her father, stepmother and siblings. Although Emily and George Johnson’s marriage had been opposed by both their families, and they were concerned that their mixed-race family would not be socially accepted, they were acknowledged as a leading Canadian family (Gray 2002, p. 61). The Johnsons enjoyed a high standard of living, and their family and home were well known. Chiefswood was visited by such intellectual and political guests as the inventor Alexander Graham Bell, painter Homer Watson, noted anthropologist Horatio Hale, and Lady and Lord Dufferin, Governor General of Canada. Emily and George Johnson encouraged their four children to respect and learn about both the Mohawk and the English aspects of their heritage. Because the children were born to a Native father, by British law they were legally considered Mohawk and wards of the British Crown. But under the Mohawk kinship system, because their mother was not Mohawk they were not born into a tribal clan; they were excluded from important aspects of the tribe’s matrilineal culture. Their paternal grandfather John Smoke Johnson, who had been elected an honorary Pine Tree Chief, was an authority in the lives of his grandchildren. He told them many stories in the Mohawk language, which they comprehended but did not speak fluently. Pauline Johnson said that she inherited her talent for elocution from her grandfather. Late in life, she expressed regret for not learning more of his Mohawk heritage. A sickly child, Johnson did not attend Brantford’s Mohawk Institute. It was established in 1834 as one of Canada’s first residential schools for Native children. Her education was mostly at home and informal, derived from her mother, a series of non-Native governesses, a few years at the small school on the reserve, and self-directed reading in the family’s expansive library. She became familiar with literary works by Byron, Tennyson, Keats, Browning, and Milton. She enjoyed reading tales about Native peoples, such as Longfellow’s epic poem The Song of Hiawatha and John Richardson’s Wacousta. At the age 14, Johnson went to Brantford Central Collegiate with her brother Allen, and she graduated in 1877. A schoolmate was Sara Jeannette Duncan, who developed her own journalistic and literary career. Literary and stage career During the 1880s, Pauline Johnson wrote and performed in amateur theatre productions. She enjoyed the Canadian outdoors, where she traveled by canoe. In 1883 she published her first full-length poem, “My Little Jean,” in the New York Gems of Poetry. She began to increase the pace of her writing and publishing afterward. Shortly after her father’s death in 1884, the family rented out Chiefswood. Pauline Johnson moved with her widowed mother and sister to a modest home in Brantford. She worked to support them all, and found that her stage performances allowed her to make a living. Johnson supported her mother until her death in 1898. In 1885, Charles G.D. Roberts published Johnson’s “A Cry from an Indian Wife” in The Week, Goldwin Smith’s Toronto magazine. She based it on events of the battle of Cut Knife Creek during the Riel Rebellion. Roberts and Johnson became lifelong friends. Johnson promoted her identity as a Mohawk, but as an adult spent little time with people of that culture. In 1885, Johnson traveled to Buffalo, New York to attend a ceremony honoring the Iroquois leader Sagoyewatha, also known as Red Jacket. She wrote a poem expressing admiration for him and a plea for reconciliation between British and Native peoples (Gray 2002, p. 90). In 1886, Johnson was commissioned to write a poem to mark the unveiling in Brantford of a statue honoring Joseph Brant, the important Mohawk leader who was allied with the British during and after the American Revolutionary War. Her “Ode to Brant” was read at a 13 October ceremony before “the largest crowd the little city had ever seen.” It called for brotherhood between Native and white Canadians under British imperial authority (Gray 2002, p. 90). The poem sparked a long article in the Toronto Globe, and increased interest in Johnson’s poetry and heritage. The Brantford businessman William F. Cockshutt read the poem at the ceremony, as Johnson was reportedly too shy. During the 1880s, Johnson built her reputation as a Canadian writer, regularly publishing in periodicals such as Globe, The Week, and Saturday Night. In the late 1880s and early 1890s, she published nearly every month, mostly in Saturday Night. Johnson was one of a group of Canadian authors contributing to a distinct national literature,. The inclusion of two of her poems in W.D. Lighthall’s anthology, Songs of the Great Dominion (1889), signaled her recognition and Theodore Watts-Dunton noted her for praise in his review of the book; he quoted her entire poem “In the Shadows” and called her “the most interesting poetess now living.” In her early works, Johnson wrote mostly about Canadian life, landscapes, and love in a post-Romantic mode, reflective of literary interests shared with her mother rather than her Mohawk heritage. The Young Men’s Liberal Association invited Johnson to a Canadian Authors Evening, held 16 January 1892 at the Toronto Art School Gallery. The only woman at the event, she read to an overflow crowd, along with luminaries such as Lighthall, William Wilfred Campbell, and Duncan Campbell Scott. “The poise and grace of this beautiful young woman standing before them captivated the audience even before she began to recite—not read, as the others had done”—her “Cry from an Indian Wife.” She was the only author to be called back for an encore. “She had scored a personal triumph and saved the evening from turning into a disaster.” The success of this performance began the poet’s 15-year stage career, as she was signed up by Frank Yeigh, who had organized the Liberal event. He gave her the headline for her first show on 19 February 1892, where she debuted a new poem written for the event, “The Song My Paddle Sings”. Johnson was perceived as quite young (although she was then 31), a beauty, and an exotic Native performer. After her first recital season, she decided to emphasize the Native aspects of her public figure by assembling and wearing a feminine Native costume. She wore it during the first part of the show, when reciting her dramatic “Indian” lyrics. At intermission she changed into fashionable English dress; in the second half, she appeared as a Victorian lady to recite her “English” verse. Johnson’s decision to develop her stage persona, and the popularity it inspired, showed that the audiences she encountered in Canada, England, and the United States recognized and were entertained by Native peoples in performance. There was great interest in Native Americans; the 1890s were also the period of popularity of Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show and ethnological aboriginal exhibits. Johnson and her siblings inherited an artifact collection from their father, which included significant items such as Mohawk wampum belts and spiritual masks. She used some items in her stage performances, but sold most later to museums, such as the Ontario Provincial Museum, or to collectors, such as the prominent American George Gustav Heye. Scholars have had difficulty identifying Johnson’s complete works, as much was published in periodicals. Her first volume of poetry, The White Wampum, was published in London, England in 1895. It was followed by Canadian Born in 1903. The contents of these volumes, together with additional poems, were published as the collection Flint and Feather in 1912. Reprinted many times, this book has been one of the best-selling titles of Canadian poetry. Since the 1917 edition, Flint and Feather has been misleadingly subtitled “The Complete Poems of E. Pauline Johnson”. But in 2002, professors Carole Gerson and Veronica Strong-Boag produced an edition, Tekahionwake: Collected Poems and Selected Prose, that contains all of Johnson’s poems found up to that date. Later life After retiring from the stage in August 1909, Johnson moved to Vancouver, British Columbia and continued writing. Her pieces included a series of articles for the Daily Province, based on stories related by her friend Chief Joe Capilano of the Squamish people of North Vancouver. In 1911, to help support Johnson, who was ill and poor, a group of friends organized the publication of these stories under the title Legends of Vancouver. They remain classics of that city’s literature. One of the stories was a Squamish legend of shape shifting: how a man was transformed into Siwash Rock “as an indestructible monument to Clean Fatherhood”. In another, Johnson told the history of Deadman’s Island, a small islet off Stanley Park. In a poem in the collection, she named one of her favourite areas “Lost Lagoon”, as the inlet seemed to disappear when the water emptied at low tide. The body of water has since been transformed into a permanent, fresh-water lake at Stanley Park, but it is still called “Lost Lagoon”. The posthumous Shagganappi (1913) and The Moccasin Maker (1913) are collections of selected stories first published in periodicals. Johnson wrote on a variety of sentimental, didactic, and biographical topics. Veronica Strong-Boag and Carole Gerson provided a provisional chronological list of Johnson’s writings in their book Paddling Her Own Canoe: The Times and Texts of E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake) (2000). Johnson died of breast cancer in Vancouver, British Columbia on 7 March 1913. Her funeral (the largest until then in Vancouver history) was held on what would have been her 52nd birthday. Her ashes were buried near Siwash Rock in Stanley Park. In 1922 a cairn was erected at the burial site, with an inscription reading in part, “in memory of one whose life and writings were an uplift and a blessing to our nation”. Criticism and legacy Despite the acclaim she received from contemporaries, Johnson had a decline in reputation in the decades after her death. It was not until 1961, with commemoration of the centenary of her birth, that Johnson began to be recognized as an important Canadian cultural figure. A number of biographers and literary critics have downplayed her literary contributions, as they contend that her performances contributed most to her literary reputation during her lifetime. W. J. Keith wrote: “Pauline Johnson’s life was more interesting than her writing... with ambitions as a poet, she produced little or nothing of value in the eyes of critics who emphasize style rather than content.” The author Margaret Atwood admitted that she did not study literature by Native authors when preparing Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature (1972), her seminal work. At its publication, she had said she could not find Native works. She mused, “Why did I overlook Pauline Johnson? Perhaps because, being half-white, she somehow didn’t rate as the real thing, even among Natives; although she is undergoing reclamation today.” Atwood’s comments indicated that Johnson’s multicultural identity contributed to her neglect by critics. As Atwood noted, since the late 20th century, Johnson’s writings and performance career have been reevaluated by literary, feminist, and postcolonial critics. They have appreciated her importance as a New Woman and a figure of resistance to dominant ideas about race, gender, Native Rights, and Canada. The growth in literature written by First Nations people during the 1980s and 1990s has prompted writers and scholars to investigate Native oral and written literary history, to which Johnson made a significant contribution. Legacy and honours * In 1922, the city of Vancouver erected a monument in Pauline Johnson’s honour at her well-loved Stanley Park. * 1945, Johnson was designated a Person of National Historic Significance. * In 1961, on the centennial of her birth, Johnson was celebrated with a commemorative stamp bearing her image, “rendering her the first woman (other than the Queen), the first author, and the first aboriginal Canadian to be thus honored.”. * Four Canadian schools have been named in Johnson’s honour: elementary schools in West Vancouver, British Columbia; Scarborough, Ontario; Hamilton, Ontario; and Burlington, Ontario; and a high school in Brantford, Ontario. * Chiefswood, Johnson’s childhood home constructed in 1856 in Brantford, has been listed as a National Historic Site because of both her father’s and her own historical importance. Preserved as a house museum, it is the oldest Native mansion surviving from pre-Confederation times. * An Ontario Historical Plaque was erected in front of the Chiefswood house museum by the province to commemorate E. Pauline Johnson’s role in the region’s heritage. * The Canadian actor Donald Sutherland read the following quote from her poem “Autumn’s Orchestra”, at the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. * Know by the thread of music woven through * This fragile web of cadences I spin, * That I have only caught these songs since you * Voiced them upon your haunting violin. * In 2010, composer Jeff Enns was commissioned to create a song based on Johnson’s poem “At Sunset”. His work was sung and recorded by the Canadian Chamber Choir under the artistic direction of Julia Davids. * The City Opera of Vancouver commissioned Pauline, a chamber opera dealing with her life, her multicultural identity, and her art. The composer is the Canadian Tobin Stokes, and the libretto was written by Margaret Atwood. The work premiered on 23 May 2014, at the York Theatre in Vancouver. The first opera to be written about Pauline Johnson, it is set 101 years earlier, in the last week of her life. Family history * The Mohawk ancestors of Johnson’s father, Chief George Henry Martin Johnson, had historically lived in what became the state of New York, the Mohawk traditional homeland in the present-day United States. In 1758, her great-grandfather Tekahionwake was born in New York. When he was baptized, he took the name Jacob Johnson, taking his surname from Sir William Johnson, the influential British Superintendent of Indian Affairs, who acted as his godfather. The Johnson surname was subsequently passed down in the family. * After the American Revolutionary War started, Loyalists in the Mohawk Valley came under intense pressure. The Mohawk and three other Iroquois tribes were allies of the British rather than the rebel colonists. Jacob Johnson and his family moved to Canada. After the war they settled permanently in Ontario on land given by the Crown in partial compensation for Iroquois losses of territory in New York. * His son John Smoke Johnson had a talent for oratory, spoke English as well as Mohawk, and demonstrated his patriotism to the Crown during the War of 1812. As a result, John Smoke Johnson was made a Pine Tree Chief at the request of the British government. Although John Smoke Johnson’s title could not be inherited, his wife Helen Martin was descended from the Wolf Clan and a founding family of the Six Nations. Through her lineage and influence (as the Mohawk were matrilineal), their son George Johnson was named chief. * Chief George Johnson inherited his father’s gift for languages and began his career as a church translator on the Six Nations reserve. Assisting the Anglican missionary, Johnson met his sister-in-law Emily Howells. They fell in love and married. In 1853, the couple’s interracial marriage displeased both the Johnson and Howells families. (Several prominent Canadian families were descended from 18th and 19th-century marriages between British fur traders, who had capital and social standing, and daughters of First Nations chiefs, which had been considered economic and social alliances.) The birth of their first child reconciled the Johnson family to the marriage. In 1856 Johnson built Chiefswood, a wood mansion where the family lived for years. * In his roles as government interpreter and hereditary Chief, George Johnson developed a reputation as a talented mediator between Native and European interests. He was well respected in Ontario. He also made enemies because of his efforts to stop illegal trading of reserve timber. Physically attacked by Native and non-Native men involved in this traffic, Johnson suffered from health problems afterward. He died of a fever in 1884. * Emily Howells was born in England to a well-established British family who immigrated to the United States in 1832. Her father Henry Howells was a Quaker and intended to join the American abolitionist movement. Emily’s mother Mary Best Howells had died when the girl was five, before the family left England. Her father married again before they immigrated. In the US, he moved his family to several American cities, where he founded schools to gain an income, before settling in Eaglewood, New Jersey. After his second wife died (women had a high mortality in childbirth), Howells married a third time, and fathered a total of 24 children. He opposed slavery and encouraged his children to “pray for the blacks and to pity the poor Indians. Nevertheless, his compassion did not preclude the view that his own race was superior to others”. * At the age of 21, Emily Howells moved to the Six Nations reserve in Ontario, Canada to join her older sister, who had moved there with her Anglican missionary husband. Emily helped her care for her growing family. After falling in love with the Mohawk George Johnson, Howells gained a better understanding of the Native peoples and some perspective on her father’s beliefs. Selected publications Poetry * The White Wampum. Toronto: Copp Clark. 1895. – The White Wampum at Google Books– (Early Canadiana Online) ISBN 0-665-07618-5 * In the Shadows. Gouverneur, New York: Adirondack. 1898. (Early Canadiana Online) ISBN 0-665-08494-3 * Canadian Born. Toronto: Morang. 1903. ISBN 0-665-73199-X * When George Was King and Other Poems. Brockville, Ontario: Brockville Times. 1908. * Flint and Feather. Toronto: Musson. 1912. * Flint and Feather by E. Pauline Johnson at Project Gutenberg (Project Gutenberg) ISBN 0-919645-26-7 * Flint and Feather: The Complete Poems of E. Pauline Johnson. Toronto: Musson Book Co., 1917. * Van Steen, Marcus, ed. Pauline Johnson, Her Life and Work: Biography Written By and Poems Selected By Marcus Van Steen. Toronto: Hodder and Stoughton, 1965. * Gerson, Carole and Veronica Strong-Boag, eds. Tekahionwake: Collected Poems and Selected Prose. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002. Collected stories by Pauline Johnson * Legends of Vancouver. Vancouver, [privately printed], 1911. Vancouver: Vancouver Business and Professional Women’s Club, 1952. * Legends of Vancouver by E. Pauline Johnson at Project Gutenberg (Project Gutenberg) ISBN 1-55082-024-9 * The Moccasin Maker. Toronto: William Briggs, 1913. * The Moccasin Maker by E. Pauline Johnson at Project Gutenberg (Project Gutenberg) ISBN 0-665-73499-9 * The Shagganappi. Toronto: William Briggs, 1913. * The Shagganappi by E. Pauline Johnson at Project Gutenberg (Project Gutenberg) ISBN 0-665-77195-9 References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauline_Johnson

James Weldon Johnson

James Weldon Johnson (June 17, 1871– June 26, 1938) was an American author, educator, lawyer, diplomat, songwriter, and civil rights activist. Johnson is best remembered for his leadership of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), where he started working in 1917. In 1920 he was the first African American to be chosen as executive secretary of the organization, effectively the operating officer. He served in that position from 1920 to 1930. Johnson established his reputation as a writer, and was known during the Harlem Renaissance for his poems, novels, and anthologies collecting both poems and spirituals of black culture. He was appointed under President Theodore Roosevelt as US consul in Venezuela and Nicaragua for most of the period from 1906 to 1913. In 1934 he was the first African-American professor to be hired at New York University. Later in life he was a professor of creative literature and writing at Fisk University. Life Johnson was born in 1871 in Jacksonville, Florida, the son of Helen Louise Dillet, a native of Nassau, Bahamas, and James Johnson. His maternal great-grandmother, Hester Argo, had escaped from Saint-Domingue during the revolutionary upheaval in 1802, along with her three young children, including James’s grandfather Stephen Dillet (1797-1880). Although originally headed to Cuba, their boat was intercepted by privateers and they were taken to Nassau, Bahamas, where they permanently settled. In 1833 Stephen Dillet became the first man of color to win election to the Bahamian legislature (ref. James Weldon Johnson, Along this Way, his autobiography). James’s brother was John Rosamond Johnson, who became a composer. The boys were first educated by their mother, a musician and a public school teacher, before attending Edwin M. Stanton School. Their mother imparted to them her great love and knowledge of English literature and the European tradition in music. At the age of 16, Johnson enrolled at Clark Atlanta University, a historically black college, from which he graduated in 1894. In addition to his studies for the bachelor’s degree, he also completed some graduate coursework. The achievement of his father, headwaiter at the St. James Hotel, a luxury establishment built when Jacksonville was one of Florida’s first winter resort destinations, inspired young James to pursue a professional career. Molded by the classical education for which Atlanta University was best known, Johnson regarded his academic training as a trust. He knew he was expected to devote himself to helping black people advance. Johnson was a prominent member of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity. Johnson and his brother Rosamond moved to New York City as young men, joining the Great Migration out of the South in the first half of the 20th century. They collaborated on songwriting and achieved some success on Broadway in the early 1900s. Over the next 40 years Johnson served in several public capacities, working in education, the diplomatic corps, and civil rights activism. In 1904 he participated in Theodore Roosevelt’s successful presidential campaign. After becoming president, Roosevelt appointed Johnson as United States consul at Puerto Cabello, Venezuela from 1906 to 1908, and to Nicaragua from 1909 to 1913. In 1910, Johnson married Grace Nail, whom he had met in New York City several years earlier while working as a songwriter. A cultured and well-educated New Yorker, Grace Nail Johnson later collaborated with her husband on a screenwriting project. After their return to New York from Nicaragua, Johnson became increasingly involved in the Harlem Renaissance, a great flourishing of art and writing. He wrote his own poetry and supported work by others, also compiling and publishing anthologies of spirituals and poetry. Owing to his influence and his innovative poetry, Johnson became a leading voice in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. He became involved in civil rights activism, especially the campaign to pass federal legislation against lynching, as southern states did not prosecute perpetrators. Starting as a field secretary for the NAACP in 1917, he rose to become one of the most successful officials in the organization. He traveled to Haiti to investigate conditions following the United State occupation in 1915 after the murder of Haitian president Vilbrun Guillaume Sam. His 1920 report about “the economic corruption, forced labor, press censorship, racial segregation, and wanton violence introduced to Haiti by the US occupation encouraged numerous African Americans to flood the State Department and the offices of Republican Party officials with letters” calling for an end to the abuses and to remove troops. The US finally ended its occupation in 1934, long after the threat of Germany in the area had been ended by its defeat in the First World War. Appointed in 1920 as the first black executive secretary of the NAACP, Johnson helped increase membership and extended the movement’s reach by organizing numerous new chapters in the South. During this period the NAACP was mounting frequent legal challenges to the southern states’ disfranchisement of African Americans, which had been established at the turn of the century by such legal devices as poll tax, literacy tests, grandfather clauses and white primaries. Johnson died in 1938 while vacationing in Wiscasset, Maine, when the car his wife was driving was hit by a train. His funeral in Harlem was attended by more than 2000 people. Johnson’s ashes are interred at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. Education and law careers In the summer of 1891, following his freshman year at Atlanta University, Johnson went to a rural district in Georgia to teach the descendants of former slaves. “In all of my experience there has been no period so brief that has meant so much in my education for life as the three months I spent in the backwoods of Georgia,” Johnson wrote. “I was thrown for the first time on my own resources and abilities.” Johnson graduated from Atlanta University in 1894. After graduation, he returned to Jacksonville, where he taught at Stanton, a school for African-American students (the public schools were segregated) that was the largest of all the schools in the city. In 1906, at the young age of 35, he was promoted to principal. In the segregated system, Johnson was paid less than half of what white colleagues earned. He improved black education by adding the ninth and tenth grades to the school, to extend the years of schooling. He later resigned from this job to pursue other goals. While working as a teacher, Johnson also read the law to prepare for the bar. In 1897, he was the first African American admitted to the Florida Bar Exam since the Reconstruction era ended. He was also the first black in Duval County to seek admission to the state bar. In order to be accepted, Johnson had a two-hour oral examination before three attorneys and a judge. He later recalled that one of the examiners, not wanting to see a black man admitted, left the room. Johnson drew on his law background especially during his years as a civil rights activist and leading the NAACP. In 1930 at the age of 59, Johnson returned to education after his many years leading the NAACP. He accepted the Spence Chair of Creative Literature at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. The university created the position for him, in recognition of his achievements as a poet, editor, and critic during the Harlem Renaissance. In addition to discussing literature, he lectured on a wide range of issues related to the lives and civil rights of black Americans. He held this position until his death. In 1934 he also was appointed as the first African-American professor at New York University, where he taught several classes in literature and culture. Music As noted above, in 1901 Johnson had moved to New York City with his brother J. Rosamond Johnson to work in musical theater. They collaborated on such hits as “Tell Me, Dusky Maiden” and “Nobody’s Looking but the Owl and the Moon,” for which Johnson wrote the lyrics and his brother the music. Johnson composed the lyrics of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” originally written for a celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday at Stanton School. This song became widely popular and has become known as the “Negro National Anthem,” a title that the NAACP adopted and promoted. The song included the following lines: “Lift every voice and sing, till earth and Heaven ring, Ring with the harmonies of liberty; Let our rejoicing rise, high as the listening skies, Let it resound loud as the rolling sea. Sing a song full of faith that the dark past has taught us, Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us; Facing the rising sun of our new day begun, Let us march on till victory is won.” “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” had influenced other artistic works, inspiring art such as Gwendolyn Ann Magee’s quilted mosaics. “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” contrasted with W.E.B. Du Bois’ exploration in Souls of Black Folk of the fears of post-emancipation generations of African Americans. After some successes, the brothers worked on Broadway and collaborated with producer and director Bob Cole. Johnson also collaborated on the opera Tolosa with his brother, who wrote the music; it satirized the U.S. annexation of the Pacific islands. Thanks to his success as a Broadway songwriter, Johnson moved in the upper echelons of African-American society in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Diplomacy In 1906 Johnson was appointed by the Roosevelt Administration as consul of Puerto Cabello, Venezuela. In 1909, he transferred to Corinto, Nicaragua. During his stay at Corinto, a rebellion erupted against President Adolfo Diaz. Johnson proved an effective diplomat in such times of strain. His positions also provided time and stimulation to pursue his literary career. He wrote substantial portions of his novel, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, and his poetry collection, Fifty Years, during this period. His poetry was published in major journals such as The Century Magazine and in The Independent. Literary writing Johnson’s first success as a writer was the poem “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” (1899), which his brother Rosamond set to music; the song became unofficially known as the “Negro National Anthem.” During his time in the diplomatic service, Johnson completed what became his most well-known book, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, which he published anonymously in 1912. He chose anonymity to avoid any controversy that might endanger his diplomatic career. It was not until 1927 that Johnson acknowledged writing the novel, stressing that it was not a work of autobiography but mostly fictional. In this period, he also published his first poetry collection, Fifty Years and Other Poems (1917). It showed his increasing politicization and adoption of the black vernacular influences that characterize his later work. Johnson returned to New York, where he was involved in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. He had a broad appreciation for black artists, musicians and writers, and worked to heighten awareness in the wider society of their creativity. In 1922, he published a landmark anthology The Book of American Negro Poetry, with a “Preface” that celebrated the power of black expressive culture. He compiled and edited the anthology The Book of American Negro Spirituals, which was published in 1925. He continued to publish his own poetry as well. Johnson’s collection God’s Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse (1927) is considered most important. He demonstrated that black folk life could be the material of serious poetry. He also comments on the violence of racism in poems such as “Fragment,” which portrays slavery as against both God’s love and God’s law. Following the flourishing of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s, Johnson reissued his anthology of poetry by black writers, The Book of American Negro Poetry, in 1931, including many new poets. This established the African-American poetic tradition for a much wider audience and also inspired younger poets. In 1930, he published a sociological study, Black Manhattan. (1930) His Negro Americans, What Now? (1934) was a book-length address advocating fuller civil rights for African Americans. By this time, tens of thousands of African Americans had left the South for northern and midwestern cities in the Great Migration, but the majority still lived in the South. There they were politically disenfranchised and subject to Jim Crow laws and white supremacy. Outside the South, many faced discrimination but had more political rights and chances for education and work. Civil rights activism While attending Atlanta University, Johnson became known as an influential campus speaker. In 1892 he won the Quiz Club Contest in English Composition and Oratory. He founded and edited the Daily American newspaper in 1895. At a time when southern legislatures were passing laws and constitutions that disfranchised blacks and Jim Crow laws to impose racial segregation, the newspaper covered both political and racial topics. It was terminated a year later due to financial difficulty. These early endeavors were the start of Johnson’s long period of activism. In 1904 he accepted a position as the treasurer of the Colored Republican Club, started by Charles W. Anderson. A year later he was elected as president of the club. He organized political rallies. During 1914 Johnson became editor of the editorial page of the New York Age, an influential African-American weekly newspaper based in New York City. In the early 20th century, it had supported Booker T. Washington’s position for racial advancement by industrious work within the racial community, against the arguments of W. E. B. Du Bois for development of a “talented tenth” and political activism to challenge white supremacy. Johnson’s writing for the Age displayed the political gift that soon made him famous. In 1916, Johnson started working as a field secretary and organizer for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which had been founded in 1910. In this role, he built and revived local chapters. Opposing race riots in northern cities and the lynchings frequent in the South during and immediately after the end of World War I, Johnson engaged the NAACP in mass demonstrations. He organized a silent protest parade of more than 10,000 African Americans down New York City’s Fifth Avenue on July 28, 1917 to protest the still-frequent lynchings of blacks in the South. Social tensions erupted after veterans returned from the First World War, and tried to find work. In 1919, Johnson coined the term “Red Summer” and organized peaceful protests against the white racial violence against blacks that broke out that year in numerous industrial cities of the North and Midwest. There was fierce competition for housing and jobs. Johnson traveled to Haiti to investigate conditions on the island, which had been occupied by U.S. Marines since 1915 because of political unrest. As a result of this trip, Johnson published a series of articles in The Nation in 1920 in which he described the American occupation as brutal. He offered suggestions for the economic and social development of Haiti. These articles were later collected and reprinted as a book under the title Self-Determining Haiti. In 1920 Johnson was chosen as the first black executive secretary of the NAACP, effectively the operating officer position. He served in this role through 1930. He lobbied for the Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill of 1921, which was passed easily by the House, but repeatedly defeated by the white Southern bloc in the Senate. The Southern bloc was powerful because their state legislatures had effectively disfranchised most African-American voters around the turn of the century, but the states had retained the full congressional apportionment related to their total populations. Southern Democratic congressmen, running unopposed, established seniority in Congress and controlled important committees. Throughout the 1920s, Johnson supported and promoted the Harlem Renaissance, trying to help young black authors to get published. Shortly before his death in 1938, Johnson supported efforts by Ignatz Waghalter, a Polish-Jewish composer who had escaped the Nazis of Germany, to establish a classical orchestra of African-American musicians. Legacy and honors * 1904, Honorary master’s degree from Atlanta University. * 1925, Spingarn Medal from the NAACP for outstanding achievement by an American Negro. * 1928, Harmon Gold Award for God’s Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse (1927). * 1929, Julius Rosenwald Fund Grant. * 1933, W. E. B. Du Bois Prize for Negro Literature. * Honorary doctorates from Talladega College and Howard University. * 2007, Emory University in Atlanta established the James Weldon Johnson Institute for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies in his honor. * The James Weldon Johnson building at Coppin State University is named in his honor. * The James Weldon Johnson Middle School is named in his honor. * Johnson is honored with a feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA) on June 25. * On February 2, 1988, the United States Postal Service issued a 22-cent postage stamp in his honor. Books Poetry * Fifty Years and Other Poems (1917) * God’s Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse (1927) * Saint Peter Relates an Incident: Selected Poems (1935) Anthologies * The Book of Negro Spirituals (1925, editor), anthology * The Second Book of Negro Spirituals (1926, editor) * The Book of American Negro Poetry (1931, editor), anthology Other works * The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912/1927, novel) * Black Manhattan (1930, study) * Negro Americans, What Now? (1934, essay) * Along This Way: The Autobiography of James Weldon Johnson (1933/37, autobiography) References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Weldon_Johnson

Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson (18 September 1709 [O.S. 7 September]– 13 December 1784), often referred to as Dr Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer. Johnson was a devout Anglican and committed Tory, and has been described as “arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history”. He is also the subject of “the most famous single biographical work in the whole of literature,” James Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson. Born in Lichfield, Staffordshire, Johnson attended Pembroke College, Oxford for just over a year, before his lack of funds forced him to leave. After working as a teacher, he moved to London, where he began to write for The Gentleman’s Magazine. His early works include the biography Life of Mr Richard Savage, the poems London and The Vanity of Human Wishes, and the play Irene. After nine years of work, Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language was published in 1755. It had a far-reaching effect on Modern English and has been described as “one of the greatest single achievements of scholarship”. This work brought Johnson popularity and success. Until the completion of the Oxford English Dictionary 150 years later, Johnson’s was viewed as the pre-eminent British dictionary. His later works included essays, an influential annotated edition of The Plays of William Shakespeare, and the widely read tale The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia. In 1763, he befriended James Boswell, with whom he later travelled to Scotland; Johnson described their travels in A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland. Towards the end of his life, he produced the massive and influential Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets, a collection of biographies and evaluations of 17th– and 18th-century poets. Johnson was a tall and robust man. His odd gestures and tics were disconcerting to some on first meeting him. Boswell’s Life, along with other biographies, documented Johnson’s behaviour and mannerisms in such detail that they have informed the posthumous diagnosis of Tourette syndrome, a condition not defined or diagnosed in the 18th century. After a series of illnesses, he died on the evening of 13 December 1784, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. In the years following his death, Johnson began to be recognised as having had a lasting effect on literary criticism, and he was claimed by some to be the only truly great critic of English literature. Life and career Early life and education Born on 18 September 1709 (New Style), to Michael Johnson, a bookseller, and his wife, Sarah Ford, Samuel Johnson often claimed that he grew up in poverty. Since both his parents’ families had money, it is uncertain what occurred between the time of Michael and Sarah’s marriage and the birth of Samuel just three years later to provoke such a change in fortune. Johnson was born in the family home above his father’s bookshop in Lichfield, Staffordshire and, because his mother Sarah was 40 when she gave birth, a “man-midwife” and surgeon of “great reputation” named George Hector was brought in to assist. He did not cry and, with doubts surrounding the newborn’s health, his aunt exclaimed “that she would not have picked such a poor creature up in the street.” Since it was feared that the baby might die, the vicar of St Mary’s was summoned to perform a baptism. Two godfathers were chosen: Samuel Swynfen, a physician and graduate of Pembroke College, Oxford, and Richard Wakefield, a lawyer, coroner, and Lichfield town clerk. Johnson’s health improved and he was put to wet-nurse with Joan Marklew. He soon contracted scrofula, known at that time as the “King’s Evil” because it was thought royalty could cure it. Sir John Floyer, former physician to King Charles II, recommended that the young Johnson should receive the “royal touch”, which he received from Queen Anne on 30 March 1712. However, the ritual was ineffective, and an operation was performed that left him with permanent scars across his face and body. With the birth of Johnson’s brother, Nathaniel, a few months later, Michael became unable to pay the debts he had accrued over the years, and his family was no longer able to maintain its standard of living. Johnson demonstrated signs of great intelligence as a child, and his parents, to his later disgust, would show off his “newly acquired accomplishments”. His education began at the age of three, and was provided by his mother, who had him memorise and recite passages from the Book of Common Prayer. When Samuel turned four, he was sent to a nearby school, and, at the age of six he was sent to a retired shoemaker to continue his education. A year later, Johnson went to Lichfield Grammar School, where he excelled in Latin. During this time, Johnson started to exhibit the tics that would influence how people viewed him in his later years, and which formed the basis for the posthumous diagnosis of Tourette syndrome. He excelled at his studies and was promoted to the upper school at the age of nine. During this time, he befriended Edmund Hector, nephew of his “man-midwife” George Hector, and John Taylor, with whom he remained in contact for the rest of his life. At the age of 16, Johnson was given the opportunity to stay with his cousins, the Fords, at Pedmore, Worcestershire. There he became a close friend of Cornelius Ford, who employed his knowledge of the classics to tutor Johnson while he was not attending school. Ford was a successful, well-connected academic, but he was also a notorious alcoholic whose excesses contributed to his death six years later. After spending six months with his cousins, Johnson returned to Lichfield, but Mr. Hunter, the headmaster, “angered by the impertinence of this long absence,” refused to allow Samuel to continue at the grammar school. Unable to return to Lichfield Grammar School, Johnson was enrolled into the King Edward VI grammar school at Stourbridge. Because the school was located near Pedmore, Johnson was able to spend more time with the Fords, and he began to write poems and verse translations. However, he spent only six months at Stourbridge before returning once again to his parents’ home in Lichfield. During this time, Johnson’s future was uncertain because his father was deeply in debt. To earn money, Johnson began to stitch books for his father, and it is likely that Johnson spent much time in his father’s bookshop reading and building his literary knowledge. The family remained in poverty until Sarah Johnson’s cousin, Elizabeth Harriotts, died in February 1728 and left enough money to send Johnson to university. On 31 October 1728, a few weeks after he turned 19, Johnson entered Pembroke College, Oxford. The inheritance did not cover all of his expenses at Pembroke, but Andrew Corbet, a friend and fellow student at Pembroke, offered to make up the deficit. Johnson made friends at Pembroke and read much. In later life, he told stories of his idleness. He was later asked by his tutor to produce a Latin translation of Alexander Pope’s Messiah as a Christmas exercise. Johnson completed half of the translation in one afternoon and the rest the following morning. Although the poem brought him praise, it did not bring the material benefit he had hoped for. The poem later appeared in Miscellany of Poems (1731), edited by John Husbands, a Pembroke tutor, and is the earliest surviving publication of any of Johnson’s writings. Johnson spent the rest of his time studying, even during the Christmas holiday. He drafted a “plan of study” called “Adversaria”, which was left unfinished, and used his time to learn French while working on his Greek. After thirteen months, a shortage of funds forced Johnson to leave Oxford without a degree, and he returned to Lichfield. Towards the end of Johnson’s stay at Oxford, his tutor, Jorden, left Pembroke and was replaced by William Adams. He enjoyed Adams as a tutor, but by December, Johnson was already a quarter behind in his student fees, and he was forced to return home. He left behind many books that he had borrowed from his father because he could not afford to transport them, and also because he hoped to return to Oxford soon. He eventually did receive a degree. Just before the publication of his Dictionary in 1755, Oxford University awarded Johnson the degree of Master of Arts. He was awarded an honorary doctorate in 1765 by Trinity College Dublin and in 1775 by Oxford University. In 1776, he returned to Pembroke with Boswell and toured the college with his former tutor Adams, who was now a Master. During that visit he recalled his time at the college, his early career, and expressed his later fondness for Jorden. Early career Little is known about Johnson’s life between the end of 1729 and 1731. It is likely that he lived with his parents. He experienced bouts of mental anguish and physical pain during years of illness; his tics and gesticulations associated with Tourette syndrome became more noticeable and were often commented upon. By 1731 Johnson’s father was deeply in debt and had lost much of his standing in Lichfield. Johnson hoped to get an usher’s position, which became available at Stourbridge Grammar School, but since he did not have a degree, his application was passed over on 6 September 1731. At about this time, Johnson’s father became ill and developed an “inflammatory fever” which led to his death in December 1731. Johnson eventually found employment as undermaster at a school in Market Bosworth, run by Sir Wolstan Dixie, 4th Baronet who allowed Johnson to teach without a degree. Although Johnson was treated as a servant, he found pleasure in teaching even though he considered it boring. After an argument with Dixie he quit the school, and by June 1732 he had returned home. Johnson continued to look for a position at a Lichfield school. After being turned down for a job at Ashbourne, he spent time with his friend Edmund Hector, who was living in the home of the publisher Thomas Warren. At the time, Warren was starting his Birmingham Journal, and he enlisted Johnson’s help. This connection with Warren grew, and Johnson proposed a translation of Jerónimo Lobo’s account of the Abyssinians. Johnson read Abbé Joachim Le Grand’s French translations, and thought that a shorter version might be “useful and profitable”. Instead of writing the work himself, he dictated to Hector, who then took the copy to the printer and made any corrections. Johnson’s A Voyage to Abyssinia was published a year later. He returned to Lichfield in February 1734, and began an annotated edition of Poliziano’s Latin poems, along with a history of Latin poetry from Petrarch to Poliziano; a Proposal was soon printed, but a lack of funds halted the project. Johnson remained with his close friend Harry Porter during a terminal illness, which ended in Porter’s death on 3 September 1734. Porter’s wife Elizabeth (née Jervis) (otherwise known as “Tetty”) was now a widow at the age of 45, with three children. Some months later, Johnson began to court her. The Reverend William Shaw claims that “the first advances probably proceeded from her, as her attachment to Johnson was in opposition to the advice and desire of all her relations,” Johnson was inexperienced in such relationships, but the well-to-do widow encouraged him and promised to provide for him with her substantial savings. They married on 9 July 1735, at St Werburgh’s Church in Derby. The Porter family did not approve of the match, partly because of the difference in their ages. (Johnson was 25 and Elizabeth was 46.) Elizabeth’s marriage to Johnson so disgusted her son Jervis that he severed all relations with her. However, her daughter Lucy accepted Johnson from the start, and her other son, Joseph, later came to accept the marriage. In June 1735, while working as a tutor for the children of Thomas Whitby, a local Staffordshire gentleman, Johnson had applied for the position of headmaster at Solihull School. Although Johnson’s friend Gilbert Walmisley gave his support, Johnson was passed over because the school’s directors thought he was “a very haughty, ill-natured gent, and that he has such a way of distorting his face (which though he can’t help) the gents think it may affect some lads”. With Walmisley’s encouragement, Johnson decided that he could be a successful teacher if he ran his own school. In the autumn of 1735, Johnson opened Edial Hall School as a private academy at Edial, near Lichfield. He had only three pupils: Lawrence Offley, George Garrick, and the 18-year-old David Garrick, who later became one of the most famous actors of his day. The venture was unsuccessful and cost Tetty a substantial portion of her fortune. Instead of trying to keep the failing school going, Johnson began to write his first major work, the historical tragedy Irene. Biographer Robert DeMaria believed that Tourette syndrome likely made public occupations like schoolmaster or tutor almost impossible for Johnson. This may have led Johnson to “the invisible occupation of authorship”. Johnson left for London with his former pupil David Garrick on 2 March 1737, the day Johnson’s brother died. He was penniless and pessimistic about their travel, but fortunately for them, Garrick had connections in London, and the two were able to stay with his distant relative, Richard Norris. Johnson soon moved to Greenwich near the Golden Hart Tavern to finish Irene. On 12 July 1737 he wrote to Edward Cave with a proposal for a translation of Paolo Sarpi’s The History of the Council of Trent (1619), which Cave did not accept until months later. In October 1737 Johnson brought his wife to London, and he found employment with Cave as a writer for The Gentleman’s Magazine. His assignments for the magazine and other publishers during this time were “almost unparalleled in range and variety,” and “so numerous, so varied and scattered” that “Johnson himself could not make a complete list”. The name Columbia, a poetic name for America coined by Johnson, first appears in a 1738 weekly publication of the debates of the British Parliament in The Gentlemen’s Magazine. In May 1738 his first major work, the poem London, was published anonymously. Based on Juvenal’s Satire III, it describes the character Thales leaving for Wales to escape the problems of London, which is portrayed as a place of crime, corruption, and poverty. Johnson could not bring himself to regard the poem as earning him any merit as a poet. Alexander Pope said that the author “will soon be déterré” (unearthed, dug up), but this would not happen until 15 years later. In August, Johnson’s lack of an MA degree from Oxford or Cambridge led to his being denied a position as master of the Appleby Grammar School. In an effort to end such rejections, Pope asked Lord Gower to use his influence to have a degree awarded to Johnson. Gower petitioned Oxford for an honorary degree to be awarded to Johnson, but was told that it was “too much to be asked”. Gower then asked a friend of Jonathan Swift to plead with Swift to use his influence at the University of Dublin to have a master’s degree awarded to Johnson, in the hope that this could then be used to justify an MA from Oxford, but Swift refused to act on Johnson’s behalf. Between 1737 and 1739, Johnson befriended Richard Savage. Feeling guilty about living on Tetty’s money, Johnson stopped living with her and spent his time with Savage. They were poor and would stay in taverns or sleep in “night-cellars”. Some nights they would roam the streets until dawn because they had no money at all. Savage’s friends tried to help him by attempting to persuade him to move to Wales, but Savage ended up in Bristol and again fell into debt. He was committed to debtors’ prison and died in 1743. A year later, Johnson wrote Life of Mr Richard Savage (1744), a “moving” work which, in the words of the biographer and critic Walter Jackson Bate, “remains one of the innovative works in the history of biography”. A Dictionary of the English Language In 1746, a group of publishers approached Johnson with an idea about creating an authoritative dictionary of the English language. A contract with William Strahan and associates, worth 1,500 guineas, was signed on the morning of 18 June 1746. Johnson claimed that he could finish the project in three years. In comparison, the Académie Française had forty scholars spending forty years to complete their dictionary, which prompted Johnson to claim, “This is the proportion. Let me see; forty times forty is sixteen hundred. As three to sixteen hundred, so is the proportion of an Englishman to a Frenchman.” Although he did not succeed in completing the work in three years, he did manage to finish it in eight. Some criticised the dictionary, including Thomas Babington Macaulay, who described Johnson as “a wretched etymologist,” but according to Bate, the Dictionary “easily ranks as one of the greatest single achievements of scholarship, and probably the greatest ever performed by one individual who laboured under anything like the disadvantages in a comparable length of time.” Johnson’s dictionary was not the first, nor was it unique. It was, however, the most commonly used and imitated for the 150 years between its first publication and the completion of the Oxford English Dictionary in 1928. Other dictionaries, such as Nathan Bailey’s Dictionarium Britannicum, included more words, and in the 150 years preceding Johnson’s dictionary about twenty other general-purpose monolingual “English” dictionaries had been produced. However, there was open dissatisfaction with the dictionaries of the period. In 1741, David Hume claimed: “The Elegance and Propriety of Stile have been very much neglected among us. We have no Dictionary of our Language, and scarce a tolerable Grammar.” Johnson’s Dictionary offers insights into the 18th century and “a faithful record of the language people used”. It is more than a reference book; it is a work of literature. For a decade, Johnson’s constant work on the Dictionary disrupted his and Tetty’s living conditions. He had to employ a number of assistants for the copying and mechanical work, which filled the house with incessant noise and clutter. He was always busy, and kept hundreds of books around. John Hawkins described the scene: “The books he used for this purpose were what he had in his own collection, a copious but a miserably ragged one, and all such as he could borrow; which latter, if ever they came back to those that lent them, were so defaced as to be scarce worth owning.” Johnson was also distracted by Tetty’s poor health as she began to show signs of a terminal illness. To accommodate both his wife and his work, he moved to 17 Gough Square near his printer, William Strahan. In preparation, Johnson wrote a Plan for the Dictionary. Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, was the patron of the Plan, to Johnson’s displeasure. Seven years after first meeting Johnson to go over the work, Chesterfield wrote two anonymous essays in The World recommending the Dictionary. He complained that the English language lacked structure and argued in support of the dictionary. Johnson did not like the tone of the essays, and he felt that Chesterfield had not fulfilled his obligations as the work’s patron. In a letter to Chesterfield, Johnson expressed this view and harshly criticised Chesterfield, saying “Is not a patron, my lord, one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and when he has reached ground, encumbers him with help? The notice which you have been pleased to take of my labours, had it been early, had been kind: but it has been delayed till I am indifferent and cannot enjoy it; till I am solitary and cannot impart it; till I am known and do not want it.” Chesterfield, impressed by the language, kept the letter displayed on a table for anyone to read. The Dictionary was finally published in April 1755, with the title page acknowledging that Oxford had awarded Johnson a Master of Arts degree in anticipation of the work. The dictionary as published was a huge book. Its pages were nearly 18 inches (46 cm) tall, and the book was 20 inches (51 cm) wide when opened; it contained 42,773 entries, to which only a few more were added in subsequent editions, and it sold for the extravagant price of £4 10s, perhaps the rough equivalent of £350 today. An important innovation in English lexicography was to illustrate the meanings of his words by literary quotation, of which there were approximately 114,000. The authors most frequently cited include William Shakespeare, John Milton and John Dryden. It was years before Johnson’s Dictionary, as it came to be known, turned a profit. Authors’ royalties were unknown at the time, and Johnson, once his contract to deliver the book was fulfilled, received no further money from its sale. Years later, many of its quotations would be repeated by various editions of the Webster’s Dictionary and the New English Dictionary. Besides working on the Dictionary, Johnson also wrote numerous essays, sermons, and poems during these nine years. In 1750, he decided to produce a series of essays under the title The Rambler that were to be published every Tuesday and Saturday and sell for twopence each. Explaining the title years later, he told his friend, the painter Joshua Reynolds: “I was at a loss how to name it. I sat down at night upon my bedside, and resolved that I would not go to sleep till I had fixed its title. The Rambler seemed the best that occurred, and I took it.” These essays, often on moral and religious topics, tended to be more grave than the title of the series would suggest; his first comments in The Rambler were to ask “that in this undertaking thy Holy Spirit may not be withheld from me, but that I may promote thy glory, and the salvation of myself and others.” The popularity of The Rambler took off once the issues were collected in a volume; they were reprinted nine times during Johnson’s life. Writer and printer Samuel Richardson, enjoying the essays greatly, questioned the publisher as to who wrote the works; only he and a few of Johnson’s friends were told of Johnson’s authorship. One friend, the novelist Charlotte Lennox, includes a defence of The Rambler in her novel The Female Quixote (1752). In particular, the character Mr. Glanville says, “you may sit in Judgment upon the Productions of a Young, a Richardson, or a Johnson. Rail with premeditated Malice at the Rambler; and for the want of Faults, turn even its inimitable Beauties into Ridicule.” (Book VI, Chapter XI) Later, she claims Johnson as “the greatest Genius in the present Age.” However, not all of his work was confined to The Rambler. His most highly regarded poem, The Vanity of Human Wishes, was written with such “extraordinary speed” that Boswell claimed Johnson “might have been perpetually a poet”. The poem is an imitation of Juvenal’s Satire X and claims that “the antidote to vain human wishes is non-vain spiritual wishes”. In particular, Johnson emphasises “the helpless vulnerability of the individual before the social context” and the “inevitable self-deception by which human beings are led astray”. The poem was critically celebrated but it failed to become popular, and sold fewer copies than London. In 1749, Garrick made good on his promise that he would produce Irene, but its title was altered to Mahomet and Irene to make it “fit for the stage.” The show eventually ran for nine nights. Tetty Johnson was ill during most of her time in London, and in 1752 she decided to return to the countryside while Johnson was busy working on his Dictionary. She died on 17 March 1752, and, at word of her death, Johnson wrote a letter to his old friend Taylor, which according to Taylor “expressed grief in the strongest manner he had ever read”. He wrote a sermon in her honour, to be read at her funeral, but Taylor refused to read it, for reasons which are unknown. This only exacerbated Johnson’s feelings of loss and despair after the death of his wife. Consequently, John Hawkesworth had to organise the funeral. Johnson felt guilty about the poverty in which he believed he had forced Tetty to live, and blamed himself for neglecting her. He became outwardly discontent, and his diary was filled with prayers and laments over her death which continued until his own. She was his primary motivation, and her death hindered his ability to complete his work. Later career On 16 March 1756, Johnson was arrested for an outstanding debt of £5 18s. Unable to contact anyone else, he wrote to the writer and publisher Samuel Richardson. Richardson, who had previously lent Johnson money, sent him six guineas to show his good will, and the two became friends. Soon after, Johnson met and befriended the painter Joshua Reynolds, who so impressed Johnson that he declared him “almost the only man whom I call a friend”. Reynolds’ younger sister Frances observed during their time together "that men, women and children gathered around him [Johnson]", laughing at his gestures and gesticulations. In addition to Reynolds, Johnson was close to Bennet Langton and Arthur Murphy. Langton was a scholar and an admirer of Johnson who persuaded his way into a meeting with Johnson which led to a long friendship. Johnson met Murphy during the summer of 1754 after Murphy came to Johnson about the accidental republishing of the Rambler No. 190, and the two became friends. Around this time, Anna Williams began boarding with Johnson. She was a minor poet who was poor and becoming blind, two conditions that Johnson attempted to change by providing room for her and paying for a failed cataract surgery. Williams, in turn, became Johnson’s housekeeper. To occupy himself, Johnson began to work on The Literary Magazine, or Universal Review, the first issue of which was printed on 19 March 1756. Philosophical disagreements erupted over the purpose of the publication when the Seven Years’ War began and Johnson started to write polemical essays attacking the war. After the war began, the Magazine included many reviews, at least 34 of which were written by Johnson. When not working on the Magazine, Johnson wrote a series of prefaces for other writers, such as Giuseppe Baretti, William Payne and Charlotte Lennox. Johnson’s relationship with Lennox and her works was particularly close during these years, and she in turn relied so heavily upon Johnson that he was “the most important single fact in Mrs Lennox’s literary life”. He later attempted to produce a new edition of her works, but even with his support they were unable to find enough interest to follow through with its publication. To help with domestic duties while Johnson was busy with his various projects, Richard Bathurst, a physician and a member of Johnson’s Club, pressured him to take on a freed slave, Francis Barber, as his servant. Johnson’s work on The Plays of William Shakespeare took up most of his time. On 8 June 1756, Johnson published his Proposals for Printing, by Subscription, the Dramatick Works of William Shakespeare, which argued that previous editions of Shakespeare were edited incorrectly and needed to be corrected. Johnson’s progress on the work slowed as the months passed, and he told music historian Charles Burney in December 1757 that it would take him until the following March to complete it. Before that could happen, he was arrested again, for a debt of £40, in February 1758. The debt was soon repaid by Jacob Tonson, who had contracted Johnson to publish Shakespeare, and this encouraged Johnson to finish his edition to repay the favour. Although it took him another seven years to finish, Johnson completed a few volumes of his Shakespeare to prove his commitment to the project. In 1758, Johnson began to write a weekly series, The Idler, which ran from 15 April 1758 to 5 April 1760, as a way to avoid finishing his Shakespeare. This series was shorter and lacked many features of The Rambler. Unlike his independent publication of The Rambler, The Idler was published in a weekly news journal The Universal Chronicle, a publication supported by John Payne, John Newbery, Robert Stevens and William Faden. Since The Idler did not occupy all Johnson’s time, he was able to publish his philosophical novella Rasselas on 19 April 1759. The “little story book”, as Johnson described it, describes the life of Prince Rasselas and Nekayah, his sister, who are kept in a place called the Happy Valley in the land of Abyssinia. The Valley is a place free of problems, where any desire is quickly satisfied. The constant pleasure does not, however, lead to satisfaction; and, with the help of a philosopher named Imlac, Rasselas escapes and explores the world to witness how all aspects of society and life in the outside world are filled with suffering. They return to Abyssinia, but do not wish to return to the state of constantly fulfilled pleasures found in the Happy Valley. Rasselas was written in one week to pay for his mother’s funeral and settle her debts; it became so popular that there was a new English edition of the work almost every year. References to it appear in many later works of fiction, including Jane Eyre, Cranford and The House of the Seven Gables. Its fame was not limited to English-speaking nations: Rasselas was immediately translated into five languages (French, Dutch, German, Russian and Italian), and later into nine others. By 1762, however, Johnson had gained notoriety for his dilatoriness in writing; the contemporary poet Churchill teased Johnson for the delay in producing his long-promised edition of Shakespeare: "He for subscribers baits his hook / and takes your cash, but where’s the book?" The comments soon motivated Johnson to finish his Shakespeare, and, after receiving the first payment from a government pension on 20 July 1762, he was able to dedicate most of his time towards this goal. Earlier that July, the 24-year-old King George III granted Johnson an annual pension of £300 in appreciation for the Dictionary. While the pension did not make Johnson wealthy, it did allow him a modest yet comfortable independence for the remaining 22 years of his life. The award came largely through the efforts of Sheridan and the Earl of Bute. When Johnson questioned if the pension would force him to promote a political agenda or support various officials, he was told by Bute that the pension “is not given you for anything you are to do, but for what you have done”. On 16 May 1763, Johnson first met 22-year-old James Boswell—who would later become Johnson’s first major biographer—in the bookshop of Johnson’s friend, Tom Davies. They quickly became friends, although Boswell would return to his home in Scotland or travel abroad for months at a time. Around the spring of 1763, Johnson formed “The Club”, a social group that included his friends Reynolds, Burke, Garrick, Goldsmith and others (the membership later expanded to include Adam Smith and Edward Gibbon). They decided to meet every Monday at 7:00 pm at the Turk’s Head in Gerrard Street, Soho, and these meetings continued until long after the deaths of the original members. On 9 January 1765, Murphy introduced Johnson to Henry Thrale, a wealthy brewer and MP, and his wife Hester. They struck up an instant friendship; Johnson was treated as a member of the family, and was once more motivated to continue working on his Shakespeare. Afterwards, Johnson stayed with the Thrales for 17 years until Henry’s death in 1781, sometimes staying in rooms at Thrale’s Anchor Brewery in Southwark. Hester Thrale’s documentation of Johnson’s life during this time, in her correspondence and her diary (Thraliana), became an important source of biographical information on Johnson after his death. Oliver Goldsmith told her of one illness that Johnson had “he owed his recovery to her attention”. Johnson said of her,"If she was not the wisest woman in the world, she was undoubtedly one of the wittiest.” Johnson’s edition of Shakespeare was finally published on 10 October 1765 as The Plays of William Shakespeare, in Eight Volumes... To which are added Notes by Sam. Johnson in a printing of one thousand copies. The first edition quickly sold out, and a second was soon printed. The plays themselves were in a version that Johnson felt was closest to the original, based on his analysis of the manuscript editions. Johnson’s revolutionary innovation was to create a set of corresponding notes that allowed readers to clarify the meaning behind many of Shakespeare’s more complicated passages, and to examine those which had been transcribed incorrectly in previous editions. Included within the notes are occasional attacks upon rival editors of Shakespeare’s works. Years later, Edmond Malone, an important Shakespearean scholar and friend of Johnson’s, stated that Johnson’s “vigorous and comprehensive understanding threw more light on his authour than all his predecessors had done”. In February 1767, Johnson was granted a special audience with King George III. This took place at the library of the Queen’s house, and it was organised by Barnard, the King’s librarian. The King, upon hearing that Johnson would visit the library, commanded that Barnard introduce him to Johnson. After a short meeting, Johnson was impressed both with the King himself and with their conversation. Final works On 6 August 1773, eleven years after first meeting Boswell, Johnson set out to visit his friend in Scotland, and to begin “a journey to the western islands of Scotland”, as Johnson’s 1775 account of their travels would put it. The work was intended to discuss the social problems and struggles that affected the Scottish people, but it also praised many of the unique facets of Scottish society, such as a school in Edinburgh for the deaf and mute. Also, Johnson used the work to enter into the dispute over the authenticity of James Macpherson’s Ossian poems, claiming they could not have been translations of ancient Scottish literature on the grounds that "in those times nothing had been written in the Earse [i.e. Gaelic] language". There were heated exchanges between the two, and according to one of Johnson’s letters, MacPherson threatened physical violence. Boswell’s account of their journey, The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides (1786), was a preliminary step toward his later biography, Life of Johnson. Included were various quotations and descriptions of events, including anecdotes such as Johnson swinging a broadsword while wearing Scottish garb, or dancing a Highland jig. In the 1770s, Johnson, who had tended to be an opponent of the government early in life, published a series of pamphlets in favour of various government policies. In 1770 he produced The False Alarm, a political pamphlet attacking John Wilkes. In 1771, his Thoughts on the Late Transactions Respecting Falkland’s Islands cautioned against war with Spain. In 1774 he printed The Patriot, a critique of what he viewed as false patriotism. On the evening of 7 April 1775, he made the famous statement, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” This line was not, as widely believed, about patriotism in general, but the false use of the term “patriotism” by John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute (the patriot-minister) and his supporters - and the enemies of Bute, who played upon his non-English descent. Johnson opposed “self-professed Patriots” in general, but valued what he considered “true” patriotism. The last of these pamphlets, Taxation No Tyranny (1775), was a defence of the Coercive Acts and a response to the Declaration of Rights of the First Continental Congress of America, which protested against taxation without representation. Johnson argued that in emigrating to America, colonists had “voluntarily resigned the power of voting”, but they still had “virtual representation” in Parliament. In a parody of the Declaration of Rights, Johnson suggested that the Americans had no more right to govern themselves than the Cornish people, and asked “How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?” If the Americans wanted to participate in Parliament, said Johnson, they could move to England and purchase an estate. Johnson denounced English supporters of American separatists as “traitors to this country”, and hoped that the matter would be settled without bloodshed, but he felt confident that it would end with “English superiority and American obedience”. Years before, Johnson had stated that the English and the French were just “two robbers” who were stealing land from the natives, and that neither deserved to live there. After the signing of the 1783 Peace of Paris treaty, marking the colonists’ defeat of the British, Johnson was “deeply disturbed” with the “state of this kingdom”. On 3 May 1777, while Johnson was trying to save Reverend William Dodd from execution, he wrote to Boswell that he was busy preparing a “little Lives” and “little Prefaces, to a little edition of the English Poets”. Tom Davies, William Strahan and Thomas Cadell had asked Johnson to create this final major work, the Lives of the English Poets, for which he asked 200 guineas, an amount significantly less than the price he could have demanded. The Lives, which were critical as well as biographical studies, appeared as prefaces to selections of each poet’s work, and they were longer and more detailed than originally expected. The work was finished in March 1781 and the whole collection was published in six volumes. As Johnson justified in the advertisement for the work, “my purpose was only to have allotted to every Poet an Advertisement, like those which we find in the French Miscellanies, containing a few dates and a general character.” Johnson was unable to enjoy this success because Henry Thrale, the dear friend with whom he lived, died on 4 April 1781. Life changed quickly for Johnson when Hester Thrale became romantically involved with the Italian singing teacher Gabriel Mario Piozzi, which forced Johnson to change his previous lifestyle. After returning home and then travelling for a short period, Johnson received word that his friend and tenant Robert Levet, had died on 17 January 1782. Johnson was shocked by the death of Levet, who had resided at Johnson’s London home since 1762. Shortly afterwards Johnson caught a cold that developed into bronchitis and lasted for several months. His health was further complicated by “feeling forlorn and lonely” over Levet’s death, and by the deaths of his friend Thomas Lawrence and his housekeeper Williams. Final years Although he had recovered his health by August, he experienced emotional trauma when he was given word that Hester Thrale would sell the residence that Johnson shared with the family. What hurt Johnson most was the possibility that he would be left without her constant company. Months later, on 6 October 1782, Johnson attended church for the final time in his life, to say goodbye to his former residence and life. The walk to the church strained him, but he managed the journey unaccompanied. While there, he wrote a prayer for the Thrale family: To thy fatherly protection, O Lord, I commend this family. Bless, guide, and defend them, that they may pass through this world, as finally to enjoy in thy presence everlasting happiness, for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen. Hester Thrale did not completely abandon Johnson, and asked him to accompany the family on a trip to Brighton. He agreed, and was with them from 7 October until 20 November 1782. On his return, his health began to fail, and he was left alone after Boswell’s visit on 29 May 1783. On 17 June 1783, Johnson’s poor circulation resulted in a stroke and he wrote to his neighbour, Edmund Allen, that he had lost the ability to speak. Two doctors were brought in to aid Johnson; he regained his ability to speak two days later. Johnson feared that he was dying, and wrote: The black dog I hope always to resist, and in time to drive, though I am deprived of almost all those that used to help me. The neighbourhood is impoverished. I had once Richardson and Lawrence in my reach. Mrs. Allen is dead. My house has lost Levet, a man who took interest in everything, and therefore ready at conversation. Mrs. Williams is so weak that she can be a companion no longer. When I rise my breakfast is solitary, the black dog waits to share it, from breakfast to dinner he continues barking, except that Dr. Brocklesby for a little keeps him at a distance. Dinner with a sick woman you may venture to suppose not much better than solitary. After dinner, what remains but to count the clock, and hope for that sleep which I can scarce expect. Night comes at last, and some hours of restlessness and confusion bring me again to a day of solitude. What shall exclude the black dog from an habitation like this? By this time he was sick and gout-ridden. He had surgery for gout, and his remaining friends, including novelist Fanny Burney (the daughter of Charles Burney), came to keep him company. He was confined to his room from 14 December 1783 to 21 April 1784. His health began to improve by May 1784, and he travelled to Oxford with Boswell on 5 May 1784. By July, many of Johnson’s friends were either dead or gone; Boswell had left for Scotland and Hester Thrale had become engaged to Piozzi. With no one to visit, Johnson expressed a desire to die in London and arrived there on 16 November 1784. On 25 November 1784, he allowed Burney to visit him and expressed an interest to her that he should leave London; he soon left for Islington, to George Strahan’s home. His final moments were filled with mental anguish and delusions; when his physician, Thomas Warren, visited and asked him if he were feeling better, Johnson burst out with: “No, Sir; you cannot conceive with what acceleration I advance towards death.” Many visitors came to see Johnson as he lay sick in bed, but he preferred only Langton’s company. Burney waited for word of Johnson’s condition, along with Windham, Strahan, Hoole, Cruikshank, Des Moulins and Barber. On 13 December 1784, Johnson met with two others: a young woman, Miss Morris, whom Johnson blessed, and Francesco Sastres, an Italian teacher, who was given some of Johnson’s final words: “Iam Moriturus” ("I who am about to die"). Shortly afterwards he fell into a coma, and died at 7:00 pm. Langton waited until 11:00 pm to tell the others, which led to John Hawkins’ becoming pale and overcome with “an agony of mind”, along with Seward and Hoole describing Johnson’s death as “the most awful sight”. Boswell remarked, “My feeling was just one large expanse of Stupor... I could not believe it. My imagination was not convinced.” William Gerard Hamilton joined in and stated, “He has made a chasm, which not only nothing can fill up, but which nothing has a tendency to fill up. –Johnson is dead.– Let us go to the next best: There is nobody; –no man can be said to put you in mind of Johnson.” He was buried on 20 December 1784 at Westminster Abbey with an inscription that reads: Samuel Johnson, LL.D. Obiit XIII die Decembris, Anno Domini M.DCC.LXXXIV. Ætatis suœ LXXV. Literary criticism Johnson’s works, especially his Lives of the Poets series, describe various features of excellent writing. He believed that the best poetry relied on contemporary language, and he disliked the use of decorative or purposefully archaic language. He was suspicious of the poetic language used by Milton, whose blank verse he believed would inspire many bad imitations. Also, Johnson opposed the poetic language of his contemporary Thomas Gray. His greatest complaint was that obscure allusions found in works like Milton’s Lycidas were overused; he preferred poetry that could be easily read and understood. In addition to his views on language, Johnson believed that a good poem incorporated new and unique imagery. In his smaller poetic works, Johnson relied on short lines and filled his work with a feeling of empathy, which possibly influenced Housman’s poetic style. In London, his first imitation of Juvenal, Johnson uses the poetic form to express his political opinion and, as befits a young writer, approaches the topic in a playful and almost joyous manner. However, his second imitation, The Vanity of Human Wishes, is completely different; the language remains simple, but the poem is more complicated and difficult to read because Johnson is trying to describe complex Christian ethics. These Christian values are not unique to the poem, but contain views expressed in most of Johnson’s works. In particular, Johnson emphasises God’s infinite love and shows that happiness can be attained through virtuous action. When it came to biography, Johnson disagreed with Plutarch’s use of biography to praise and to teach morality. Instead, Johnson believed in portraying the biographical subjects accurately and including any negative aspects of their lives. Because his insistence on accuracy in biography was little short of revolutionary, Johnson had to struggle against a society that was unwilling to accept biographical details that could be viewed as tarnishing a reputation; this became the subject of Rambler 60. Furthermore, Johnson believed that biography should not be limited to the most famous and that the lives of lesser individuals, too, were significant; thus in his Lives of the Poets he chose both great and lesser poets. In all his biographies he insisted on including what others would have considered trivial details to fully describe the lives of his subjects. Johnson considered the genre of autobiography and diaries, including his own, as one having the most significance; in Idler 84 he explains how a writer of an autobiography would be the least likely to distort his own life. Johnson’s thoughts on biography and on poetry coalesced in his understanding of what would make a good critic. His works were dominated with his intent to use them for literary criticism. This was especially true of his Dictionary of which he wrote: “I lately published a Dictionary like those compiled by the academies of Italy and France, for the use of such as aspire to exactness of criticism, or elegance of style”. Although a smaller edition of his Dictionary became the standard household dictionary, Johnson’s original Dictionary was an academic tool that examined how words were used, especially in literary works. To achieve this purpose, Johnson included quotations from Bacon, Hooker, Milton, Shakespeare, Spenser, and many others from what he considered to be the most important literary fields: natural science, philosophy, poetry, and theology. These quotations and usages were all compared and carefully studied in the Dictionary so that a reader could understand what words in literary works meant in context. Johnson did not attempt to create schools of theories to analyse the aesthetics of literature. Instead, he used his criticism for the practical purpose of helping others to better read and understand literature. When it came to Shakespeare’s plays, Johnson emphasised the role of the reader in understanding language: “If Shakespeare has difficulties above other writers, it is to be imputed to the nature of his work, which required the use of common colloquial language, and consequently admitted many phrases allusive, elliptical, and proverbial, such as we speak and hear every hour without observing them”. His works on Shakespeare were devoted not merely to Shakespeare, but to understanding literature as a whole; in his Preface to Shakespeare, Johnson rejects the previous dogma of the classical unities and argues that drama should be faithful to life. However, Johnson did not only defend Shakespeare; he discussed Shakespeare’s faults, including his lack of morality, his vulgarity, his carelessness in crafting plots, and his occasional inattentiveness when choosing words or word order. As well as direct literary criticism, Johnson emphasised the need to establish a text that accurately reflects what an author wrote. Shakespeare’s plays, in particular, had multiple editions, each of which contained errors caused by the printing process. This problem was compounded by careless editors who deemed difficult words incorrect, and changed them in later editions. Johnson believed that an editor should not alter the text in such a way. Character sketch Johnson’s tall and robust figure combined with his odd gestures were confusing to some; when William Hogarth first saw Johnson standing near a window in Samuel Richardson’s house, “shaking his head and rolling himself about in a strange ridiculous manner”, Hogarth thought Johnson an “ideot, whom his relations had put under the care of Mr. Richardson”. Hogarth was quite surprised when "this figure stalked forwards to where he and Mr. Richardson were sitting and all at once took up the argument... [with] such a power of eloquence, that Hogarth looked at him with astonishment, and actually imagined that this ideot had been at the moment inspired". Beyond appearance, Adam Smith claimed that “Johnson knew more books than any man alive”, while Edmund Burke thought that if Johnson were to join Parliament, he “certainly would have been the greatest speaker that ever was there”. Johnson relied on a unique form of rhetoric, and he is well known for his “refutation” of Bishop Berkeley’s immaterialism, his claim that matter did not actually exist but only seemed to exist: during a conversation with Boswell, Johnson powerfully stomped a nearby stone and proclaimed of Berkeley’s theory, “I refute it thus!” Johnson was a devout, conservative Anglican and a compassionate man who supported a number of poor friends under his own roof, even when unable to fully provide for himself. Johnson’s Christian morality permeated his works, and he would write on moral topics with such authority and in such a trusting manner that, Walter Jackson Bate claims, “no other moralist in history excels or even begins to rival him”. However, Johnson’s moral writings do not contain, as Donald Greene points out, “a predetermined and authorized pattern of 'good behavior’”, even though Johnson does emphasise certain kinds of conduct. He did not let his own faith prejudice him against others, and had respect for those of other denominations who demonstrated a commitment to Christ’s teachings. Although Johnson respected John Milton’s poetry, he could not tolerate Milton’s Puritan and Republican beliefs, feeling that they were contrary to England and Christianity. He was an opponent of slavery on moral grounds, and once proposed a toast to the “next rebellion of the negroes in the West Indies”. Beside his beliefs concerning humanity, Johnson is also known for his love of cats, especially his own two cats, Hodge and Lily. Boswell wrote, “I never shall forget the indulgence with which he treated Hodge, his cat.” Johnson was also known as a staunch Tory; he admitted to sympathies for the Jacobite cause during his younger years but, by the reign of George III, he came to accept the Hanoverian Succession. It was Boswell who gave people the impression that Johnson was an “arch-conservative”, and it was Boswell, more than anyone else, who determined how Johnson would be seen by people years later. However, Boswell was not around for two of Johnson’s most politically active periods: during Walpole’s control over British Parliament and during the Seven Years’ War. Although Boswell was present with Johnson during the 1770s and describes four major pamphlets written by Johnson, he neglects to discuss them because he is more interested in their travels to Scotland. This is compounded by the fact that Boswell held an opinion contradictory to two of these pamphlets, The False Alarm and Taxation No Tyranny, and so attacks Johnson’s views in his biography. In his Life of Samuel Johnson Boswell referred to Johnson as ‘Dr. Johnson’ so often that he would always be known as such, even though he hated being called such. Boswell’s emphasis on Johnson’s later years shows him too often as merely an old man discoursing in a tavern to a circle of admirers. Although Boswell, a Scotsman, was a close companion and friend to Johnson during many important times of his life, like many of his fellow Englishmen Johnson had a reputation for despising Scotland and its people. Even during their journey together through Scotland, Johnson “exhibited prejudice and a narrow nationalism”. Hester Thrale, in summarising Johnson’s nationalistic views and his anti-Scottish prejudice, said: "We all know how well he loved to abuse the Scotch, & indeed to be abused by them in return.” Health Johnson had several health problems, including childhood tuberculous scrofula resulting in deep facial scarring, deafness in one ear and blindness in one eye, gout, testicular cancer, and a stroke in his final year that left him unable to speak; his autopsy indicated that he had pulmonary fibrosis along with cardiac failure probably due to hypertension, a condition then unknown. Johnson displayed signs consistent with several diagnoses, including depression and Tourette syndrome (TS). There are many accounts of Johnson suffering from bouts of depression and what Johnson thought might be madness. As Walter Jackson Bate puts it, “one of the ironies of literary history is that its most compelling and authoritative symbol of common sense—of the strong, imaginative grasp of concrete reality—should have begun his adult life, at the age of twenty, in a state of such intense anxiety and bewildered despair that, at least from his own point of view, it seemed the onset of actual insanity”. To overcome these feelings, Johnson tried to constantly involve himself with various activities, but this did not seem to help. Taylor said that Johnson “at one time strongly entertained thoughts of Suicide”. Boswell claimed that Johnson “felt himself overwhelmed with an horrible melancholia, with perpetual irritation, fretfulness, and impatience; and with a dejection, gloom, and despair, which made existence misery”. Early on, when Johnson was unable to pay off his debts, he began to work with professional writers and identified his own situation with theirs. During this time, Johnson witnessed Christopher Smart’s decline into “penury and the madhouse”, and feared that he might share the same fate. Hester Thrale Piozzi claimed, in a discussion on Smart’s mental state, that Johnson was her “friend who feared an apple should intoxicate him”. To her, what separated Johnson from others who were placed in asylums for madness—like Christopher Smart—was his ability to keep his concerns and emotions to himself. Two hundred years after Johnson’s death, the posthumous diagnosis of Tourette syndrome became widely accepted. The condition was unknown during Johnson’s lifetime, but Boswell describes Johnson displaying signs of TS including tics and other involuntary movements. According to Boswell "he commonly held his head to one side... moving his body backwards and forwards, and rubbing his left knee in the same direction, with the palm of his hand... [H]e made various sounds" like “a half whistle” or “as if clucking like a hen”, and “... all this accompanied sometimes with a thoughtful look, but more frequently with a smile. Generally when he had concluded a period, in the course of a dispute, by which time he was a good deal exhausted by violence and vociferation, he used to blow out his breath like a Whale.” There are many similar accounts; in particular, Johnson was said to “perform his gesticulations” at the threshold of a house or in doorways. When asked by a little girl why he made such noises and acted in that way, Johnson responded: “From bad habit.” The diagnosis of the syndrome was first made in a 1967 report, and TS researcher Arthur K. Shapiro described Johnson as “the most notable example of a successful adaptation to life despite the liability of Tourette syndrome”. Details provided by the writings of Boswell, Hester Thrale, and others reinforce the diagnosis, with one paper concluding: [Johnson] also displayed many of the obsessional-compulsive traits and rituals which are associated with this syndrome... It may be thought that without this illness Dr Johnson’s remarkable literary achievements, the great dictionary, his philosophical deliberations and his conversations may never have happened; and Boswell, the author of the greatest of biographies would have been unknown. From early childhood, Johnson suffered from poor eyesight, especially in his left eye, which interfered with his education. There were somewhat contradictory reports about his eyesight from his contemporaries. He appeared to have been near-sighted, yet he did not use eyeglasses. His eyesight became worse with age; still, his handwriting remained quite legible. Legacy Johnson was, in the words of Steven Lynn, “more than a well-known writer and scholar”; for it is said of his poetry, 'small in amount, its quality excellent’, and regrets were expressed that he had not written much more’. He was a celebrity for the activities and the state of his health in his later years were constantly reported in various journals and newspapers, and when there was nothing to report, something was invented. According to Bate, “Johnson loved biography,” and he “changed the whole course of biography for the modern world. One by-product was the most famous single work of biographical art in the whole of literature, Boswell’s Life of Johnson, and there were many other memoirs and biographies of a similar kind written on Johnson after his death.” These accounts of his life include Thomas Tyers’s A Biographical Sketch of Dr Samuel Johnson (1784); Boswell’s The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides (1785); Hester Thrale’s Anecdotes of the Late Samuel Johnson, which drew on entries from her diary and other notes; John Hawkins’s Life of Samuel Johnson (1787), the first full-length biography of Johnson; and, in 1792, Arthur Murphy’s An Essay on the Life and Genius of Samuel Johnson, which replaced Hawkins’s biography as the introduction to a collection of Johnson’s Works. Another important source was Fanny Burney, who described Johnson as “the acknowledged Head of Literature in this kingdom” and kept a diary containing details missing from other biographies. Above all, Boswell’s portrayal of Johnson is the work best known to general readers. Although critics like Donald Greene argue about its status as a true biography, the work became successful as Boswell and his friends promoted it at the expense of the many other works on Johnson’s life. In criticism, Johnson had a lasting influence, although not everyone viewed him favourably. Some, like Macaulay, regarded Johnson as an idiot savant who produced some respectable works, and others, like the Romantic poets, were completely opposed to Johnson’s views on poetry and literature, especially with regard to Milton. However, some of their contemporaries disagreed: Stendhal’s Racine et Shakespeare is based in part on Johnson’s views of Shakespeare, and Johnson influenced Jane Austen’s writing style and philosophy. Later, Johnson’s works came into favour, and Matthew Arnold, in his Six Chief Lives from Johnson’s “Lives of the Poets”, considered the Lives of Milton, Dryden, Pope, Addison, Swift, and Gray as “points which stand as so many natural centres, and by returning to which we can always find our way again”. More than a century after his death, literary critics such as G. Birkbeck Hill and T. S. Eliot came to regard Johnson as a serious critic. They began to study Johnson’s works with an increasing focus on the critical analysis found in his edition of Shakespeare and Lives of the Poets. Yvor Winters claimed that “A great critic is the rarest of all literary geniuses; perhaps the only critic in English who deserves that epithet is Samuel Johnson”. F. R. Leavis agreed and, on Johnson’s criticism, said, “When we read him we know, beyond question, that we have here a powerful and distinguished mind operating at first hand upon literature. This, we can say with emphatic conviction, really is criticism”. Edmund Wilson claimed that “The Lives of the Poets and the prefaces and commentary on Shakespeare are among the most brilliant and the most acute documents in the whole range of English criticism”. The critic Harold Bloom placed Johnson’s work firmly within the Western canon, describing him as “unmatched by any critic in any nation before or after him... Bate in the finest insight on Johnson I know, emphasised that no other writer is so obsessed by the realisation that the mind is an activity, one that will turn to destructiveness of the self or of others unless it is directed to labour.” It is no wonder that his philosophical insistence that the language within literature must be examined became a prevailing mode of literary theory during the mid-20th century. There are many societies formed around and dedicated to the study and enjoyment of Samuel Johnson’s life and works. On the bicentennial of Johnson’s death in 1984, Oxford University held a week-long conference featuring 50 papers, and the Arts Council of Great Britain held an exhibit of “Johnsonian portraits and other memorabilia”. The London Times and Punch produced parodies of Johnson’s style for the occasion. In 1999, the BBC Four television channel started the Samuel Johnson Prize, an award for non-fiction. Half of Johnson’s surviving correspondence, together with some of his manuscripts, editions of his books, paintings and other items associated with him are in the Donald and Mary Hyde Collection of Dr. Samuel Johnson, housed at Houghton Library at Harvard University since 2003. Materials in the collection may be accessed through the Houghton Reading Room. The collection includes drafts of his Plan for a Dictionary, documents associated with Hester Thrale Piozzi and James Boswell (including corrected proofs of his Life of Johnson) and a teapot owned by Johnson. A Royal Society of Arts blue plaque, unveiled in 1876, commemorates his Gough Square house. Major works References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Johnson

Elizabeth Jennings

Elizabeth Jennings CBE (18 July 1926– 26 October 2001) was an English poet. Life and career Jennings was born in Boston, Lincolnshire. When she was six, her family moved to Oxford, where she remained for the rest of her life. There she later attended St Anne’s College. After graduation, she became a writer. Jennings’ early poetry was published in journals such as Oxford Poetry, New English Weekly, The Spectator, Outposts and Poetry Review, but her first book was not published until she was 27. The lyrical poets she cited as having influenced her were Hopkins, Auden, Graves and Muir. Her second book, A Way of Looking, won the Somerset Maugham award and marked a turning point, as the prize money allowed her to spend nearly three months in Rome, which was a revelation. It brought a new dimension to her religious belief and inspired her imagination. Regarded as traditionalist rather than an innovator, Jennings is known for her lyric poetry and mastery of form. Her work displays a simplicity of metre and rhyme shared with Philip Larkin, Kingsley Amis and Thom Gunn, all members of the group of English poets known as The Movement. She always made it clear that, whilst her life, which included a spell of severe mental illness, contributed to the themes contained within her work, she did not write explicitly autobiographical poetry. Her deeply held Roman Catholicism coloured much of her work. She died in a care home in Bampton, Oxfordshire and is buried in Wolvercote Cemetery, Oxford. Selected honours and awards 1953: Arts Council of Great Britain Prize for the best first book of poems for Poems 1955: Somerset Maugham Prize for A Way of Looking. 1987: W.H. Smith Literary Award for Collected Poems 1953–1985 1992: Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) 2001: Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Durham University Publications References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Jennings

Randall Jarrell

Randall Jarrell (May 6, 1914– October 14, 1965) was an American poet, literary critic, children’s author, essayist, novelist, and the 11th Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, a position that now bears the title Poet Laureate. Biography Youth and education Jarrell was a native of Nashville, Tennessee. He attended Hume-Fogg High School where he “practiced tennis, starred in some school plays, and began his career as a critic with satirical essays in a school magazine.” He received his B.A. from Vanderbilt University in 1935. While at Vanderbilt, he edited the student humor magazine The Masquerader, was captain of the tennis team, made Phi Beta Kappa and graduated magna cum laude. He studied there under Robert Penn Warren, who first published Jarrell’s criticism; Allen Tate, who first published Jarrell’s poetry; and John Crowe Ransom, who gave Jarrell his first teaching job as a Freshman Composition instructor at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. Although all of these Vanderbilt teachers were heavily involved with the conservative Southern Agrarian movement, Jarrell did not become an Agrarian himself. According to Stephen Burt, “Jarrell—a devotee of Marx and Auden—embraced his teachers’ literary stances while rejecting their politics.” He also completed his master’s degree in English at Vanderbilt in 1937, beginning his thesis on A. E. Housman (which he completed in 1939). When Ransom left Vanderbilt for Kenyon College in Ohio that same year, a number of his loyal students, including Jarrell, followed him to Kenyon. Jarrell taught English at Kenyon for two years, coached tennis, and served as the resident faculty member in an undergraduate dormitory that housed future writers Robie Macauley, Peter Taylor, and poet Robert Lowell. Lowell and Jarrell remained good friends and peers until Jarrell’s death. According to Lowell biographer Paul Mariani, "Jarrell was the first person of [Lowell’s] own generation [whom he] genuinely held in awe" due to Jarrell’s brilliance and confidence even at the age of 23. Career Jarrell went on to teach at the University of Texas at Austin from 1939 to 1942, where he began to publish criticism and where he met his first wife, Mackie Langham. In 1942 he left the university to join the United States Army Air Forces. According to his obituary, he "[started] as a flying cadet, [then] he later became a celestial navigation tower operator, a job title he considered the most poetic in the Air Force." His early poetry would focus on the subject of his war-time experiences in the Air Force. The Jarrell obituary goes on to state that “after being discharged from the service he joined the faculty of Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, N.Y., for a year. During his time in New York, he also served as the temporary book review editor for The Nation magazine.” However, Jarrell was uncomfortable living in the city and “claimed to hate New York’s crowds, high cost of living, status-conscious sociability, and lack of greenery.” He didn’t end up staying in the city for long. Instead, he left for the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina where, as an associate professor of English, he taught modern poetry and “imaginative writing.” Jarrell divorced his first wife and married Mary von Schrader, a young woman whom he met at a summer writer’s conference in Colorado, in 1952. They first lived together while Jarrell was teaching for a term at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Then the couple settled back in Greensboro with Mary’s daughters from her previous marriage. The couple also moved temporarily to Washington D.C. in 1956 when Jarrell served as the consultant in poetry at the Library of Congress (a position that later became titled “Poet Laureate”) for two years, returning to Greensboro and the University of North Carolina after his term ended. Depression and death Towards the end of his life, in 1963, Stephen Burt notes, "Randall’s behavior began to change. Approaching his fiftieth birthday, he seems to have worried deeply about his advancing age. . . After President Kennedy was shot, Randall spent days in front of the television weeping. Sad to the point of inertia, Randall sought help from a Cincinnati psychiatrist, who prescribed [the antidepressant drug] Elavil." The drug made him manic and in 1965, he was hospitalized and taken off Elavil. At this point, he was no longer manic, but he became depressed again. Burt also states, "In April The New York Times published a viciously condescending review of [Jarrell’s most recent book of poems] The Lost World. Soon afterwards, Jarrell slashed a wrist and returned to the hospital." After leaving the hospital, he stayed at home that summer under his wife’s care and returned to teaching at the University of North Carolina that fall. Then, near dusk on October 14, 1965, while walking along U.S. highway 15-501 near Chapel Hill, N.C., where he had gone seeking medical treatment, Jarrell was struck by a car and killed. In trying to determine the cause of death, "[Jarrell’s wife] Mary, the police, the coroner, and ultimately the state of North Carolina judged his death accidental, a verdict made credible by his apparent improvements in health. . .and the odd, sidelong manner of the collision; medical professionals judged the injuries consistent with an accident and not with suicide." Nevertheless, because Jarrell had recently been treated for mental illness and a previous suicide attempt, some of the people closest to him weren’t entirely convinced that his death was accidental and suspected that he might have committed suicide. In a letter to Elizabeth Bishop about a week after Jarrell’s death, Robert Lowell wrote, "There’s a small chance [that Jarrell’s death] was an accident. . . [but] I think it was suicide, and so does everyone else, who knew him well." Jarrell’s death being a suicide has since become accepted practically as fact, even by people who were not personally close to him. The idea has been perpetuated by some well known writers. A. Alvarez, in his book The Savage God, lists Jarrell as a twentieth-century writer who killed himself, and James Atlas refers to Jarrell’s “suicide” multiple times in his biography of Delmore Schwartz. The idea of Jarrell’s death being a suicide was always denied by his wife. Legacy On February 28, 1966, a memorial service was held in Jarrell’s honor at Yale University, and some of the best-known poets in the country attended and spoke at the event, including Robert Lowell, Richard Wilbur, John Berryman, Stanley Kunitz, and Robert Penn Warren. Reporting on the memorial service, The New York Times quoted Lowell who said that Jarrell was "'the most heartbreaking poet of our time’. . . [and] had written ‘the best poetry in English about the Second World War.’" These memorial tributes formed the basis for the book Randall Jarrell 1914-1965 which Farrar, Straus and Giroux published the following year. In 2004, the Metropolitan Nashville Historical Commission approved placement of a historical marker in his honor, to be placed at his alma mater, Hume-Fogg High School. A North Carolina Highway Historical Marker was placed near his burial site in Greensboro, North Carolina. Some of the awards that he received during his lifetime included a Guggenheim Fellowship for 1947-48, a grant from the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1951, and the National Book Award for Poetry in 1961. Writing Poetry In terms of the subject matter of Jarrell’s work, the scholar Stephen Burt observed, “Randall Jarrell’s best-known poems are poems about the Second World War, poems about bookish children and childhood, and poems, such as ‘Next Day,’ in the voices of aging women.” Burt also succinctly summarizes the essence of Jarrell’s poetic style as follows: Jarrell’s stylistic particularities have been hard for critics to hear and describe, both because the poems call readers’ attention instead to their characters and because Jarrell’s particular powers emerge so often from mimesis of speech. Jarrell’s style responds to the alienations it delineates by incorporating or troping speech and conversation, linking emotional events within one person’s psyche to speech acts that might take place between persons. . .Jarrell’s style pivots on his sense of loneliness and on the intersubjectivity he sought as a response. Jarrell’s first collection of poetry, Blood for a Stranger, which was heavily influenced by W.H. Auden, was published in 1942– the same year he enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps. His second and third books, Little Friend, Little Friend (1945) and Losses (1948), drew heavily on his Army experiences. The short lyric “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” is Jarrell’s most famous war poem and one that is frequently anthologized. His reputation as a poet was not firmly established until 1960 when his National Book Award-winning collection The Woman at the Washington Zoo was published. Starting with this book, Jarrell broke free of Auden’s influence and the influence of the New Critics and developed a style that mixed Modernist and Romantic influences, incorporating the aesthetics of William Wordsworth in order to create more sympathetic character sketches and dramatic monologues. The scholar Stephen Burt notes, “Jarrell took from Wordsworth the idea that poems had to be 'convincing as speech’ before they were anything else.” His final volume, The Lost World, published in 1965, continued in the same style and cemented Jarrell’s reputation as a poet; many critics consider it to be his best work. Stephen Burt states that "in the 'Lost World’ poems and throughout Jarrell’s oeuvre. . .he took care to define and defend the self [and]. . .his lonely personae seek intersubjective confirmation and . . .his alienated characters resist the so-called social world." Burt identifies the chief influences on Jarrell’s poetry to be "Proust, Wordsworth, Rilke, Freud, and the poets and thinkers of Jarrell’s era [particularly his close friend, Hannah Arendt].” Criticism From the start of his writing career, Jarrell earned a solid reputation as an influential poetry critic. Encouraged by Edmund Wilson, who published Jarrell’s criticism in The New Republic, Jarrell developed his style of critique which was often witty and sometimes fiercely critical. However, as he got older, his criticism began to change, showing a more positive emphasis. His appreciations of Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, and William Carlos Williams helped to establish or resuscitate their reputations as significant American poets, and his poet/friends often returned the favor, as when Lowell wrote a review of Jarrell’s book of poems The Seven League Crutches in 1951. Lowell wrote that Jarrell was “the most talented poet under forty, and one whose wit, pathos, and grace remind us more of Pope or Matthew Arnold than of any of his contemporaries.” In the same review, Lowell calls Jarrell’s first book of poems, Blood for A Stranger, “a tour-de-force in the manner of Auden.” And in another book review for Jarrell’s Selected Poems, a few years later, fellow-poet Karl Shapiro compared Jarrell to “the great modern Rainer Maria Rilke” and stated that the book “should certainly influence our poetry for the better. It should become a point of reference, not only for younger poets, but for all readers of twentieth-century poetry.” Jarrell is also noted for his essays on Robert Frost—whose poetry was a large influence on Jarrell’s own—Walt Whitman, Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, and others, which were mostly collected in Poetry and the Age (1953). Many scholars consider him the most astute poetry critic of his generation, and in 1979, the poet and scholar Peter Levi went so far as to advise younger writers, “Take more notice of Randall Jarrell than you do of any academic critic.” In an introduction to a selection of Jarrell’s essays, the poet Brad Leithauser wrote the following assessment of Jarrell as a critic: [Jarrell’s] multiple and eclectic virtues—originality, erudition, wit, probity, and an irresistible passion—combined to make him the best American poet-critic since Eliot. Or one could call him, after granting Eliot the English citizenship he so actively embraced, the best poet-critic we have ever had. Whichever side of the Atlantic one chooses to place Eliot, Jarrell was his superior in at least one significant respect. He captured a world that any contemporary poet will recognize as “the poetry scene”; his Poetry and the Age might even now be retitled Poetry and Our Age. Fiction, translations, and children’s books In addition to poetry and criticism, Jarrell also published a satiric novel, Pictures from an Institution, in 1954 (a National Book Award for Fiction finalist)—drawing upon his teaching experiences at Sarah Lawrence College, which served as the model for the fictional Benton College. He also wrote several children’s books, among which The Bat-Poet (1964) and The Animal Family (1965) are considered prominent (and feature illustrations by Maurice Sendak). Jarrell translated poems by Rainer Maria Rilke and others, a play by Anton Chekhov, and several Grimm fairy tales. Bibliography * Blood for A Stranger. NY: Harcourt, 1942. * Little Friend, Little Friend. NY: Dial, 1945. * Losses. NY: Harcourt, 1948. * The Seven League Crutches. NY: Harcourt, 1951. * Poetry and the Age. NY: Knopf, 1953. * Pictures from an Institution: A Comedy. New York: Knopf, 1954 * Selected Poems. New York: Knopf, 1955. * Randall Jarrell’s Book of Stories: An Anthology. Selected and with an introduction by Randall Jarrell. New York: New York Review Books, 1958. * The Woman at the Washington Zoo: Poems and Translations. New York: Atheneum, 1960. * A Sad Heart at the Supermarket: Essays & Fables. NY: Atheneum, 1962. * Selected Poems including The Woman at the Washington Zoo. NY: Macmillan, 1964. * The Bat-Poet. Pictures by Maurice Sendak. NY: Macmillan, 1964. * The Gingerbread Rabbit. Illustrated by Garth Williams. NY: Random House, 1965 * The Lost World. NY: Macmillan, 1965. * The Animal Family. Illustrated by Maurice Sendak. NY: Pantheon Books, 1965. * Randall Jarrell, 1914-1965. Edited by Robert Lowell, Peter Taylor, and Robert Penn Warren. NY: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1968. * The Third Book of Criticism. NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1969. * The Complete Poems. NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1969. * Fly by Night. Illustrated by Maurice Sendak. NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1976. * “Faust: Part One” by Goethe, (translator). Farrah, Straus & Giroux 1976 * Kipling, Auden & Co.: Essays and Reviews, 1935-1964. NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1979. * Randall Jarrell’s Letters: An Autobiographical and Literary Selection. edited by Mary Jarrell and Stuart Wright. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1985. * Selected Poems. Edited by William Pritchard. NY: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 1990. * No Other Book: Selected Essays. Edited by Brad Leithauser. NY: HarperCollins, 1995. References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randall_Jarrell

Violet Jacob

Violet Jacob (1 September 1863– 9 September 1946) was a Scottish writer, now known especially for her historical novel Flemington and her poetry, mainly in Scots. Life She was born Violet Augusta Mary Frederica Kennedy-Erskine, the daughter of William Henry Kennedy-Erskine (1 July 1828– 15 September 1870) of Dun, Forfarshire, a Captain in the 17th Lancers and Catherine Jones (d. 13 February 1914), the only daughter of William Jones of Henllys, Carmarthenshire. Her father was the son of John Kennedy-Erskine (1802–1831) of Dun and Augusta FitzClarence (1803–1865), the illegitimate daughter of King William IV and Dorothy Jordan. She was a great-granddaughter of Archibald Kennedy, 1st Marquess of Ailsa. The area of Montrose where her family seat of Dun was situated was the setting for much of her fiction. She married, on 27 October 1894, Arthur Otway Jacob, an Irish Major in the British Army, and accompanied him to India where he was serving. Her book Diaries and letters from India 1895-1900 is about their stay in the Central Indian town of Mhow. The couple had one son, Harry, born in 1895, who died as a soldier at the battle of the Somme in 1916. Arthur died in 1936, and Violet returned to live at Kirriemuir, in Angus. Scots poetry In her poetry Violet Jacob was associated with Scots revivalists like Marion Angus, Alexander Gray and Lewis Spence in the Scottish Renaissance, which drew its inspiration from early Scots poets such as Robert Henryson and William Dunbar, rather than from Robert Burns. She is commemorated in Makars’ Court, outside the Writers’ Museum, Lawnmarket, Edinburgh. Selections for Makars’ Court are made by the Writers’ Museum, The Saltire Society and The Scottish Poetry Library. The Wild Geese, which takes the form of a conversation between the poet and the North Wind, is a sad poem of longing for home. It was set to music as Norlan’ Wind and popularised by Angus singer and songmaker Jim Reid, who set to music other poems by Jacob and other Angus poets such as Marion Angus and Helen Cruikshank. Another popular version, sung by Cilla Fisher and Artie Trezise, appeared on their 1979 Topic Records album Cilla and Artie. Works * The Sheepstealers (1902), novel * The Interloper (1904), novel * The Golden Heart (1904), novel * Verses (1905) * Irresolute Catherine (1908) * The History of Aythan Waring (1908) * The Fortune Hunters and Other Stories (1910) * Flemington (1911) * Songs of Angus (1915), poems * More songs of Angus and others (1918), poems * Bonnie Joann and other poems (1921) * Tales of my own country (1922), short stories * The Northern Lights and other poems (1927) * The good child’s year book (1927) * Lairds of Dun (1931), history * The Scottish poems of Violet Jacob (1944) * The Lum hat and other stories: last tales of Violet Jacob (1982) * Diaries and letters from India 1895-1900 (1990) References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violet_Jacob

Donald Justice

Donald Justice was an American poet and teacher of writing. In summing up Justice's career David Orr wrote, "In most ways, Justice was no different from any number of solid, quiet older writers devoted to traditional short poems. But he was different in one important sense: sometimes his poems weren't just good; they were great. They were great in the way that Elizabeth Bishop's poems were great, or Thom Gunn's or Philip Larkin's. They were great in the way that tells us what poetry used to be, and is, and will be." Justice grew up in Florida and earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Miami in 1945. He received an M.A. from the University of North Carolina in 1947, studied for a time at Stanford University, and ultimately earned a doctorate from the University of Iowa in 1954. He went on to teach for many years at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, the nation's first graduate program in creative writing. He also taught at Syracuse University, the University of California at Irvine, Princeton University, the University of Virginia, and the University of Florida in Gainesville. Justice published thirteen collections of his poetry. The first collection, The Summer Anniversaries, was the winner of the Lamont Poetry Prize given by the Academy of American Poets in 1961; Selected Poems won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1980. He was awarded the Bollingen Prize in Poetry in 1991, and the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry in 1996. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 1997 to 2003. His Collected Poems was nominated for the National Book Award in 2004. Justice was also a National Book Award Finalist in 1961, 1974, and 1995. In his obituary, Andrew Rosenheim notes that Justice "was a legendary teacher, and despite his own Formalist reputation influenced a wide range of younger writers — his students included Mark Strand, Rita Dove, James Tate, Jorie Graham and the novelist John Irving". His student and later colleague Marvin Bell said in a reminiscence, "As a teacher, Don chose always to be on the side of the poem, defending it from half-baked attacks by students anxious to defend their own turf. While he had firm preferences in private, as a teacher Don defended all turfs. He had little use for poetic theory..." Of Justice's accomplishments as a poet, his former student, the poet and critic Tad Richards, noted that "Donald Justice is likely to be remembered as a poet who gave his age a quiet but compelling insight into loss and distance, and who set a standard for craftsmanship, attention to detail, and subtleties of rhythm." Justice's work was the subject of the 1998 volume Certain Solitudes: On The Poetry of Donald Justice, a collection of essays edited by Dana Gioia and William Logan. Poetry * The Old Bachelor and Other Poems (Pandanus Press, Miami, FL), 1951. * The Summer Anniversaries (Wesleyan University Press, Middletown, CT), 1960; revised edition (University Press of New England, Hanover, NH), 1981. * A Local Storm (Stone Wall Press, Iowa City, IA, 1963). * Night Light (Wesleyan University Press, Middletown, CT, 1967); revised edition (University Press of New England, Hanover, NH, 1981). * Sixteen Poems (Stone Wall Press, Iowa City, IA, 1970). * From a Notebook (Seamark Press, Iowa City, IA, 1971). * Departures (Atheneum, New York, NY, 1973). * Selected Poems (Atheneum, New York, NY, 1979). * Tremayne (Windhover Press, Iowa City, IA, 1984). * The Sunset Maker (Anvil Press Poetry, 1987). * A Donald Justice Reader (Middlebury, 1991). * New and Selected Poems (Knopf, 1995). * Orpheus Hesitated beside the Black River: Poems, 1952-1997 (Anvil Press Poetry, London, England), 1998. * Collected Poems (Knopf, 2004). Essay and interview collections * Oblivion: On Writers and Writing, 1998 * Platonic Scripts, 1984 References Wikipedia—http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Justice

Sarah Orne Jewett

Sarah Orne Jewett (September 3, 1849– June 24, 1909) was an American novelist, short story writer and poet, best known for her local color works set along or near the southern seacoast of Maine. Jewett is recognized as an important practitioner of American literary regionalism. Early life Jewett’s family had been residents of New England for many generations, and Sarah Orne Jewett was born in South Berwick, Maine. Her father was a doctor specializing in “obstetrics and diseases of women and children.” and Jewett often accompanied him on his rounds, becoming acquainted with the sights and sounds of her native land and its people. As treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, a condition that developed in early childhood, Jewett was sent on frequent walks and through them also developed a love of nature. In later life, Jewett often visited Boston, where she was acquainted with many of the most influential literary figures of her day; but she always returned to South Berwick, small seaports near which were the inspiration for the towns of “Deephaven” and “Dunnet Landing” in her stories. Jewett was educated at Miss Olive Rayne’s school and then at Berwick Academy, graduating in 1866. She supplemented her education through an extensive family library. Jewett was “never overtly religious,” but after she joined the Episcopal church in 1871, she explored less conventional religious ideas. For example, her friendship with Harvard law professor Theophilus Parsons stimulated an interest in the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg, an eighteenth-century Swedish scientist and theologian, who believed that the Divine “was present in innumerable, joined forms—a concept underlying Jewett’s belief in individual responsibility.” Career She published her first important story in the Atlantic Monthly at age 19, and her reputation grew throughout the 1870s and 1880s. Her literary importance arises from her careful, if subdued, vignettes of country life that reflect a contemporary interest in local color rather than plot. Jewett possessed a keen descriptive gift that William Dean Howells called “an uncommon feeling for talk—I hear your people.” Jewett made her reputation with the novella The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896). A Country Doctor (1884), a novel reflecting her father and her early ambitions for a medical career, and A White Heron (1886), a collection of short stories are among her finest work. Some of Jewett’s poetry was collected in Verses (1916), and she also wrote three children’s books. Willa Cather described Jewett as a significant influence on her development as a writer, and “feminist critics have since championed her writing for its rich account of women’s lives and voices.” Later life On September 3, 1902, Jewett was injured in a carriage accident that all but ended her writing career. She was paralyzed by a stroke in March 1909, and she died on June 24 after suffering another. The Georgian home of the Jewett family, built in 1774 overlooking Central Square at South Berwick, is now a National Historic Landmark and Historic New England museum called the Sarah Orne Jewett House. Jewett never married, but she established a close friendship with writer Annie Adams Fields (1834–1915) and her husband, publisher James Thomas Fields, editor of the Atlantic Monthly. After the sudden death of James Fields in 1881, Jewett and Annie Fields lived together for the rest of Jewett’s life in what was then termed a “Boston marriage”. Some modern scholars have speculated that the two were lovers. Both women “found friendship, humor, and literary encouragement” in one another’s company, traveling to Europe together and hosting “American and European literati.” In France Jewett met Thérèse Blanc-Bentzon with whom she had long corresponded and who translated some of her stories for publication in France. Selected works * Deephaven, James R. Osgood, 1877 * Play Days, Houghton, Osgood, 1878 * Old Friends and New, Houghton, Osgood, 1879 * Country By-Ways, Houghton-Mifflin, 1881 * A Country Doctor, Houghton-Mifflin, 1884 * The Mate of the Daylight, and Friends Ashore, Houghton-Mifflin, 1884 * A Marsh Island, Houghton-Mifflin, 1884 * A White Heron and Other Stories, Houghton-Mifflin, 1886 * The Story of the Normans, Told Chiefly in Relation to Their Conquest of England, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1887 * The King of Folly Island and Other People, Houghton-Mifflin, 1888 * Tales of New England, Houghton-Mifflin, 1890 * Betty Leicester: A Story for Girls, Houghton-Mifflin, 1890 * Strangers and Wayfarers, Houghton-Mifflin, 1890 * A Native of Winby and Other Tales, Houghton-Mifflin, 1893 * Betty Leicester’s English Christmas: A New Chapter of an Old Story, privately printed for the Bryn Mawr School, 1894 * The Life of Nancy[3], Houghton-Mifflin, 1895 * The Country of the Pointed Firs, Houghton-Mifflin, 1896 * The Queen’s Twin and Other Stories, Houghton-Mifflin, 1899 * The Tory Lover, Houghton-Mifflin, 1901 * An Empty Purse: A Christmas Story, privately printed, 1905 References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Orne_Jewett

Richard Jago

Richard Jago (1 October 1715– 8 May 1781) was an English clergyman poet and minor landscape gardener from Warwickshire. Although his writing was not highly regarded by contemporaries, some of it was sufficiently novel to have several imitators. Life Richard Jago was the third son of the Rector of Beaudesert, Warwickshire, and was named after him. His father’s family was of Cornish origin, while his mother was from the immediately adjoining village of Henley in Arden. He was educated at Solihull School, where one of its five houses is now named after him. While there he formed a lifelong friendship with William Shenstone. In 1732, he went up to University College, Oxford and while there Shenstone made him acquainted with other students with a literary taste. He took his master’s degree 9 July 1738, having entered into the church the year before, and served the curacy of Snitterfield, Warwickshire, near Stratford upon Avon. In 1744, he married Dorothea Susanna Fancourt, daughter of the rector of Kimcote in Leicestershire, whom he had known from her childhood. In 1751 his wife died, leaving him with the care of seven very young children. Three of these were boys, who predeceased him, but he was eventually survived by three of his daughters. In 1759, he married a second wife, Margaret Underwood, but had no children by her. Jago had become vicar of Harbury in 1746, and shortly after of Chesterton, both in Warwickshire. Through aristocratic patrons, he was given the living of Snitterfield in 1754, and later was presented with his former father-in-law’s living in Kimcote in 1771, after which he resigned the livings of Harbury and Chesterton, keeping the others. Snitterfield remained his favourite residence and it was there that he would die at the age of 66. Jago shared with Shenstone an interest in landscape gardening and occupied himself with making improvements to the Snitterfield vicarage garden. Both became part of the likeminded circle about Henrietta Knight, Lady Luxborough which also included other literary friends, William Somervile and Richard Graves, rector of Claverton. Shenstone dedicated a bench to Jago at the end of the viewing circuit near his house, The Leasowes, and both dedicated poems to each other. Poetry Jago’s first independent publications were two sermons. The first, “The Cause of Impenitence Considered” (1755), was published for the benefit of Harbury Free School; the second was a funeral sermon, “The nature and grounds of a Christian’s happiness in and after death” (1763). Shenstone’s letters mention an Essay on Electricity written by Jago, written in 1747, but this seems to have remained unpublished. Poems of his were also beginning to appear in Robert Dodsley’s anthologies, Collection of Poetry by several hands, among which the sentimental elegy “The Blackbirds” had made something of a stir after it first appeared in the ephemeral magazine The Adventurer in 1753. This was a lament on the death of a self-sacrificing blackbird and was shortly followed by similar poems on goldfinches and swallows. They were particularly praised by Dr. John Aikin in his “Essay on the application of Natural History to poetry”, who also noted that there were soon imitations among other minor poets, including Samuel Jackson Pratt’s “The Partridges, an elegy” (1771) and James Graeme’s “The Linnet” (1773). Jago’s most ambitious publication was the four-part topographical poem, Edge Hill, or the rural prospect delineated and moralised (1767). It was written in blank verse and was once described as “the most elaborate local poem in our language”. The poet takes his stance on the hill in the morning, facing south-west (book 1); at noon he is on Ratley Hill in the centre (books 2–3) and then moves along the ridge to look north-east at evening. The poem intermingles description with legendary, historical and antiquarian particulars, principally the battle at the start of the English Civil War. Imaginary excursions are made to Warwick, Coventry, Kenilworth, Solihull, and industrial Birmingham (under the name Bremicham), as well as many “flattering descriptions of all the great houses and seats of important people which come within his survey”. Local rivers are also included and even the nearby canal on which “sooty barks pursue their liquid track”. There are many digressions as well, including descriptions of industrial processes and of the nature of vision and the working of the telescope. The critic already quoted finds the poem “really interesting; with the scene before us, it is impossible not to admire the ingenuity and scrupulous thoroughness with which the author has performed his task,” although ultimately it is lacking in poetic execution. The Cambridge History of English and American Literature judges that "his catalogues have little picturesqueness or colour; while his verse, although it is not without the accent of local association, is typical, as a whole, of the decadence of the Miltonic method of natural description in the 18th century. Every group of trees is a grove, every country house a dome, and every hill a precipice". Particular examples of hackneyed diction include Latin-derived adjectives, as in “Honington’s irriguous meads”, or else 18th century circumlocutions such as “the woolly tribes” when sheep are meant. Nevertheless, the poem seems to have inspired the writing of the much shorter and simpler “Ode to Lansdowne Hill” (1785), which celebrates the site of another Civil War battle. In the following year Jago published “Labour and Genius, or the mill-stream and the cascade”, a humorous fable in octosyllabic verse written in memory of William Shenstone and his landscaped grounds at the Leasowes. Poems of lesser significance appeared here and there and Jago was working on a revised edition of his collected poems just before his death. This appeared posthumously as Poems, Moral and Descriptive in 1784. Included there was another homage to Milton in the oratorio “Adam, or the fatal disobedience, compiled from Milton’s Paradise Lost and adapted to music”. The rhymed choruses there were of Jago’s composition, but the main body of the work is adapted directly from Paradise Lost. Though it found no composer to set it, another of Jago’s pieces did. This was the “Roundelay for the Stratford Jubilee” organised by David Garrick in 1769, which was set for singing by Charles Dibdin. One other humorous piece also found an imitator. In Jago’s “Hamlet’s soliloquy imitated”, a minor poet agonises over whether “to print or not to print” and run the danger, by submitting his verses to Dodsley, to “lose the name of author”. A subsequent parody titled “The Presbyterian parson’s soliloquy” over the question to “conform or not conform” appeared in The Hibernian Magazine in 1774 and was often reprinted thereafter, ascribed to Samuel Badcock. One later commentator gave it as his opinion that “the hint of this parody was probably borrowed from Mr Jago’s”. Slight Jago’s output may have been, but it appears to have been influential in its time. References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Jago




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