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A. A. Milne

Alan Alexander “A. A.” Milne (/ˈmɪln/; 18 January 1882– 31 January 1956) was an English author, best known for his books about the teddy bear Winnie-the-Pooh and for various poems. Milne was a noted writer, primarily as a playwright, before the huge success of Pooh overshadowed all his previous work. Milne served in both World Wars, joining the British Army in World War I, and was a captain of the British Home Guard in World War II. Biography Alan Alexander Milne was born in Kilburn, London to parents John Vince Milne, who was Scottish, and Sarah Marie Milne (née Heginbotham) and grew up at Henley House School, 6/7 Mortimer Road (now Crescent), Kilburn, a small public school run by his father. One of his teachers was H. G. Wells, who taught there in 1889–90. Milne attended Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge where he studied on a mathematics scholarship, graduating with a B.A. in Mathematics in 1903. While there, he edited and wrote for Granta, a student magazine. He collaborated with his brother Kenneth and their articles appeared over the initials AKM. Milne’s work came to the attention of the leading British humour magazine Punch, where Milne was to become a contributor and later an assistant editor. Milne played for the amateur English cricket team the Allahakbarries alongside authors J. M. Barrie and Arthur Conan Doyle. Milne joined the British Army in World War I and served as an officer in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and later, after a debilitating illness, the Royal Corps of Signals. He was commissioned into the 4th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment on 17 February 1915 as a second lieutenant (on probation). His commission was confirmed on 20 December 1915. On 7 July 1916, he was injured while serving in the Battle of the Somme and invalided back to England. Having recuperated, he was recruited into Military Intelligence to write propaganda articles for MI 7b between 1916 and 1918. He was discharged on 14 February 1919, and settled in Mallord Street, Chelsea. He relinquished his commission on 19 February 1920, retaining the rank of lieutenant. After the war, he wrote a denunciation of war titled Peace with Honour (1934), which he retracted somewhat with 1940's War with Honour. During World War II, Milne was one of the most prominent critics of fellow English writer P. G. Wodehouse, who was captured at his country home in France by the Nazis and imprisoned for a year. Wodehouse made radio broadcasts about his internment, which were broadcast from Berlin. Although the light-hearted broadcasts made fun of the Germans, Milne accused Wodehouse of committing an act of near treason by cooperating with his country’s enemy. Wodehouse got some revenge on his former friend (e.g., in The Mating Season) by creating fatuous parodies of the Christopher Robin poems in some of his later stories, and claiming that Milne “was probably jealous of all other writers.... But I loved his stuff.” Milne married Dorothy “Daphne” de Sélincourt in 1913 and their son Christopher Robin Milne was born in 1920. In 1925, A. A. Milne bought a country home, Cotchford Farm, in Hartfield, East Sussex. During World War II, A. A. Milne was Captain of the British Home Guard in Hartfield & Forest Row, insisting on being plain “Mr. Milne” to the members of his platoon. He retired to the farm after a stroke and brain surgery in 1952 left him an invalid, and by August 1953 “he seemed very old and disenchanted”. Milne died in January 1956, aged 74. Literary career 1903 to 1925 After graduating from Cambridge in 1903, A. A. Milne contributed humorous verse and whimsical essays to Punch, joining the staff in 1906 and becoming an assistant editor. During this period he published 18 plays and 3 novels, including the murder mystery The Red House Mystery (1922). His son was born in August 1920 and in 1924 Milne produced a collection of children’s poems When We Were Very Young, which were illustrated by Punch staff cartoonist E. H. Shepard. A collection of short stories for children Gallery of Children, and other stories that became part of the Winnie-the-Pooh books, were first published in 1925. Milne was an early screenwriter for the nascent British film industry, writing four stories filmed in 1920 for the company Minerva Films (founded in 1920 by the actor Leslie Howard and his friend and story editor Adrian Brunel). These were The Bump, starring Aubrey Smith; Twice Two; Five Pound Reward; and Bookworms. Some of these films survive in the archives of the British Film Institute. Milne had met Howard when the actor starred in Milne’s play Mr Pim Passes By in London. Looking back on this period (in 1926), Milne observed that when he told his agent that he was going to write a detective story, he was told that what the country wanted from a “Punch humorist” was a humorous story; when two years later he said he was writing nursery rhymes, his agent and publisher were convinced he should write another detective story; and after another two years, he was being told that writing a detective story would be in the worst of taste given the demand for children’s books. He concluded that “the only excuse which I have yet discovered for writing anything is that I want to write it; and I should be as proud to be delivered of a Telephone Directory con amore as I should be ashamed to create a Blank Verse Tragedy at the bidding of others.” 1926 to 1928 Milne is most famous for his two Pooh books about a boy named Christopher Robin after his son, Christopher Robin Milne, and various characters inspired by his son’s stuffed animals, most notably the bear named Winnie-the-Pooh. Christopher Robin Milne’s stuffed bear, originally named “Edward”, was renamed “Winnie-the-Pooh” after a Canadian black bear named Winnie (after Winnipeg), which was used as a military mascot in World War I, and left to London Zoo during the war. “The pooh” comes from a swan called “Pooh”. E. H. Shepard illustrated the original Pooh books, using his own son’s teddy, Growler ("a magnificent bear"), as the model. The rest of Christopher Robin Milne’s toys, Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo and Tigger, were incorporated into A. A. Milne’s stories, and two more characters– Rabbit and Owl– were created by Milne’s imagination. Christopher Robin Milne’s own toys are now under glass in New York where 750,000 people visit them every year. The fictional Hundred Acre Wood of the Pooh stories derives from Five Hundred Acre Wood in Ashdown Forest in East Sussex, South East England, where the Pooh stories were set. Milne lived on the northern edge of the forest at Cotchford Farm, 51.090°N 0.107°E / 51.090; 0.107, and took his son walking there. E. H. Shepard drew on the landscapes of Ashdown Forest as inspiration for many of the illustrations he provided for the Pooh books. The adult Christopher Robin commented: “Pooh’s Forest and Ashdown Forest are identical”. Popular tourist locations at Ashdown Forest include: Galleon’s Lap, The Enchanted Place, the Heffalump Trap and Lone Pine, Eeyore’s Sad and Gloomy Place, and the wooden Pooh Bridge where Pooh and Piglet invented Poohsticks. Not yet known as Pooh, he made his first appearance in a poem, “Teddy Bear”, published in Punch magazine in February 1924. Pooh first appeared in the London Evening News on Christmas Eve, 1925, in a story called “The Wrong Sort Of Bees”. Winnie-the-Pooh was published in 1926, followed by The House at Pooh Corner in 1928. A second collection of nursery rhymes, Now We Are Six, was published in 1927. All three books were illustrated by E. H. Shepard. Milne also published four plays in this period. He also “gallantly stepped forward” to contribute a quarter of the costs of dramatising P. G. Wodehouse’s A Damsel in Distress. The World of Pooh won the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1958. 1929 onwards The success of his children’s books was to become a source of considerable annoyance to Milne, whose self-avowed aim was to write whatever he pleased and who had, until then, found a ready audience for each change of direction: he had freed pre-war Punch from its ponderous facetiousness; he had made a considerable reputation as a playwright (like his idol J. M. Barrie) on both sides of the Atlantic; he had produced a witty piece of detective writing in The Red House Mystery (although this was severely criticised by Raymond Chandler for the implausibility of its plot). But once Milne had, in his own words, "said goodbye to all that in 70,000 words" (the approximate length of his four principal children’s books), he had no intention of producing any reworkings lacking in originality, given that one of the sources of inspiration, his son, was growing older. In his literary home, Punch, where the When We Were Very Young verses had first appeared, Methuen continued to publish whatever Milne wrote, including the long poem “The Norman Church” and an assembly of articles entitled Year In, Year Out (which Milne likened to a benefit night for the author). In 1930, Milne adapted Kenneth Grahame’s novel The Wind in the Willows for the stage as Toad of Toad Hall. The title was an implicit admission that such chapters as Chapter 7, “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn”, could not survive translation to the theatre. A special introduction written by Milne is included in some editions of Grahame’s novel. Legacy and commemoration The rights to A. A. Milne’s Pooh books were left to four beneficiaries: his family, the Royal Literary Fund, Westminster School and the Garrick Club. After Milne’s death in 1956, one week and six days after his 74th birthday, his widow sold her rights to the Pooh characters to Stephen Slesinger, whose widow sold the rights after Slesinger’s death to the Walt Disney Company, which has made many Pooh cartoon movies, a Disney Channel television show, as well as Pooh-related merchandise. In 2001, the other beneficiaries sold their interest in the estate to the Disney Corporation for $350m. Previously Disney had been paying twice-yearly royalties to these beneficiaries. The estate of E. H. Shepard also received a sum in the deal. The copyright on Pooh expires in 2026. In 2008, a collection of original illustrations featuring Winnie-the-Pooh and his animal friends sold for more than £1.2 million at auction in Sotheby’s, London. Forbes magazine ranked Winnie the Pooh the most valuable fictional character in 2002; Winnie the Pooh merchandising products alone had annual sales of more than $5.9 billion. In 2005, Winnie the Pooh generated $6 billion, a figure surpassed by only Mickey Mouse. A memorial plaque in Ashdown Forest, unveiled by Christopher Robin in 1979, commemorates the work of A. A. Milne and Shepard in creating the world of Pooh. Milne once wrote of Ashdown Forest: “In that enchanted place on the top of the forest a little boy and his bear will always be playing”. In 2003, Winnie the Pooh was listed at number 7 on the BBC’s survey The Big Read. In 2006, Winnie the Pooh received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, marking the 80th birthday of Milne’s creation. That same year a UK poll saw Winnie the Pooh voted onto the list of icons of England. Several of Milne’s children’s poems were set to music by the composer Harold Fraser-Simson. His poems have been parodied many times, including with the books When We Were Rather Older and Now We Are Sixty. The 1963 film The King’s Breakfast was based on Milne’s poem of the same name. Religious views Milne did not speak out much on the subject of religion, although he used religious terms to explain his decision, while remaining a pacifist, to join the British Home Guard: “In fighting Hitler”, he wrote, “we are truly fighting the Devil, the Anti-Christ... Hitler was a crusader against God.” His best known comment on the subject was recalled on his death: The Old Testament is responsible for more atheism, agnosticism, disbelief—call it what you will—than any book ever written; it has emptied more churches than all the counter-attractions of cinema, motor bicycle and golf course. He also wrote the poem “Explained”: Works Novels * Lovers in London (1905. Some consider this more of a short story collection; Milne did not like it and considered The Day’s Play as his first book.) * Once on a Time (1917) * Mr. Pim (1921) (A novelisation of his play Mr. Pim Passes By (1919)) * The Red House Mystery (1922) * Two People (1931) (Inside jacket claims this is Milne’s first attempt at a novel.) * Four Days’ Wonder (1933) * Chloe Marr (1946) Non-fiction * Peace With Honour (1934) * It’s Too Late Now: The Autobiography of a Writer (1939) * War With Honour (1940) * War Aims Unlimited (1941) * Year In, Year Out (1952) (illustrated by E. H. Shepard) Punch articles * The Day’s Play (1910) * Once A Week (1914) * The Holiday Round (1912) * The Sunny Side (1921) * Those Were the Days (1929) [The four volumes above, compiled] Newspaper articles and book introductions * The Chronicles of Clovis by “Saki” (1911) [Introduction to] * Not That It Matters (1920) * By Way of Introduction (1929) Story collections for children * A Gallery of Children (1925) * Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) (illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard) * The House at Pooh Corner (1928) (illustrated by E. H. Shepard) * Short Stories Poetry collections for children * When We Were Very Young (1924) (illustrated by E. H. Shepard) * Now We Are Six (1927) (illustrated by E. H. Shepard) Story collections * The Secret and other stories (1929) * The Birthday Party (1948) * A Table Near the Band (1950) Poetry * For the Luncheon Interval [poems from Punch] * When We Were Very Young (1924) (illustrated by E. H. Shepard) * Now We Are Six (1927) (illustrated by E. H. Shepard) * Behind the Lines (1940) * The Norman Church (1948) * “The Knight Whose Armor Didn’t Squeak” Screenplays and plays * Wurzel-Flummery (1917) * Belinda (1918) * The Boy Comes Home (1918) * Make-Believe (1918) (children’s play) * The Camberley Triangle (1919) * Mr. Pim Passes By (1919) * The Red Feathers (1920) * The Bump (1920, Minerva Films), starring Aubrey Smith * Twice Two (1920, Minerva Films) * Five Pound Reward (1920, Minerva Films) * Bookworms (1920, Minerva Films) * The Great Broxopp (1921) * The Dover Road (1921) * The Lucky One (1922) * The Truth About Blayds (1922) * The Artist: A Duologue (1923) * Give Me Yesterday (1923) (a.k.a. Success in the UK) * Ariadne (1924) * The Man in the Bowler Hat: A Terribly Exciting Affair (1924) * To Have the Honour (1924) * Portrait of a Gentleman in Slippers (1926) * Success (1926) * Miss Marlow at Play (1927) * The Fourth Wall or The Perfect Alibi (1928) (later adapted for the film Birds of Prey (1930), directed by Basil Dean) * The Ivory Door (1929) * Toad of Toad Hall (1929) (adaptation of The Wind in the Willows) * Michael and Mary (1930) * Other People’s Lives (1933) (a.k.a. They Don’t Mean Any Harm) * Miss Elizabeth Bennet (1936) [based on Pride and Prejudice] * Sarah Simple (1937) * Gentleman Unknown (1938) * The General Takes Off His Helmet (1939) in The Queen’s Book of the Red Cross * The Ugly Duckling (1941) * Before the Flood (1951). References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._A._Milne

Robert L. Martin

POETRY: * Influenced by the passion and vibrant imagery created by the words of Khalil Gibran, Pablo Neruda, Grace Chacon Leon, Catherine Stanger, Cory Garcia, Nelson Reyes, and J Ann Crowder. * Author of four books; "Wings of Inspiration," "Rhymes of the Joke Machine," "The Air Almighty," and "Martin's World," published by Cyberwit.net), Published works in Mature Years, Alive Now, Torrid Literature Journal, Universal Oneness Anthology, Taj Mahal Review, Inkling Magazine, Page & Spine, Charles Carter Anthologies, Purpose Magazine, Terror House Magazine, Brief Wilderness, Cowboy Poetry Press, The Voices Project, Aberration Labyrinth, Long Shot Books, Academy of Hearts & Minds, Blue Lake Review, Gival Press, The Higgs Weldon, Funny In Five Hundred, Verse-Virtual, Wilderness House Literary Review, White Liquor Mag, Ygdrasil Literary Journal, Poetica, Green Silk Journal, Madswirl, Lyrical Passion Poetry E-Zine, Poet's Pen, Storyteller, FreeXpression, Poets' Espresso, Long Story Short, Oddball Magazine, Asinine Poetry, Write On!!, American Legion On-Line, Pegasus Review, Prayerworks, Stepping Stones, Love's Chance, Poet's Haven, Jerry Jazz Musician, Fullosia Press, The Sheltered Poet, The Belt and Beyond, and Blue Minaret. * Wrote two chapbooks entitled "In Reverence to Life" and "A Sage's Diary," (published by In His Steps Publishing). Won two poetry awards (Faith and Hope) and appeared in many anthology books. MUSIC: * Playing, writing, and arranging music for most of life. * Studied music at Westlake College of Music in Hollywood, California in 1958 and majored in piano. * Played in the 82nd Army Band in Stuttgard, Germany from 1962 until 1964. * Played in the Jimmy Dorsey Band in 1965. * Played in a band in Bergen, Norway in 1966. * Composed score for Dr. Ira Cochin's Rally George in Valley Forge children's play. * Playing the organ at 1st Methodist Church in Wind Gap, PA for the past thirty years... THE REST OF LIFE: Born in Ashtabula, Ohio, and moved to New York City shortly thereafter. Got married in 1984 and had a wonderful daughter in 1985. Can be found at his home in Bangor, PA at his keyboard, or in front of a yellow legal pad, pen in hand...

George MacDonald

George MacDonald (10 December 1824– 18 September 1905) was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister. He was a pioneering figure in the field of fantasy literature and the mentor of fellow writer Lewis Carroll. His writings have been cited as a major literary influence by many notable authors including W. H. Auden, C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Walter de la Mare, E. Nesbit and Madeleine L’Engle. C. S. Lewis wrote that he regarded MacDonald as his “master”: “Picking up a copy of Phantastes one day at a train-station bookstall, I began to read. A few hours later,” said Lewis, “I knew that I had crossed a great frontier.” G. K. Chesterton cited The Princess and the Goblin as a book that had “made a difference to my whole existence”. Elizabeth Yates wrote of Sir Gibbie, “It moved me the way books did when, as a child, the great gates of literature began to open and first encounters with noble thoughts and utterances were unspeakably thrilling.” Even Mark Twain, who initially disliked MacDonald, became friends with him, and there is some evidence that Twain was influenced by MacDonald. Christian author Oswald Chambers (1874–1917) wrote in Christian Disciplines, vol. 1, (pub. 1934) that “it is a striking indication of the trend and shallowness of the modern reading public that George MacDonald’s books have been so neglected”. In addition to his fairy tales, MacDonald wrote several works on Christian apologetics including several that defended his view of Christian Universalism. Early life George MacDonald was born on 10 December 1824 at Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. His father, a farmer, was one of the MacDonalds of Glen Coe, and a direct descendant of one of the families that suffered in the massacre of 1692. The Doric dialect of the Aberdeenshire area appears in the dialogue of some of his non-fantasy novels. MacDonald grew up in the Congregational Church, with an atmosphere of Calvinism. But MacDonald never felt comfortable with some aspects of Calvinist doctrine; indeed, legend has itt that when the doctrine of predestination was first explained to him, he burst into tears (although assured that he was one of the elect). Later novels, such as Robert Falconer and Lilith, show a distaste for the idea that God’s electing love is limited to some and denied to others. MacDonald graduated from the University of Aberdeen, and then went to London, studying at Highbury College for the Congregational ministry. In 1850 he was appointed pastor of Trinity Congregational Church, Arundel, but his sermons (preaching God’s universal love and the possibility that none would, ultimately, fail to unite with God) met with little favour and his salary was cut in half. Later he was engaged in ministerial work in Manchester. He left that because of poor health, and after a short sojourn in Algiers he settled in London and taught for some time at the University of London. MacDonald was also for a time editor of Good Words for the Young, and lectured successfully in the United States during 1872–1873. Work George MacDonald’s best-known works are Phantastes, The Princess and the Goblin, At the Back of the North Wind, and Lilith, all fantasy novels, and fairy tales such as “The Light Princess”, “The Golden Key”, and “The Wise Woman”. “I write, not for children,” he wrote, “but for the child-like, whether they be of five, or fifty, or seventy-five.” MacDonald also published some volumes of sermons, the pulpit not having proved an unreservedly successful venue. MacDonald also served as a mentor to Lewis Carroll (the pen-name of Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson); it was MacDonald’s advice, and the enthusiastic reception of Alice by MacDonald’s many sons and daughters, that convinced Carroll to submit Alice for publication. Carroll, one of the finest Victorian photographers, also created photographic portraits of several of the MacDonald children. MacDonald was also friends with John Ruskin and served as a go-between in Ruskin’s long courtship with Rose La Touche. MacDonald was acquainted with most of the literary luminaries of the day; a surviving group photograph shows him with Tennyson, Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Trollope, Ruskin, Lewes, and Thackeray. While in America he was a friend of Longfellow and Walt Whitman. In 1877 he was given a civil list pension. From 1879 he and his family moved to Bordighera in a place much loved by British expatriates, the Riviera dei Fiori in Liguria, Italy, almost on the French border. In that locality there also was an Anglican Church, which he attended. Deeply enamoured of the Riviera, he spent there 20 years, writing almost half of his whole literary production, especially the fantasy work. In that Ligurian town MacDonald founded a literary studio named Casa Coraggio (Bravery House), which soon became one of the most renowned cultural centres of that period, well attended by British and Italian travellers, and by locals. In that house representations were often held of classic plays, and readings were given of Dante and Shakespeare. In 1900 he moved into St George’s Wood, Haslemere, a house designed for him by his son, Robert Falconer MacDonald, and the building overseen by his eldest son, Greville MacDonald. He died on 18 September 1905 in Ashtead, (Surrey). He was cremated and his ashes buried in Bordighera, in the English cemetery, along with his wife Louisa and daughters Lilia and Grace. As hinted above, MacDonald’s use of fantasy as a literary medium for exploring the human condition greatly influenced a generation of such notable authors as C. S. Lewis (who featured him as a character in his The Great Divorce), J. R. R. Tolkien, and Madeleine L’Engle. MacDonald’s non-fantasy novels, such as Alec Forbes, had their influence as well; they were among the first realistic Scottish novels, and as such MacDonald has been credited with founding the “kailyard school” of Scottish writing. His son Greville MacDonald became a noted medical specialist, a pioneer of the Peasant Arts movement, and also wrote numerous fairy tales for children. Greville ensured that new editions of his father’s works were published. Another son, Ronald MacDonald, was also a novelist. Ronald’s son, Philip MacDonald, (George MacDonald’s grandson) became a very well known Hollywood screenwriter. Theology MacDonald rejected the doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement as developed by John Calvin, which argues that Christ has taken the place of sinners and is punished by the wrath of God in their place, believing that in turn it raised serious questions about the character and nature of God. Instead, he taught that Christ had come to save people from their sins, and not from a Divine penalty for their sins. The problem was not the need to appease a wrathful God but the disease of cosmic evil itself. George MacDonald frequently described the Atonement in terms similar to the Christus Victor theory. MacDonald posed the rhetorical question, “Did he not foil and slay evil by letting all the waves and billows of its horrid sea break upon him, go over him, and die without rebound—spend their rage, fall defeated, and cease? Verily, he made atonement!” MacDonald was convinced that God does not punish except to amend, and that the sole end of His greatest anger is the amelioration of the guilty. As the doctor uses fire and steel in certain deep-seated diseases, so God may use hell-fire if necessary to heal the hardened sinner. MacDonald declared, “I believe that no hell will be lacking which would help the just mercy of God to redeem his children.” MacDonald posed the rhetorical question, “When we say that God is Love, do we teach men that their fear of Him is groundless?” He replied, “No. As much as they fear will come upon them, possibly far more.... The wrath will consume what they call themselves; so that the selves God made shall appear.” However, true repentance, in the sense of freely chosen moral growth, is essential to this process, and, in MacDonald’s optimistic view, inevitable for all beings (see universal reconciliation). He recognised the theoretical possibility that, bathed in the eschatological divine light, some might perceive right and wrong for what they are but still refuse to be transfigured by operation of God’s fires of love, but he did not think this likely. In this theology of divine punishment, MacDonald stands in opposition to Augustine of Hippo, and in agreement with the Greek Church Fathers Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and St. Gregory of Nyssa, although it is unknown whether MacDonald had a working familiarity with Patristics or Eastern Orthodox Christianity. At least an indirect influence is likely, because F. D. Maurice, who influenced MacDonald, knew the Greek Fathers, especially Clement, very well. MacDonald states his theological views most distinctly in the sermon Justice found in the third volume of Unspoken Sermons. In his introduction to George MacDonald: An Anthology, C. S. Lewis speaks highly of MacDonald’s theology: “This collection, as I have said, was designed not to revive MacDonald’s literary reputation but to spread his religious teaching. Hence most of my extracts are taken from the three volumes of Unspoken Sermons. My own debt to this book is almost as great as one man can owe to another: and nearly all serious inquirers to whom I have introduced it acknowledge that it has given them great help—sometimes indispensable help toward the very acceptance of the Christian faith. ... I know hardly any other writer who seems to be closer, or more continually close, to the Spirit of Christ Himself. Hence his Christ-like union of tenderness and severity. Nowhere else outside the New Testament have I found terror and comfort so intertwined.... In making this collection I was discharging a debt of justice. I have never concealed the fact that I regarded him as my master; indeed I fancy I have never written a book in which I did not quote from him. But it has not seemed to me that those who have received my books kindly take even now sufficient notice of the affiliation. Honesty drives me to emphasize it.” Bibliography Fantasy * Phantastes: A Fairie Romance for Men and Women (1858) * “Cross Purposes” (1862) * Adela Cathcart (1864), containing “The Light Princess”, “The Shadows”, and other short stories * The Portent: A Story of the Inner Vision of the Highlanders, Commonly Called “The Second Sight” (1864) * Dealings with the Fairies (1867), containing “The Golden Key”, “The Light Princess”, “The Shadows”, and other short stories * At the Back of the North Wind (1871) * Works of Fancy and Imagination (1871), including Within and Without, “Cross Purposes”, “The Light Princess”, “The Golden Key”, and other works * The Princess and the Goblin (1872) * The Wise Woman: A Parable (1875) (Published also as “The Lost Princess: A Double Story”; or as “A Double Story”.) * The Gifts of the Child Christ and Other Tales (1882; republished as Stephen Archer and Other Tales) * The Day Boy and the Night Girl (1882) * The Princess and Curdie (1883), a sequel to The Princess and the Goblin * The Flight of the Shadow (1891) * Lilith: A Romance (1895) Realistic fiction * David Elginbrod (1863; republished as The Tutor’s First Love), originally published in three volumes * Alec Forbes of Howglen (1865; republished as The Maiden’s Bequest) * Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood (1867) * Guild Court: A London Story (1868) * Robert Falconer (1868; republished as The Musician’s Quest) * The Seaboard Parish (1869), a sequel to Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood * Ranald Bannerman’s Boyhood (1871) * Wilfrid Cumbermede (1871–72) * The Vicar’s Daughter (1871–72), a sequel to Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood and The Seaboard Parish * The History of Gutta Percha Willie, the Working Genius (1873), usually called simply Gutta Percha Willie * Malcolm (1875) * St. George and St. Michael (1876) * Thomas Wingfold, Curate (1876; republished as The Curate’s Awakening) * The Marquis of Lossie (1877; republished as The Marquis’ Secret), the second book of Malcolm * Paul Faber, Surgeon (1879; republished as The Lady’s Confession), a sequel to Thomas Wingfold, Curate * Sir Gibbie (1879; republished as The Baronet’s Song) * Mary Marston (1881; republished as A Daughter’s Devotion) * Warlock o’ Glenwarlock (1881; republished as Castle Warlock and The Laird’s Inheritance) * Weighed and Wanting (1882; republished as A Gentlewoman’s Choice) * Donal Grant (1883; republished as The Shepherd’s Castle), a sequel to Sir Gibbie * What’s Mine’s Mine (1886; republished as The Highlander’s Last Song) * Home Again: A Tale (1887; republished as The Poet’s Homecoming) * The Elect Lady (1888; republished as The Landlady’s Master) * A Rough Shaking (1891) * There and Back (1891; republished as The Baron’s Apprenticeship), a sequel to Thomas Wingfold, Curate and Paul Faber, Surgeon * Heather and Snow (1893; republished as The Peasant Girl’s Dream) * Salted with Fire (1896; republished as The Minister’s Restoration) * Far Above Rubies (1898) Poetry * Twelve of the Spiritual Songs of Novalis (1851), privately printed translation of the poetry of Novalis * Within and Without: A Dramatic Poem (1855) * Poems (1857) * “A Hidden Life” and Other Poems (1864) * “The Disciple” and Other Poems (1867) * Exotics: A Translation of the Spiritual Songs of Novalis, the Hymn-book of Luther, and Other Poems from the German and Italian (1876) * Dramatic and Miscellaneous Poems (1876) * Diary of an Old Soul (1880) * A Book of Strife, in the Form of the Diary of an Old Soul (1880), privately printed * The Threefold Cord: Poems by Three Friends (1883), privately printed, with Greville Matheson and John Hill MacDonald * Poems (1887) * The Poetical Works of George MacDonald, 2 Volumes (1893) * Scotch Songs and Ballads (1893) * Rampolli: Growths from a Long-planted Root (1897) Nonfiction * Unspoken Sermons (1867) * England’s Antiphon (1868, 1874) * The Miracles of Our Lord (1870) * Cheerful Words from the Writing of George MacDonald (1880), compiled by E. E. Brown * Orts: Chiefly Papers on the Imagination, and on Shakespeare (1882) * “Preface” (1884) to Letters from Hell (1866) by Valdemar Adolph Thisted * The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke: A Study With the Test of the Folio of 1623 (1885) * Unspoken Sermons, Second Series (1885) * Unspoken Sermons, Third Series (1889) * A Cabinet of Gems, Cut and Polished by Sir Philip Sidney; Now, for the More Radiance, Presented Without Their Setting by George MacDonald (1891) * The Hope of the Gospel (1892) * A Dish of Orts (1893) * Beautiful Thoughts from George MacDonald (1894), compiled by Elizabeth Dougall In popular culture * (Alphabetical by artist) * Christian celtic punk band Ballydowse have a song called “George MacDonald” on their album Out of the Fertile Crescent. The song is both taken from MacDonald’s poem “My Two Geniuses” and liberally quoted from Phantastes. * American classical composer John Craton has utilized several of MacDonald’s stories in his works, including “The Gray Wolf” (in a tone poem of the same name for solo mandolin– 2006) and portions of “The Cruel Painter”, Lilith, and The Light Princess (in Three Tableaux from George MacDonald for mandolin, recorder, and cello– 2011). * Contemporary new-age musician Jeff Johnson wrote a song titled “The Golden Key” based on George MacDonald’s story of the same name. He has also written several other songs inspired by MacDonald and the Inklings. * Jazz pianist and recording artist Ray Lyon has a song on his CD Beginning to See (2007), called “Up The Spiral Stairs”, which features lyrics from MacDonald’s 26 and 27 September devotional readings from the book Diary of an Old Soul. * A verse from The Light Princess is cited in the “Beauty and the Beast” song by Nightwish. * Rock group The Waterboys titled their album Room to Roam (1990) after a passage in MacDonald’s Phantastes, also found in Lilith. The title track of the album comprises a MacDonald poem from the text of Phantastes set to music by the band. The novels Lilith and Phantastes are both named as books in a library, in the title track of another Waterboys album, Universal Hall (2003). (The Waterboys have also quoted from C. S. Lewis in several songs, including “Church Not Made With Hands” and “Further Up, Further In”, confirming the enduring link in modern pop culture between MacDonald and Lewis.) References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_MacDonald

Charles Mackay

Charles Mackay (27 March 1814– 24 December 1889) was a Scottish poet, journalist, author, anthologist, novelist, and songwriter, remembered mainly for his book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. Early life Charles Mackay was born in Perth, Scotland. His father, George Mackay, was a bombardier in the Royal Artillery, and his mother Amelia Cargill died shortly after his birth. His birthdate was 26 March 1812, although he always gave it as 27 March 1814. Mackay was educated at the Caledonian Asylum, in London. In 1828 he was placed by his father at a school in Brussels, on the Boulevard de Namur, and studied languages. In 1830 he was engaged as a private secretary to William Cockerill, the ironmaster, near Liège, began writing in French in the Courrier Belge, and sent English poems to a local newspaper called The Telegraph. In the summer of 1830 he visited Paris, and he spent 1831 with Cockerill at Aix-la-Chapelle. In May 1832 his father brought him back to London, where he first found employment in teaching Italian to Benjamin Lumley. Journalist Mackay engaged in journalism in London: in 1834 he was an occasional contributor to The Sun. From the spring of 1835 till 1844 he was assistant sub-editor of the Morning Chronicle. In the autumn of 1839 he spent a month’s holiday in Scotland, witnessing the Eglintoun Tournament, which he described in the Chronicle, and making acquaintances in Edinburgh. In the autumn of 1844, he moved to Scotland, and became editor of the Glasgow Argus, resigning in 1847. He worked for the Illustrated London News in 1848, becoming editor in 1852. Later life Mackay visited North America in the 1850s, publishing his observations as Life and Liberty in America: or Sketches of a Tour of the United States and Canada in 1857–58 (1859). During the American Civil War he returned there as a correspondent for The Times, in which capacity he discovered and disclosed the Fenian conspiracy. Mackay had the degree of LL.D. from the University of Glasgow in 1846. He was a member of the Percy Society. He died in London. Works * Mackay published Songs and Poems (1834), a History of London, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (1841), and a romance entitled, Longbeard. He is also remembered for his Gaelic Etymology Of The Languages Of Western Europe and the later Dictionary of Lowland Scotch in which he presented his “fanciful conjectures” that “thousands of English words go back to Scottish Gaelic”. The linguist Anatoly Liberman has described MacKay as an “etymological monomaniac” commenting that “He was hauled over the coals by his contemporaries and never taken seriously during his lifetime”. His fame chiefly rested upon his songs, some of which, including “Cheer, Boys, Cheer”, were set to music by Henry Russell in 1846, and had an astonishing popularity. * Charles Mackay wrote the popular poem You have no enemies, you say?: * You have no enemies, you say? * Alas, my friend, the boast is poor, * He who has mingled in the fray * Of duty, that the brave endure, * Must have made foes. * If you have none, * Small is the work that you have done. * You’ve hit no traitor on the hip, * You’ve dashed no cup from perjured lip, * You’ve never set the wrong to right. * You’ve been a coward in the fight. * Another popular poem is Who shall be fairest?: * Who shall be fairest? - who shall be rarest? * Who shall be first in the songs that we sing? * She who is kindest when fortune is blindest, * Bearing through winter the blooms of the spring. * Charm of our gladness, friend of our sadness, * Angel of life when its pleasures take wing! * She shall be fairest, she shall be rarest * She shall be first in the songs that we sing! * Who shall be nearest? - noblest, and dearest, * Named but with honour, and pride evermore? * He, the undaunted, whose banner is planted * On Glory’s high ramparts and battlements hoar. * Fearless of danger, to falsehood a stranger, * Looking not back while there’s duty before! * He shall be nearest, he shall be dearest, * He shall be first in our hearts evermore. Family * Mackay was twice married—first, during his Glasgow editorship, to Rosa Henrietta Vale, by whom he had three sons and a daughter; and secondly to Ellen Mills, a widow, whose maiden name was Kirtland. His first wife died on 28 December 1859, and his second wife in 1875. The novelist Marie Corelli was an illegitimate daughter. References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Mackay_(author)

George Meredith

George Meredith, OM (12 February 1828 – 18 May 1909) was an English novelist and poet of the Victorian era. Meredith was born in Portsmouth, England, a son and grandson of naval outfitters. His mother died when he was five. At the age of 14 he was sent to a Moravian School in Neuwied, Germany, where he remained for two years. He read law and was articled as a solicitor, but abandoned that profession for journalism and poetry. He collaborated with Edward Gryffydh Peacock, son of Thomas Love Peacock in publishing a privately circulated literary magazine, the Monthly Observer. He married Edward Peacock's widowed sister Mary Ellen Nicolls in 1849 when he was twenty-one years old and she was twenty-eight. He collected his early writings, first published in periodicals, into Poems, published to some acclaim in 1851. His wife ran off with the English Pre-Raphaelite painter Henry Wallis [1830–1916] in 1858; she died three years later. The collection of "sonnets" entitled Modern Love (1862) came of this experience as did The Ordeal of Richard Feverel, his first "major novel". He married Marie Vulliamy in 1864 and settled in Surrey. He continued writing novels and poetry, often inspired by nature. His writing was characterised by a fascination with imagery and indirect references. He had a keen understanding of comedy and his Essay on Comedy (1877) is still quoted in most discussions of the history of comic theory. In The Egoist, published in 1879, he applies some of his theories of comedy in one of his most enduring novels. Some of his writings, including The Egoist, also highlight the subjugation of women during the Victorian period. During most of his career, he had difficulty achieving popular success. His first truly successful novel was Diana of the Crossways published in 1885. Meredith supplemented his often uncertain writer's income with a job as a publisher's reader. His advice to Chapman and Hall made him influential in the world of letters. His friends in the literary world included, at different times, William and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Algernon Charles Swinburne, Leslie Stephen, Robert Louis Stevenson, George Gissing and J. M. Barrie. His contemporary Sir Arthur Conan Doyle paid him homage in the short-story The Boscombe Valley Mystery, when Sherlock Holmes says to Dr. Watson during the discussion of the case, "And now let us talk about George Meredith, if you please, and we shall leave all minor matters until to-morrow." Oscar Wilde, in his dialogue The Decay of Lying, implies that Meredith, along with Balzac, is his favourite novelist, saying "Ah, Meredith! Who can define him? His style is chaos illumined by flashes of lightning". In 1868 he was introduced to Thomas Hardy by Frederick Chapman of Chapman & Hall the publishers. Hardy had submitted his first novel, The Poor Man and the Lady. Meredith advised Hardy not to publish his book as it would be attacked by reviewers and destroy his hopes of becoming a novelist. Meredith felt the book was too bitter a satire on the rich and counselled Hardy to put it aside and write another 'with a purely artistic purpose' and more of a plot. Meredith spoke from experience; his first big novel, The Ordeal of Richard Feverel, was judged so shocking that Mudie's circulating library had cancelled an order of 300 copies. Hardy continued to try and publish the novel: however it remained unpublished, though he clearly took Meredith's advice seriously. Before his death, Meredith was honoured from many quarters: he succeeded Lord Tennyson as president of the Society of Authors; in 1905 he was appointed to the Order of Merit by King Edward VII. In 1909, he died at his home in Box Hill, Surrey. Works Essays * Essay on Comedy (1877) Novels * The Shaving of Shagpat (1856) * Farina (1857) * The Ordeal of Richard Feverel (1859) * Evan Harrington (1861) * Emilia in England (1864), republished as Sandra Belloni in 1887 * Rhoda Fleming (1865) * Vittoria (1867) * The Adventures of Harry Richmond (1871) * Beauchamp's Career (1875) * The House on the Beach (1877) * The Case of General Ople and Lady Camper (1877) * The Tale of Chloe (1879) * The Egoist (1879) * The Tragic Comedians (1880) * Diana of the Crossways (1885) * One of our Conquerors (1891) * Lord Ormont and his Aminta (1894) * The Amazing Marriage (1895) * Celt and Saxon (1910) Poetry * Poems (1851) * Modern Love (1862) * Poems and Lyrics of the Joy of Earth (1883) * The Woods of Westermain (1883) * A Faith on Trial (1885) * Ballads and Poems of Tragic Life (1887) * A Reading of Earth (1888) * The Empty Purse (1892) * Odes in Contribution to the Song of French History(1898) * A Reading of Life (1901) * Last Poems (1909) * Lucifer in Starlight * The Lark Ascending (the inspiration for Vaughan Williams' instrumental work The Lark Ascending). References Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Meredith

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Edna St. Vincent Millay (February 22, 1892 – October 19, 1950) was an American poet and playwright. She received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1923, the third woman to win the award for poetry, and was also known for her feminist activism. She used the pseudonym Nancy Boyd for her prose work. The poet Richard Wilbur asserted, "She wrote some of the best sonnets of the century." Millay was born in Rockland, Maine, to Cora Lounella Buzelle, a nurse, and Henry Tolman Millay, a schoolteacher who would later become a superintendent of schools. Her middle name derives from St. Vincent's Hospital in New York, where her uncle's life had been saved just before her birth. The family's house was "between the mountains and the sea where baskets of apples and drying herbs on the porch mingled their scents with those of the neighboring pine woods." In 1904, Cora officially divorced Millay's father for financial irresponsibility, but they had already been separated for some years. Cora and her three daughters, Edna (who called herself "Vincent"), Norma Lounella (born 1893), and Kathleen Kalloch (born 1896), moved from town to town, living in poverty. Cora travelled with a trunk full of classic literature, including Shakespeare and Milton, which she read to her children. The family settled in a small house on the property of Cora's aunt in Camden, Maine, where Millay would write the first of the poems that would bring her literary fame. The three sisters were independent and spoke their minds, which did not always sit well with the authority figures in their lives. Millay's grade school principal, offended by her frank attitudes, refused to call her Vincent. Instead, he called her by any woman's name that started with a V. At Camden High School, Millay began developing her literary talents, starting at the school's literary magazine, The Megunticook. At 14 she won the St. Nicholas Gold Badge for poetry, and by 15, she had published her poetry in the popular children's magazine St. Nicholas, the Camden Herald, and the high-profile anthology Current Literature. While at school, she had several relationships with women, including Edith Wynne Matthison, who would go on to become an actress in silent films. Edna St. Vincent Millay in Mamaroneck, NY, 1914, by Arnold Genthe. Millay entered Vassar College in 1913 when she was 21 years old, later than usual. She had relationships with several fellow students during her time there and kept scrapbooks including drafts of plays written during the period. New York City After her graduation from Vassar in 1917, Millay moved to New York City. She lived in a number of places in Greenwich Village, including a house owned by the Cherry Lane Theatre and 75½ Bedford St, renowned for being the narrowest in New York City. The critic Floyd Dell wrote that the red-haired and beautiful Millay was "a frivolous young woman, with a brand-new pair of dancing slippers and a mouth like a valentine." Millay described her life in New York as "very, very poor and very, very merry." While establishing her career as a poet, Millay initially worked with the Provincetown Players on Macdougal Street and the Theatre Guild. In 1924 Millay and others founded the Cherry Lane Theater "to continue the staging of experimental drama." Magazine articles under a pseudonym also helped support her early days in the village. Millay was openly bisexual. Counted among her close friends were the writers Witter Bynner, Arthur Davison Ficke, and Susan Glaspell, as well as Floyd Dell and the critic Edmund Wilson, both of whom proposed marriage to her and were refused. Career Millay’s fame began in 1912 when she entered her poem "Renascence" in a poetry contest in The Lyric Year. The poem was widely considered the best submission and when it was ultimately awarded fourth place, it created a scandal which brought Millay publicity. The first-place winner Orrick Johns was among those who felt that “Renascence” was the best poem, and stated that “the award was as much an embarrassment to me as a triumph". A second-prize winner offered Millay his $250 prize money. In the immediate aftermath of the Lyric Year controversy, wealthy arts patron Caroline B. Dow heard Millay reciting her poetry and playing the piano at the Whitehall Inn in Camden, Maine, and was so impressed that she offered to pay for Millay’s education at Vassar College. Her 1920 collection A Few Figs From Thistles drew controversy for its novel exploration of female sexuality and feminism. In 1919 she wrote the anti-war play Aria da Capo which starred her sister Norma Millay at the Provincetown Playhouse in New York City. Millay won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1923 for "The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver"; she was the third woman to win the poetry prize, after Sara Teasdale (1918) and Margaret Widdemer (1919). In January 1921, she went to Paris, where she met and befriended the sculptor Thelma Wood. In 1923 she married 43-year-old Eugen Jan Boissevain (1880–1949), the widower of the labor lawyer and war correspondent Inez Milholland, a political icon Millay had met during her time at Vassar. A self-proclaimed feminist, Boissevain supported her career and took primary care of domestic responsibilities. Both Millay and Boissevain had other lovers throughout their twenty-six-year marriage. For Millay, a significant such relationship was with the poet George Dillon. She met Dillon at one of her readings at the University of Chicago in 1928 where he was a student. He was fourteen years her junior, and the relationship inspired the sonnets in the collection Fatal Interview (published 1931). In 1925, Boissevain and Millay bought Steepletop near Austerlitz, New York, which had been a 635-acre (257 ha) blueberry farm. The couple built a barn (from a Sears Roebuck kit), and then a writing cabin and a tennis court. Millay grew her own vegetables in a small garden. The couple later bought Ragged Island in Casco Bay, Maine, as a summer retreat.[page needed] During the first world war Millay had been a dedicated and active pacifist; however, from 1940 she supported the Allied Forces, writing in celebration of the war effort and later working with Writers' War Board to create propaganda, including poetry. Her reputation in poetry circles was damaged by her war work. Merle Rubin noted: "She seems to have caught more flak from the literary critics for supporting democracy than Ezra Pound did for championing fascism." In The New York Times, Millay mourned the Czechoslovak city of Lidice, the site of a Nazi massacre: The whole world holds in its arms today The murdered village of Lidice, Like the murdered body of a little child. In 1943 Millay was the sixth person and the second woman to be awarded the Frost Medal for her lifetime contribution to American poetry. Boissevain died in 1949 of lung cancer, and Millay lived alone for the last year of her life. Death and legacy Millay died at her home on October 19, 1950. She had fallen down stairs and was found approximately eight hours after her death. Her physician reported that she had suffered a heart attack following a coronary occlusion. She was 58 years old. Millay's sister Norma and her husband, the painter and actor Charles Frederick Ellis, moved to Steepletop after Millay's death. In 1973, they established Millay Colony for the Arts on the seven acres around the house and barn. After the death of her husband in 1976, Norma continued to run the program until her death in 1986. At 17, the poet Mary Oliver visited Steepletop and became a close friend of Norma. Oliver eventually lived there for seven years and helped to organize Millay's papers. Mary Oliver herself went on to become a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, greatly inspired by Millay's work. In 2006, the state of New York paid $1.69 million to acquire 230 acres (0.93 km2) of Steepletop, with the intention to add the land to a nearby state forest preserve. The proceeds of the sale were to be used by the Edna St. Vincent Millay Society to restore the farmhouse and grounds and turn it into a museum. The museum has been open to the public since summer 2010, and guided tours of Steepletop and Millay's gardens are available from the end of May through the middle of October. Parts of the grounds of Steepletop, including the Millay Poetry Trail that leads to her grave, are now open to the public year-round. In 2015, she was named as one of the 31 Icons of 2015's LGBT History Month by Equality Forum. WORKS Millay wrote five verse dramas early in her career, including Two Slatterns and a King and The Lamp and the Bell, a poem written for Vassar College about love between women. She was commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera House to write a libretto for an opera composed by Deems Taylor. The result, The King's Henchman, drew on the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle's account of Eadgar, King of Wessex, and was described as the most effectively and artistically wrought American opera ever to reach the stage. Within three weeks, her publishers had run through four editions of the book. Her pacifist verse drama Aria da Capo, a one-act play written for the Provincetown Players, is often anthologized. It aired live as an episode of Academy Theatre in 1949 on NBC. "Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare" (1922) is an homage to the geometry of Euclid. "Renascence" and "The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver" are often considered her finest poems. On her death, The New York Times described her as "an idol of the younger generation during the glorious early days of Greenwich Village [...] One of the greatest American poets of her time." Thomas Hardy said that America had two great attractions: the skyscraper and the poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay. Poetry collections * Edna St. Vincent Millay (1917). Renascence: and other poems. Harper & brothers. (title poem first published under name E. Vincent Millay in The Lyric Year, 1912; collection includes God's World), M. Kennerley, 1917. reprinted, Books for Libraries Press, 1972. * A Few Figs From Thistles: Poems and Four Sonnets, F. Shay, 1920, 2nd [enlarged] Edna St. Vincent Millay (1921). A Few Figs from Thistles: Poems and Sonnets. F. Shay., * Edna St. Vincent Millay (1921). Second April. Harper & Brothers. (poems; includes Spring, Ode to Silence,and The Beanstalk); reprinted, Harper, 1935 * The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver, F. Shay, 1922, reprinted as The Harp-Weaver, in The Harp-Weaver, and Other Poems (includes The Concert, Euclid Alone has Looked on Beauty Bare, and Sonnets from an Ungrafted Tree), Harper, 1923. Poems, M. Secker, 1923. * (Under pseudonym Nancy Boyd) Distressing Dialogues, preface by Edna St. Vincent Millay, Harper, 1924. * The Buck in the Snow, and Other Poems, Harper, 1928 (includes The Buck in the Snow [also see below] and On Hearing a Symphony of Beethoven). * Fatal Interview (sonnets), Harper, 1931. * Wine from These Grapes (poems; includes Epitaph for the Race of Man and In the Grave No Flower), Harper, 1934. * (Translator with George Dillon; and author of introduction) Charles Baudelaire, Flowers of Evil, Harper, 1936. * Conversation at Midnight (narrative poem), Harper, 1937. * Huntsman, What Quarry? (poems), Harper, 1939. * There Are No Islands, Any More: Lines Written in Passion and in Deep Concern for England, France, and My Own Country, Harper, 1940. * Make Bright the Arrows: 1940 Notebook (poems), Harper, 1940. * The Murder of Lidice (poem), Harper, 1942. * Second April [and] The Buck in the Snow, introduction by William Rose Benét, Harper, 1950. * Mine the Harvest, A Collection of New Poem, Edited by her sister, Norma Millay, and posthumously published by Harper & Brothers, 1954. (This collection consists of the poems that Edna St. Vincent Millay was preparing at the time of her death.) * Love is Not All References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edna_St._Vincent_Millay

Thomas Moore

William Butler Yeats (13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939) was an Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature. A pillar of the Irish literary establishment, he helped to found the Abbey Theatre, and in his later years served as a Senator of the Irish Free State for two terms. He was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival along with Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn and others. Yeats was born in Sandymount, Ireland and educated there and in London. He spent childhood holidays in County Sligo and studied poetry from an early age when he became fascinated by Irish legends and the occult. These topics feature in the first phase of his work, which lasted roughly until the turn of the 20th century. His earliest volume of verse was published in 1889, and its slow-paced and lyrical poems display debts to Edmund Spenser, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and the poets of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. From 1900, his poetry grew more physical and realistic. He largely renounced the transcendental beliefs of his youth, though he remained preoccupied with physical and spiritual masks, as well as with cyclical theories of life. In 1923, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Biography Early years William Butler Yeats was born at Sandymount in County Dublin, Ireland. His father, John Butler Yeats (1839–1922), was a descendant of Jervis Yeats, a Williamite soldier, linen merchant, and well-known painter who died in 1712. Benjamin Yeats, Jervis’s grandson and William’s great-great-grandfather, had in 1773 married Mary Butler of a landed family in County Kildare. Following their marriage, they kept the name Butler. Mary was of the Butler of Neigham (pronounced Nyam) Gowran family, descended from an illegitimate brother of the 8th Earl of Ormond.By his marriage, William’s father John Yeats was studying law but abandoned his studies to study art at Heatherley School of Fine Art in London. His mother, Susan Mary Pollexfen, came from a wealthy merchant family in Sligo, who owned a milling and shipping business. Soon after William’s birth the family relocated to the Pollexfen home at Merville, Sligo to stay with her extended family, and the young poet came to think of the area as his childhood and spiritual home. Its landscape became, over time, both literally and symbolically, his “country of the heart”. So also did its location on the sea; John Yeats stated that “by marriage with a Pollexfen, we have given a tongue to the sea cliffs”. The Butler Yeats family were highly artistic; his brother Jack became an esteemed painter, while his sisters Elizabeth and Susan Mary—known to family and friends as Lollie and Lily—became involved in the Arts and Crafts movement.Yeats was raised a member of the Protestant Ascendancy, which was at the time undergoing a crisis of identity. While his family was broadly supportive of the changes Ireland was experiencing, the nationalist revival of the late 19th century directly disadvantaged his heritage, and informed his outlook for the remainder of his life. In 1997, his biographer R. F. Foster observed that Napoleon’s dictum that to understand the man you have to know what was happening in the world when he was twenty “is manifestly true of W.B.Y.” Yeats’s childhood and young adulthood were shadowed by the power-shift away from the minority Protestant Ascendancy. The 1880s saw the rise of Charles Stewart Parnell and the home rule movement; the 1890s saw the momentum of nationalism, while the Catholics became prominent around the turn of the century. These developments had a profound effect on his poetry, and his subsequent explorations of Irish identity had a significant influence on the creation of his country’s biography.In 1867, the family moved to England to aid their father, John, to further his career as an artist. At first the Yeats children were educated at home. Their mother entertained them with stories and Irish folktales. John provided an erratic education in geography and chemistry, and took William on natural history explorations of the nearby Slough countryside. On 26 January 1877, the young poet entered the Godolphin school, which he attended for four years. He did not distinguish himself academically, and an early school report describes his performance as “only fair. Perhaps better in Latin than in any other subject. Very poor in spelling”. Though he had difficulty with mathematics and languages (possibly because he was tone deaf), he was fascinated by biology and zoology. In 1879 the family moved to Bedford Park taking a two-year lease on 8 Woodstock Road. For financial reasons, the family returned to Dublin toward the end of 1880, living at first in the suburbs of Harold’s Cross and later Howth. In October 1881, Yeats resumed his education at Dublin’s Erasmus Smith High School. His father’s studio was nearby and William spent a great deal of time there, where he met many of the city’s artists and writers. During this period he started writing poetry, and, in 1885, the Dublin University Review published Yeats’s first poems, as well as an essay entitled “The Poetry of Sir Samuel Ferguson”. Between 1884 and 1886, William attended the Metropolitan School of Art—now the National College of Art and Design—in Thomas Street. In March 1888 the family moved to 3 Blenheim Road in Bedford Park. The rent on the house was £50 a year.He began writing his first works when he was seventeen; these included a poem—heavily influenced by Percy Bysshe Shelley—that describes a magician who set up a throne in central Asia. Other pieces from this period include a draft of a play about a bishop, a monk, and a woman accused of paganism by local shepherds, as well as love-poems and narrative lyrics on German knights. The early works were both conventional and, according to the critic Charles Johnston, “utterly unIrish”, seeming to come out of a “vast murmurous gloom of dreams”. Although Yeats’s early works drew heavily on Shelley, Edmund Spenser, and on the diction and colouring of pre-Raphaelite verse, he soon turned to Irish mythology and folklore and the writings of William Blake. In later life, Yeats paid tribute to Blake by describing him as one of the “great artificers of God who uttered great truths to a little clan”. In 1891, Yeats published John Sherman and “Dhoya”, one a novella, the other a story. The influence of Oscar Wilde is evident in Yeats’s theory of aesthetics, especially in his stage plays, and runs like a motif through his early works. The theory of masks, developed by Wilde in his polemic The Decay of Lying can clearly be seen in Yeats’s play The Player Queen, while the more sensual characterisation of Salomé, in Wildes play of the same name, provides the template for the changes Yeats made in his later plays, especially in On Baile’s Strand (1904), Deirdre (1907), and his dance play The King of the Great Clock Tower (1934). Young poet The family returned to London in 1887. In March 1890 Yeats joined the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and with Ernest Rhys co-founded the Rhymers’ Club, a group of London-based poets who met regularly in a Fleet Street tavern to recite their verse. Yeats later sought to mythologize the collective, calling it the “Tragic Generation” in his autobiography, and published two anthologies of the Rhymers’ work, the first one in 1892 and the second one in 1894. He collaborated with Edwin Ellis on the first complete edition of William Blake’s works, in the process rediscovering a forgotten poem, “Vala, or, the Four Zoas”.Yeats had a lifelong interest in mysticism, spiritualism, occultism and astrology. He read extensively on the subjects throughout his life, became a member of the paranormal research organisation “The Ghost Club” (in 1911) and was especially influenced by the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. As early as 1892, he wrote: “If I had not made magic my constant study I could not have written a single word of my Blake book, nor would The Countess Kathleen ever have come to exist. The mystical life is the centre of all that I do and all that I think and all that I write.” His mystical interests—also inspired by a study of Hinduism, under the Theosophist Mohini Chatterjee, and the occult—formed much of the basis of his late poetry. Some critics disparaged this aspect of Yeats’s work.His first significant poem was “The Island of Statues”, a fantasy work that took Edmund Spenser and Shelley for its poetic models. The piece was serialized in the Dublin University Review. Yeats wished to include it in his first collection, but it was deemed too long, and in fact was never republished in his lifetime. Quinx Books published the poem in complete form for the first time in 2014. His first solo publication was the pamphlet Mosada: A Dramatic Poem (1886), which comprised a print run of 100 copies paid for by his father. This was followed by the collection The Wanderings of Oisin and Other Poems (1889), which arranged a series of verse that dated as far back as the mid-1880s. The long title poem contains, in the words of his biographer R. F. Foster, "obscure Gaelic names, striking repetitions [and] an unremitting rhythm subtly varied as the poem proceeded through its three sections"; “The Wanderings of Oisin” is based on the lyrics of the Fenian Cycle of Irish mythology and displays the influence of both Sir Samuel Ferguson and the Pre-Raphaelite poets. The poem took two years to complete and was one of the few works from this period that he did not disown in his maturity. Oisin introduces what was to become one of his most important themes: the appeal of the life of contemplation over the appeal of the life of action. Following the work, Yeats never again attempted another long poem. His other early poems, which are meditations on the themes of love or mystical and esoteric subjects, include Poems (1895), The Secret Rose (1897), and The Wind Among the Reeds (1899). The covers of these volumes were illustrated by Yeats’s friend Althea Gyles.During 1885, Yeats was involved in the formation of the Dublin Hermetic Order. The society held its first meeting on 16 June, with Yeats acting as its chairman. The same year, the Dublin Theosophical lodge was opened in conjunction with Brahmin Mohini Chatterjee, who travelled from the Theosophical Society in London to lecture. Yeats attended his first séance the following year. He later became heavily involved with the Theosophy and with hermeticism, particularly with the eclectic Rosicrucianism of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. During séances held from 1912, a spirit calling itself “Leo Africanus” apparently claimed it was Yeats’s Daemon or anti-self, inspiring some of the speculations in Per Amica Silentia Lunae. He was admitted into the Golden Dawn in March 1890 and took the magical motto Daemon est Deus inversus—translated as 'Devil is God inverted’. He was an active recruiter for the sect’s Isis-Urania Temple, and brought in his uncle George Pollexfen, Maud Gonne, and Florence Farr. Although he reserved a distaste for abstract and dogmatic religions founded around personality cults, he was attracted to the type of people he met at the Golden Dawn. He was involved in the Order’s power struggles, both with Farr and Macgregor Mathers, and was involved when Mathers sent Aleister Crowley to repossess Golden Dawn paraphernalia during the “Battle of Blythe Road”. After the Golden Dawn ceased and splintered into various offshoots, Yeats remained with the Stella Matutina until 1921. Maud Gonne In 1889, Yeats met Maud Gonne, a 23-year-old English heiress and ardent Irish Nationalist. She was eighteen months younger than Yeats and later claimed she met the poet as a “paint-stained art student.” Gonne admired “The Island of Statues” and sought out his acquaintance. Yeats began an obsessive infatuation, and she had a significant and lasting effect on his poetry and his life thereafter. In later years he admitted, "it seems to me that she [Gonne] brought into my life those days—for as yet I saw only what lay upon the surface—the middle of the tint, a sound as of a Burmese gong, an over-powering tumult that had yet many pleasant secondary notes." Yeats’s love was unrequited, in part due to his reluctance to participate in her nationalist activism.In 1891 he visited Gonne in Ireland and proposed marriage, but was rejected. He later admitted that from that point “the troubling of my life began”. Yeats proposed to Gonne three more times: in 1899, 1900 and 1901. She refused each proposal, and in 1903, to his dismay, married the Irish nationalist Major John MacBride. His only other love affair during this period was with Olivia Shakespear, whom he first met in 1894, and parted from in 1897. Yeats derided MacBride in letters and in poetry. He was horrified by Gonne’s marriage, at losing his muse to another man; in addition, her conversion to Catholicism before marriage offended him; Yeats was Protestant/agnostic. He worried his muse would come under the influence of the priests and do their bidding.Gonne’s marriage to MacBride was a disaster. This pleased Yeats, as Gonne began to visit him in London. After the birth of her son, Seán MacBride, in 1904, Gonne and MacBride agreed to end the marriage, although they were unable to agree on the child’s welfare. Despite the use of intermediaries, a divorce case ensued in Paris in 1905. Gonne made a series of allegations against her husband with Yeats as her main 'second’, though he did not attend court or travel to France. A divorce was not granted, for the only accusation that held up in court was that MacBride had been drunk once during the marriage. A separation was granted, with Gonne having custody of the baby and MacBride having visiting rights. Yeats’s friendship with Gonne ended, yet, in Paris in 1908, they finally consummated their relationship. “The long years of fidelity rewarded at last” was how another of his lovers described the event. Yeats was less sentimental and later remarked that “the tragedy of sexual intercourse is the perpetual virginity of the soul.” The relationship did not develop into a new phase after their night together, and soon afterwards Gonne wrote to the poet indicating that despite the physical consummation, they could not continue as they had been: “I have prayed so hard to have all earthly desire taken from my love for you and dearest, loving you as I do, I have prayed and I am praying still that the bodily desire for me may be taken from you too.” By January 1909, Gonne was sending Yeats letters praising the advantage given to artists who abstain from sex. Nearly twenty years later, Yeats recalled the night with Gonne in his poem “A Man Young and Old”: In 1896, Yeats was introduced to Lady Gregory by their mutual friend Edward Martyn. Gregory encouraged Yeats’s nationalism, and convinced him to continue focusing on writing drama. Although he was influenced by French Symbolism, Yeats concentrated on an identifiably Irish content and this inclination was reinforced by his involvement with a new generation of younger and emerging Irish authors. Together with Lady Gregory, Martyn, and other writers including J. M. Synge, Seán O’Casey, and Padraic Colum, Yeats was one of those responsible for the establishment of the “Irish Literary Revival” movement. Apart from these creative writers, much of the impetus for the Revival came from the work of scholarly translators who were aiding in the discovery of both the ancient sagas and Ossianic poetry and the more recent folk song tradition in Irish. One of the most significant of these was Douglas Hyde, later the first President of Ireland, whose Love Songs of Connacht was widely admired. Abbey Theatre In 1899, Yeats, Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn and George Moore began the Irish Literary Theatre to present Irish plays. The ideals of the Abbey were derived from the avant-garde French theatre, which sought to express the "ascendancy of the playwright rather than the actor-manager à l’anglais." The group’s manifesto, which Yeats wrote, declared, "We hope to find in Ireland an uncorrupted & imaginative audience trained to listen by its passion for oratory... & that freedom to experiment which is not found in the theatres of England, & without which no new movement in art or literature can succeed."The collective survived for about two years but was not successful. Working with two Irish brothers with theatrical experience, William and Frank Fay, Yeats’s unpaid yet independently wealthy secretary Annie Horniman, and the leading West End actress Florence Farr, the group established the Irish National Theatre Society. Along with Synge, they acquired property in Dublin and on 27 December 1904 opened the Abbey Theatre. Yeats’s play Cathleen ni Houlihan and Lady Gregory’s Spreading the News were featured on the opening night. Yeats remained involved with the Abbey until his death, both as a member of the board and a prolific playwright. In 1902, he helped set up the Dun Emer Press to publish work by writers associated with the Revival. This became the Cuala Press in 1904, and inspired by the Arts and Crafts Movement, sought to “find work for Irish hands in the making of beautiful things.” From then until its closure in 1946, the press—which was run by the poet’s sisters—produced over 70 titles; 48 of them books by Yeats himself. Yeats met the American poet Ezra Pound in 1909. Pound had travelled to London at least partly to meet the older man, whom he considered “the only poet worthy of serious study.” From that year until 1916, the two men wintered in the Stone Cottage at Ashdown Forest, with Pound nominally acting as Yeats’s secretary. The relationship got off to a rocky start when Pound arranged for the publication in the magazine Poetry of some of Yeats’s verse with Pound’s own unauthorised alterations. These changes reflected Pound’s distaste for Victorian prosody. A more indirect influence was the scholarship on Japanese Noh plays that Pound had obtained from Ernest Fenollosa’s widow, which provided Yeats with a model for the aristocratic drama he intended to write. The first of his plays modelled on Noh was At the Hawk’s Well, the first draft of which he dictated to Pound in January 1916.The emergence of a nationalist revolutionary movement from the ranks of the mostly Roman Catholic lower-middle and working class made Yeats reassess some of his attitudes. In the refrain of "Easter, 1916" ("All changed, changed utterly / A terrible beauty is born"), Yeats faces his own failure to recognise the merits of the leaders of the Easter Rising, due to his attitude towards their ordinary backgrounds and lives.Yeats was close to Lady Gregory and her home place of Coole Park, Co, Galway. He would often visit and stay there as it was a central meeting place for people who supported the resurgence of Irish literature and cultural traditions. His poem, “The Wild Swans at Coole” was written there, between 1916 and 1917. He wrote prefaces for two books of Irish mythological tales, compiled by Augusta, Lady Gregory: Cuchulain of Muirthemne (1902), and Gods and Fighting Men (1904). In the preface of the later he wrote: “One must not expect in these stories the epic lineaments, the many incidents, woven into one great event of, let us say the War for the Brown Bull of Cuailgne, or that of the last gathering at Muirthemne.” Politics Yeats was an Irish Nationalist, who sought a kind of traditional lifestyle articulated through poems such as 'The Fisherman’. However, as his life progressed, he sheltered much of his revolutionary spirit and distanced himself from the intense political landscape until 1922, when he was appointed Senator for the Irish Free State.In the earlier part of his life, Yeats was a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Due to the escalating tension of the political scene, Yeats distanced himself from the core political activism in the midst of the Easter Rising, even holding back his poetry inspired by the events until 1920. In the 1930s Yeats was fascinated with the authoritarian, anti-democratic, nationalist movements of Europe, and he composed several marching songs for the right-wing Blueshirts, although they were never used. He was a fierce opponent of individualism and political liberalism, and saw the fascist movements as a triumph of public order and the needs of the national collective over petty individualism. On the other hand, he was also an elitist who abhorred the idea of mob-rule, and saw democracy as a threat to good governance and public order. After the Blueshirt movement began to falter in Ireland, he distanced himself somewhat from his previous views, but maintained a preference for authoritarian and nationalist leadership. D. P. Moran called him a minor poet and “crypto-Protestant conman.” Marriage to Georgie Hyde Lees By 1916, Yeats was 51 years old and determined to marry and produce an heir. His rival John MacBride had been executed for his role in the 1916 Easter Rising, so Yeats hoped that his widow might remarry. His final proposal to Maud Gonne took place in mid-1916. Gonne’s history of revolutionary political activism, as well as a series of personal catastrophes in the previous few years of her life—including chloroform addiction and her troubled marriage to MacBride—made her a potentially unsuitable wife; biographer R. F. Foster has observed that Yeats’s last offer was motivated more by a sense of duty than by a genuine desire to marry her. Yeats proposed in an indifferent manner, with conditions attached, and he both expected and hoped she would turn him down. According to Foster “when he duly asked Maud to marry him, and was duly refused, his thoughts shifted with surprising speed to her daughter.” Iseult Gonne was Maud’s second child with Lucien Millevoye, and at the time was twenty-one years old. She had lived a sad life to this point; conceived as an attempt to reincarnate her short-lived brother, for the first few years of her life she was presented as her mother’s adopted niece. When Maud told her that she was going to marry, Iseult cried and told her mother that she hated MacBride. When Gonne took action to divorce MacBride in 1905, the court heard allegations that he had sexually assaulted Iseult, then eleven. At fifteen, she proposed to Yeats. In 1917, he proposed to Iseult, but was rejected. That September, Yeats proposed to 25-year-old Georgie Hyde-Lees (1892–1968), known as George, whom he had met through Olivia Shakespear. Despite warnings from her friends—"George... you can’t. He must be dead"—Hyde-Lees accepted, and the two were married on 20 October. Their marriage was a success, in spite of the age difference, and in spite of Yeats’s feelings of remorse and regret during their honeymoon. The couple went on to have two children, Anne and Michael. Although in later years he had romantic relationships with other women, Georgie herself wrote to her husband “When you are dead, people will talk about your love affairs, but I shall say nothing, for I will remember how proud you were.”During the first years of marriage, they experimented with automatic writing; she contacted a variety of spirits and guides they called “Instructors” while in a trance. The spirits communicated a complex and esoteric system of philosophy and history, which the couple developed into an exposition using geometrical shapes: phases, cones, and gyres. Yeats devoted much time to preparing this material for publication as A Vision (1925). In 1924, he wrote to his publisher T. Werner Laurie, admitting: “I dare say I delude myself in thinking this book my book of books”. Nobel Prize In December 1923, Yeats was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, “for his always inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation”. He was aware of the symbolic value of an Irish winner so soon after Ireland had gained independence, and sought to highlight the fact at each available opportunity. His reply to many of the letters of congratulations sent to him contained the words: “I consider that this honour has come to me less as an individual than as a representative of Irish literature, it is part of Europe’s welcome to the Free State.”Yeats used the occasion of his acceptance lecture at the Royal Academy of Sweden to present himself as a standard-bearer of Irish nationalism and Irish cultural independence. As he remarked, “The theatres of Dublin were empty buildings hired by the English traveling companies, and we wanted Irish plays and Irish players. When we thought of these plays we thought of everything that was romantic and poetical, because the nationalism we had called up—the nationalism every generation had called up in moments of discouragement—was romantic and poetical.” The prize led to a significant increase in the sales of his books, as his publishers Macmillan sought to capitalise on the publicity. For the first time he had money, and he was able to repay not only his own debts, but those of his father. Old age and death By early 1925, Yeats’s health had stabilised, and he had completed most of the writing for A Vision (dated 1925, it actually appeared in January 1926, when he almost immediately started rewriting it for a second version). He had been appointed to the first Irish Senate in 1922, and was re-appointed for a second term in 1925. Early in his tenure, a debate on divorce arose, and Yeats viewed the issue as primarily a confrontation between the emerging Roman Catholic ethos and the Protestant minority. When the Roman Catholic Church weighed in with a blanket refusal to consider their anti position, The Irish Times countered that a measure to outlaw divorce would alienate Protestants and “crystallise” the partition of Ireland. In response, Yeats delivered a series of speeches that attacked the “quixotically impressive” ambitions of the government and clergy, likening their campaign tactics to those of “medieval Spain.” “Marriage is not to us a Sacrament, but, upon the other hand, the love of a man and woman, and the inseparable physical desire, are sacred. This conviction has come to us through ancient philosophy and modern literature, and it seems to us a most sacrilegious thing to persuade two people who hate each other... to live together, and it is to us no remedy to permit them to part if neither can re-marry.” The resulting debate has been described as one of Yeats’s “supreme public moments”, and began his ideological move away from pluralism towards religious confrontation. His language became more forceful; the Jesuit Father Peter Finlay was described by Yeats as a man of “monstrous discourtesy”, and he lamented that, “It is one of the glories of the Church in which I was born that we have put our Bishops in their place in discussions requiring legislation”. During his time in the Senate, Yeats further warned his colleagues: “If you show that this country, southern Ireland, is going to be governed by Roman Catholic ideas and by Catholic ideas alone, you will never get the North... You will put a wedge in the midst of this nation”. He memorably said of his fellow Irish Protestants, “we are no petty people”. In 1924, he chaired a coinage committee charged with selecting a set of designs for the first currency of the Irish Free State. Aware of the symbolic power latent in the imagery of a young state’s currency, he sought a form that was “elegant, racy of the soil, and utterly unpolitical”. When the house finally decided on the artwork of Percy Metcalfe, Yeats was pleased, though he regretted that compromise had led to “lost muscular tension” in the finally depicted images. He retired from the Senate in 1928 because of ill health. Towards the end of his life—and especially after the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and Great Depression, which led some to question whether democracy could cope with deep economic difficulty—Yeats seems to have returned to his aristocratic sympathies. During the aftermath of the First World War, he became sceptical about the efficacy of democratic government, and anticipated political reconstruction in Europe through totalitarian rule. His later association with Pound drew him towards Benito Mussolini, for whom he expressed admiration on a number of occasions. He wrote three “marching songs”—never used—for the Irish General Eoin O’Duffy’s Blueshirts. At the age of 69 he was 'rejuvenated’ by the Steinach operation which was performed on 6 April 1934 by Norman Haire. For the last five years of his life Yeats found a new vigour evident from both his poetry and his intimate relations with younger women. During this time, Yeats was involved in a number of romantic affairs with, among others, the poet and actress Margot Ruddock, and the novelist, journalist and sexual radical Ethel Mannin. As in his earlier life, Yeats found erotic adventure conducive to his creative energy, and, despite age and ill-health, he remained a prolific writer. In a letter of 1935, Yeats noted: “I find my present weakness made worse by the strange second puberty the operation has given me, the ferment that has come upon my imagination. If I write poetry it will be unlike anything I have done”. In 1936, he undertook editorship of the Oxford Book of Modern Verse, 1892–1935.He died at the Hôtel Idéal Séjour, in Menton, France, on 28 January 1939, aged 73. He was buried after a discreet and private funeral at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. Attempts had been made at Roquebrune to dissuade the family from proceeding with the removal of the remains to Ireland due to the uncertainty of their identity. His body had earlier been exhumed and transferred to the ossuary. Yeats and George had often discussed his death, and his express wish was that he be buried quickly in France with a minimum of fuss. According to George, "His actual words were 'If I die bury me up there [at Roquebrune] and then in a year’s time when the newspapers have forgotten me, dig me up and plant me in Sligo’." In September 1948, Yeats’s body was moved to the churchyard of St Columba’s Church, Drumcliff, County Sligo, on the Irish Naval Service corvette LÉ Macha. The person in charge of this operation for the Irish Government was Seán MacBride, son of Maud Gonne MacBride, and then Minister of External Affairs. His epitaph is taken from the last lines of “Under Ben Bulben”, one of his final poems: French ambassador Stanislas Ostroróg was involved in returning the remains of the Irish poet from France to Ireland in 1948; in a letter to the European director of the Foreign Ministry in Paris “Ostrorog tells how Yeats’s son Michael sought official help in locating the poet’s remains. Neither Michael Yeats nor Sean MacBride, the Irish foreign minister who organised the ceremony, wanted to know the details of how the remains were collected, Ostrorog notes. He repeatedly urges caution and discretion and says the Irish ambassador in Paris should not be informed.” Yeats’ body was exhumed in 1946 and the remains were moved to on ossuary and mixed with other remains. The French Foreign Ministry authorized Ostrorog to secretly cover the cost of repatriation from his slush fund. Authorities were worried about the fact that the much-loved poet’s remains were thrown into a communal grave, causing embarrassment for both Ireland and France. “Mr Rebouillat, (a) forensic doctor in Roquebrune would be able to reconstitute a skeleton presenting all the characteristics of the deceased.” per a letter from Ostroróg to his superiors. Style Yeats is generally considered one of the twentieth century key English language poets. He was a Symbolist poet, using allusive imagery and symbolic structures throughout his career. He chose words and assembled them so that, in addition to a particular meaning, they suggest abstract thoughts that may seem more significant and resonant. His use of symbols is usually something physical that is both itself and a suggestion of other, perhaps immaterial, timeless qualities. Unlike other modernists who experimented with free verse, Yeats was a master of the traditional forms. The impact of modernism on his work can be seen in the increasing abandonment of the more conventionally poetic diction of his early work in favour of the more austere language and more direct approach to his themes that increasingly characterises the poetry and plays of his middle period, comprising the volumes In the Seven Woods, Responsibilities and The Green Helmet. His later poetry and plays are written in a more personal vein, and the works written in the last twenty years of his life include mention of his son and daughter, as well as meditations on the experience of growing old. In his poem, “The Circus Animals’ Desertion”, he describes the inspiration for these late works: During 1929, he stayed at Thoor Ballylee near Gort in County Galway (where Yeats had his summer home since 1919) for the last time. Much of the remainder of his life was lived outside Ireland, although he did lease Riversdale house in the Dublin suburb of Rathfarnham in 1932. He wrote prolifically through his final years, and published poetry, plays, and prose. In 1938, he attended the Abbey for the final time to see the premiere of his play Purgatory. His Autobiographies of William Butler Yeats was published that same year. In 1913, Yeats wrote the preface for the English translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali (Song Offering) for which Tagore received Nobel Prize in literature. While Yeats’s early poetry drew heavily on Irish myth and folklore, his later work was engaged with more contemporary issues, and his style underwent a dramatic transformation. His work can be divided into three general periods. The early poems are lushly pre-Raphaelite in tone, self-consciously ornate, and, at times, according to unsympathetic critics, stilted. Yeats began by writing epic poems such as The Isle of Statues and The Wanderings of Oisin. His other early poems are lyrics on the themes of love or mystical and esoteric subjects. Yeats’s middle period saw him abandon the pre-Raphaelite character of his early work and attempt to turn himself into a Landor-style social ironist.Critics who admire his middle work might characterize it as supple and muscular in its rhythms and sometimes harshly modernist, while others find these poems barren and weak in imaginative power. Yeats’s later work found new imaginative inspiration in the mystical system he began to work out for himself under the influence of spiritualism. In many ways, this poetry is a return to the vision of his earlier work. The opposition between the worldly minded man of the sword and the spiritually minded man of God, the theme of The Wanderings of Oisin, is reproduced in A Dialogue Between Self and Soul.Some critics claim that Yeats spanned the transition from the nineteenth century into twentieth-century modernism in poetry much as Pablo Picasso did in painting while others question whether late Yeats has much in common with modernists of the Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot variety.Modernists read the well-known poem “The Second Coming” as a dirge for the decline of European civilisation, but it also expresses Yeats’s apocalyptic mystical theories, and is shaped by the 1890s. His most important collections of poetry started with The Green Helmet (1910) and Responsibilities (1914). In imagery, Yeats’s poetry became sparer and more powerful as he grew older. The Tower (1928), The Winding Stair (1933), and New Poems (1938) contained some of the most potent images in twentieth-century poetry.Yeats’s mystical inclinations, informed by Hinduism, theosophical beliefs and the occult, provided much of the basis of his late poetry, which some critics have judged as lacking in intellectual credibility. The metaphysics of Yeats’s late works must be read in relation to his system of esoteric fundamentals in A Vision (1925). Legacy Yeats is commemorated in Sligo town by a statue, created in 1989 by sculptor Ronan Gillespie. It was erected outside the Ulster Bank, at the corner of Stephen Street and Markievicz Road, on the 50th anniversary of the poet’s death. Yeats had remarked, on receiving his Nobel Prize that the Royal Palace in Stockholm “resembled the Ulster Bank in Sligo”. Across the river is the Yeats Memorial Building, home to the Sligo Yeats Society. References Wikipedia—yeats

John Milton

John Milton (9 December 1608 – 8 November 1674) was an English poet, polemicist, a scholarly man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth (republic) of England under Oliver Cromwell. He wrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval, and is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost. Milton's poetry and prose reflect deep personal convictions, a passion for freedom and self determination, and the urgent issues and political turbulence of his day. Writing in English, Latin, and Italian, he achieved international renown within his lifetime, and his celebrated Areopagitica, (written in condemnation of pre-publication censorship) is among history's most influential and impassioned defenses of free speech and freedom of the press. William Hayley's 1796 biography called him the "greatest English author", and he remains generally regarded "as one of the preeminent writers in the English language"; though critical reception has oscillated in the centuries since his death (often on account of his republicanism). Samuel Johnson praised Paradise Lost as "a poem which...with respect to design may claim the first place, and with respect to performance, the second, among the productions of the human mind". Though Johnson (a Tory and recipient of royal patronage) described his politics as those of an "acrimonious and surly republican". Because of his republicanism, Milton has been the subject of centuries of British partisanship (a "nonconformist" biography by John Toland, a hostile account by Anthony à Wood etc). The phases of Milton's life parallel the major historical and political divisions in Stuart Britain. Under the increasingly personal rule of Charles I and its breakdown in constitutional confusion and war, Milton studied, travelled, wrote poetry mostly for private circulation, and launched a career as pamphleteer and publicist. Under the Commonwealth of England, from being thought dangerously radical and even heretical, the shift in accepted attitudes in government placed him in public office, and he even acted as an official spokesman in certain of his publications. The Restoration of 1660 deprived Milton, now completely blind, of his public platform, but this period saw him complete most of his major works of poetry. Milton had a great impact on the Romantic movement in England, as shown in fellow poet William Wordsworth's sonnet London, 1802. Wordsworth calls upon him to rise from the dead and aid in returning England to its former glory. Milton's views developed from his very extensive reading, as well as travel and experience, from his student days of the 1620s to the English Revolution. By the time of his death in 1674, Milton was impoverished and on the margins of English intellectual life, yet unrepentant for his political choices, and of Europe-wide fame. Early life John Milton was born on Bread Street, London, on 9 December 1608, as the son of the composer John Milton and his wife Sarah Jeffrey. The senior John Milton (1562–1647) moved to London around 1583 after being disinherited by his devout Catholic father, Richard Milton, for embracing Protestantism. In London, the senior John Milton married Sarah Jeffrey (1572–1637), the poet's mother, and found lasting financial success as a scrivener. He lived in, and worked from, a house on Bread Street, where the Mermaid Tavern was located in Cheapside. The elder Milton was noted for his skill as a musical composer, and this talent left Milton with a lifetime appreciation for music and friendship with musicians such as Henry Lawes. Milton's father's prosperity provided his eldest son with a private tutor, Thomas Young, and then a place at St Paul's School in London. There he began the study of Latin and Greek, and the classical languages left an imprint on his poetry in English (he wrote also in Italian and Latin). His first datable compositions are two psalms done at age 15 at Long Bennington. One contemporary source is the Brief Lives of John Aubrey, an uneven compilation including first-hand reports. In the work, Aubrey quotes Christopher, Milton's younger brother: "When he was young, he studied very hard and sat up very late, commonly till twelve or one o'clock at night". Milton matriculated at Christ's College, Cambridge, in 1625 and graduated with a B.A. in 1629, ranking fourth of 24 honours graduates that year in the University of Cambridge. Preparing to become an Anglican priest, he stayed on to obtain his Master of Arts degree on 3 July 1632. Milton was probably rusticated for quarrelling in his first year with his tutor, William Chappell. He was certainly at home in the Lent Term 1626; there he wrote his Elegia Prima, a first Latin elegy, to Charles Diodati, a friend from St Paul's. Based on remarks of John Aubrey, Chappell "whipt" Milton. This story is now disputed. Certainly Milton disliked Chappell. Christopher Hill cautiously notes that Milton was "apparently" rusticated, and that the differences between Chappell and Milton may have been either religious or personal, as far as we can know. Another factor, possibly, was the plague, by which Cambridge was badly affected in 1625. Later in 1626 Milton's tutor was Nathaniel Tovey. At Cambridge Milton was on good terms with Edward King, for whom he later wrote Lycidas. He also befriended Anglo-American dissident and theologian, Roger Williams. Milton tutored Williams in Hebrew in exchange for lessons in Dutch. Otherwise at Cambridge he developed a reputation for poetic skill and general erudition, but experienced alienation from his peers and university life as a whole. Watching his fellow students attempting comedy upon the college stage, he later observed 'they thought themselves gallant men, and I thought them fools'. Milton, due to his hair, which he wore long, and his general delicacy of manner, was known as the "Lady of Christ's". Milton was disdainful of the university curriculum, which consisted of stilted formal debates on abstruse topics, conducted in Latin. His own corpus is not devoid of humour, notably his sixth prolusion and his epitaphs on the death of Thomas Hobson. While at Cambridge he wrote a number of his well-known shorter English poems, among them On the Morning of Christ's Nativity, his Epitaph on the admirable Dramatick Poet, W. Shakespeare, his first poem to appear in print, L'Allegro and Il Penseroso. Study, poetry, and travel Upon receiving his M.A. in 1632, Milton retired to Hammersmith, his father's new home since the previous year. He also lived at Horton, Berkshire, from 1635 and undertook six years of self-directed private study. Christopher Hill points out that this was not retreat into a rural or pastoral idyll at all: Hammersmith was then a "suburban village" falling into the orbit of London, and even Horton was becoming deforested, and suffered from the plague. He read both ancient and modern works of theology, philosophy, history, politics, literature and science, in preparation for a prospective poetical career. Milton's intellectual development can be charted via entries in his commonplace book (like a scrapbook), now in the British Library. As a result of such intensive study, Milton is considered to be among the most learned of all English poets; in addition to his years of private study, Milton had command of Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French, Spanish, and Italian from his school and undergraduate days; he also added Old English to his linguistic repertoire in the 1650s while researching his History of Britain, and probably acquired proficiency in Dutch soon after. Milton continued to write poetry during this period of study: his Arcades and Comus were both commissioned for masques composed for noble patrons, connections of the Egerton family, and performed in 1632 and 1634 respectively. Comus argues for the virtuousness of temperance and chastity. He contributed his pastoral elegy Lycidas to a memorial collection for one of his Cambridge classmates. Drafts of these poems are preserved in Milton’s poetry notebook, known as the Trinity Manuscript because it is now kept at Trinity College, Cambridge. In May 1638, Milton embarked upon a tour of France and Italy that lasted up to July or August 1639. His travels supplemented his study with new and direct experience of artistic and religious traditions, especially Roman Catholicism. He met famous theorists and intellectuals of the time, and was able to display his poetic skills. For specific details of what happened within Milton's "grand tour", there appears to be just one primary source: Milton's own Defensio Secunda. Although there are other records, including some letters and some references in his other prose tracts, the bulk of the information about the tour comes from a work that, according to Barbara Lewalski, "was not intended as autobiography but as rhetoric, designed to emphasise his sterling reputation with the learned of Europe." He first went to Calais, and then on to Paris, riding horseback, with a letter from diplomat Henry Wotton to ambassador John Scudamore. Through Scudamore, Milton met Hugo Grotius, a Dutch law philosopher, playwright and poet. Milton left France soon after this meeting. He travelled south, from Nice to Genoa, and then to Livorno and Pisa. He reached Florence in July 1638. While there, Milton enjoyed many of the sites and structures of the city. His candour of manner and erudite neo-Latin poetry earned him friends in Florentine intellectual circles, and he met the astronomer Galileo, who was under virtual house arrest at Arcetri, as well as others. Milton probably visited the Florentine Academy and the Academia della Crusca along with smaller academies in the area including the Apatisti and the Svogliati. He left Florence in September to continue to Rome. With the connections from Florence, Milton was able to have easy access to Rome's intellectual society. His poetic abilities impressed those like Giovanni Salzilli, who praised Milton within an epigram. In late October, Milton, despite his dislike for the Society of Jesus, attended a dinner given by the English College, Rome, meeting English Catholics who were also guests, theologian Henry Holden and the poet Patrick Cary. He also attended musical events, including oratorios, operas and melodramas. Milton left for Naples toward the end of November, where he stayed only for a month because of the Spanish control. During that time he was introduced to Giovanni Battista Manso, patron to both Torquato Tasso and to Giovanni Battista Marino. Originally Milton wanted to leave Naples in order to travel to Sicily, and then on to Greece, but he returned to England during the summer of 1639 because of what he claimed, in Defensio Secunda, were "sad tidings of civil war in England." Matters became more complicated when Milton received word that Diodati, his childhood friend, had died. Milton in fact stayed another seven months on the continent, and spent time at Geneva with Diodati's uncle after he returned to Rome. In Defensio Secunda, Milton proclaimed he was warned against a return to Rome because of his frankness about religion, but he stayed in the city for two months and was able to experience Carnival and meet Lukas Holste, a Vatican librarian, who guided Milton through its collection. He was introduced to Cardinal Francesco Barberini who invited Milton to an opera hosted by the Cardinal. Around March Milton travelled once again to Florence, staying there for two months, attending further meetings of the academies, and spent time with friends. After leaving Florence he travelled through Lucca, Bologna, and Ferrara before coming to Venice. In Venice Milton was exposed to a model of Republicanism, later important in his political writings, but he soon found another model when he travelled to Geneva. From Switzerland, Milton travelled to Paris and then to Calais before finally arriving back in England in either July or August 1639. Civil war, prose tracts, and marriage On returning to England, where the Bishops' Wars presaged further armed conflict, Milton began to write prose tracts against episcopacy, in the service of the Puritan and Parliamentary cause. Milton's first foray into polemics was Of Reformation touching Church Discipline in England (1641), followed by Of Prelatical Episcopacy, the two defences of Smectymnuus (a group of presbyterian divines named from their initials: the "TY" belonged to Milton's old tutor Thomas Young), and The Reason of Church-Government Urged against Prelaty. With frequent passages of real eloquence lighting up the rough controversial style of the period, and deploying a wide knowledge of church history, he vigorously attacked the High-church party of the Church of England and their leader, William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury. Though supported by his father’s investments, at this time Milton became a private schoolmaster, educating his nephews and other children of the well-to-do. This experience, and discussions with educational reformer Samuel Hartlib, led him to write in 1644 his short tract, Of Education, urging a reform of the national universities. In June 1643 Milton paid a visit to the manor house at Forest Hill, Oxfordshire, and returned with a 16-year-old bride, Mary Powell. A month later, finding life difficult with the severe 35-year-old schoolmaster and pamphleteer, Mary returned to her family. Because of the outbreak of the Civil War[citation needed], she did not return until 1645; in the meantime her desertion prompted Milton, over the next three years, to publish a series of pamphlets arguing for the legality and morality of divorce. (Anna Beer, one of Milton's most recent biographers, points to a lack of evidence and the dangers of cynicism in urging that it was not necessarily the case that the private life so animated the public polemicising.) In 1643 Milton had a brush with the authorities over these writings, in parallel with Hezekiah Woodward, who had more trouble. It was the hostile response accorded the divorce tracts that spurred Milton to write Areopagitica, his celebrated attack on pre-printing censorship. Secretary for Foreign Tongues With the parliamentary victory in the Civil War, Milton used his pen in defence of the republican principles represented by the Commonwealth. The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates (1649) defended popular government and implicitly sanctioned the regicide; Milton’s political reputation got him appointed Secretary for Foreign Tongues by the Council of State in March 1649. Though Milton's main job description was to compose the English Republic's foreign correspondence in Latin, he also was called upon to produce propaganda for the regime and to serve as a censor. In October 1649 he published Eikonoklastes, an explicit defence of the regicide, in response to the Eikon Basilike, a phenomenal best-seller popularly attributed to Charles I that portrayed the King as an innocent Christian martyr. A month after Milton had tried to break this powerful image of Charles I (the literal translation of Eikonoklastes is 'the image breaker'), the exiled Charles II and his party published a defence of monarchy, Defensio Regia Pro Carolo Primo, written by the leading humanist Claudius Salmasius. By January of the following year, Milton was ordered to write a defence of the English people by the Council of State. Given the European audience and the English Republic's desire to establish diplomatic and cultural legitimacy, Milton worked more slowly than usual, as he drew on the learning marshalled by his years of study to compose a riposte. On 24 February 1652 Milton published his Latin defence of the English People, Defensio Pro Populo Anglicano, also known as the First Defence. Milton's pure Latin prose and evident learning, exemplified in the First Defence, quickly made him a European reputation, and the work ran to numerous editions. In 1654, in response to an anonymous Royalist tract "Regii sanguinis clamor", a work that made many personal attacks on Milton, he completed a second defence of the English nation, Defensio secunda, which praised Oliver Cromwell, now Lord Protector, while exhorting him to remain true to the principles of the Revolution. Alexander Morus, to whom Milton wrongly attributed the Clamor (in fact by Peter du Moulin), published an attack on Milton, in response to which Milton published the autobiographical Defensio pro se in 1655. In addition to these literary defences of the Commonwealth and his character, Milton continued to translate official correspondence into Latin. By 1654 Milton become totally blind, probably due to the onset of glaucoma. This forced him to dictate his verse and prose to amanuenses (helpers), one of whom was the poet Andrew Marvell. One of his best-known sonnets, On His Blindness, is presumed to date from this period. Family Milton and Mary Powell (1625–1652) had four children: * Anne (born 7 July 1646) * Mary (born 25 October 1648) * John (16 March 1651 – June 1652) * Deborah (2 May 1652 – ?) His first wife, Mary Powell, died on 5 May 1652 from complications following Deborah's birth. Milton's daughters survived to adulthood, but he had always a strained relationship with them. On 12 November 1656, Milton was married again, to Katherine Woodcock. She died on 3 February 1658, less than four months after giving birth to a daughter, Katherine, who also died. Milton married for a third time on 24 February 1662, to Elizabeth Mynshull (1638–1728), the niece of Thomas Mynshull, a wealthy apothecary and philanthropist in Manchester. Despite a 31-year age gap, the marriage seemed happy, according to John Aubrey, and was to last more than 11 years until Milton's death. (A plaque on the wall of Mynshull's House in Manchester describes Elizabeth as Milton's "3rd and Best wife".) Two nephews, John Phillips and Edward Phillips, were well known as writers. They were sons of Milton's sister Anne. John acted as a secretary, and Edward was Milton's first biographer. The Restoration Though Cromwell’s death in 1658 caused the English Republic to collapse into feuding military and political factions, Milton stubbornly clung to the beliefs that had originally inspired him to write for the Commonwealth. In 1659 he published A Treatise of Civil Power, attacking the concept of a state-dominated church (the position known as Erastianism), as well as Considerations touching the likeliest means to remove hirelings, denouncing corrupt practises in church governance. As the Republic disintegrated, Milton wrote several proposals to retain a non-monarchical government against the wishes of parliament, soldiers and the people * A Letter to a Friend, Concerning the Ruptures of the Commonwealth, written in October 1659, was a response to General Lambert's recent dissolution of the Rump Parliament * Proposals of certain expedients for the preventing of a civil war now feared, written in November 1659 * The Ready and Easy Way to Establishing a Free Commonwealth, in two editions, responded to General Monck's march towards London to restore the Long Parliament (which led to the restoration of the monarchy). The work is an impassioned, bitter, and futile jeremiad damning the English people for backsliding from the cause of liberty and advocating the establishment of an authoritarian rule by an oligarchy set up by unelected parliament. Upon the Restoration in May 1660, Milton went into hiding for his life, while a warrant was issued for his arrest and his writings burnt. He re-emerged after a general pardon was issued, but was nevertheless arrested and briefly imprisoned before influential friends, such as Marvell, now an MP, intervened. On 24 February 1663 Milton remarried, for a third and final time, a Wistaston, Cheshire-born woman Elizabeth (Betty) Minshull, then aged 24, and spent the remaining decade of his life living quietly in London, only retiring to a cottage – Milton's Cottage – in Chalfont St. Giles, his only extant home, during the Great Plague of London. During this period Milton published several minor prose works, such as a grammar textbook, Art of Logic, and a History of Britain. His only explicitly political tracts were the 1672 Of True Religion, arguing for toleration (except for Catholics), and a translation of a Polish tract advocating an elective monarchy. Both these works were referred to in the Exclusion debate – the attempt to exclude the heir presumptive, James, Duke of York, from the throne of England because he was Roman Catholic – that would preoccupy politics in the 1670s and '80s and precipitate the formation of the Whig party and the Glorious Revolution. Milton died of kidney failure on 8 November 1674 and was buried in the church of St Giles Cripplegate; according to an early biographer, his funeral was attended by “his learned and great Friends in London, not without a friendly concourse of the Vulgar.” Published poetry Milton's poetry was slow to see the light of day, at least under his name. His first published poem was On Shakespear (1630), anonymously included in the Second Folio edition of Shakespeare. In the midst of the excitement attending the possibility of establishing a new English government, Milton collected his work in 1645 Poems. The anonymous edition of Comus was published in 1637, and the publication of Lycidas in 1638 in Justa Edouardo King Naufrago was signed J. M. Otherwise the 1645 collection was the only poetry of his to see print, until Paradise Lost appeared in 1667. Paradise Lost Milton’s magnum opus, the blank-verse epic poem Paradise Lost, was composed by the blind and impoverished Milton from 1658 to 1664 (first edition) with small but significant revisions published in 1674 (second edition). As a blind poet, Milton dictated his verse to a series of aides in his employ. It reflects his personal despair at the failure of the Revolution, yet affirms an ultimate optimism in human potential. Milton encoded many references to his unyielding support for the "Good Old Cause”. On 27 April 1667, Milton sold the publication rights to Paradise Lost to publisher Samuel Simmons for £5, equivalent to approximately £7,400 income in 2008, with a further £5 to be paid if and when each print run of between 1,300 and 1,500 copies sold out. The first run, a quarto edition priced at three shillings per copy, was published in August 1667 and sold out in eighteen months. Milton followed up Paradise Lost with its sequel, Paradise Regained, published alongside the tragedy Samson Agonistes, in 1671. Both these works also resonate with Milton’s post-Restoration political situation. Just before his death in 1674, Milton supervised a second edition of Paradise Lost, accompanied by an explanation of "why the poem rhymes not" and prefatory verses by Marvell. Milton republished his 1645 Poems in 1673, as well a collection of his letters and the Latin prolusions from his Cambridge days. A 1668 edition of Paradise Lost, reported to have been Milton's personal copy, is now housed in the archives of the University of Western Ontario. Views An unfinished religious manifesto, De doctrina christiana, probably written by Milton, lays out many of his heterodox theological views, and was not discovered and published until 1823. Milton's key beliefs were idiosyncratic, not those of an identifiable group or faction, and often they go well beyond the orthodoxy of the time. Their tone, however, stemmed from the Puritan emphasis on the centrality and inviolability of conscience. He was his own man, but it is Areopagitica, where he was anticipated by Henry Robinson and others, that has lasted best of his prose works. Philosophy By the late 1650s, Milton was a proponent of monism or animist materialism, the notion that a single material substance which is "animate, self-active, and free" composes everything in the universe: from stones and trees and bodies to minds, souls, angels, and God. Milton devised this position to avoid the mind-body dualism of Plato and Descartes as well as the mechanistic determinism of Hobbes. Milton's monism is most notably reflected in Paradise Lost when he has angels eat (5.433–39) and engage in sexual intercourse (8.622–29) and the De Doctrina, where he denies the dual natures of man and argues for a theory of Creation ex Deo. Political thought In his political writing, Milton addressed particular themes at different periods. The years 1641–42 were dedicated to church politics and the struggle against episcopacy. After his divorce writings, Areopagitica, and a gap, he wrote in 1649–54 in the aftermath of the execution of Charles I, and in polemic justification of the regicide and the existing Parliamentarian regime. Then in 1659–60 he foresaw the Restoration, and wrote to head it off. Milton's own beliefs were in some cases both unpopular and dangerous, and this was true particularly to his commitment to republicanism. In coming centuries, Milton would be claimed as an early apostle of liberalism. According to James Tully: ... with Locke as with Milton, republican and contraction conceptions of political freedom join hands in common opposition to the disengaged and passive subjection offered by absolutists such as Hobbes and Robert Filmer. A friend and ally in the pamphlet wars was Marchamont Nedham. Austin Woolrych considers that although they were quite close, there is "little real affinity, beyond a broad republicanism", between their approaches. Blair Worden remarks that both Milton and Nedham, with others such as Andrew Marvell and James Harrington, would have taken the problem with the Rump Parliament to be not the republic, but the fact that it was not a proper republic. Woolrych speaks of "the gulf between Milton's vision of the Commonwealth's future and the reality". In the early version of his History of Britain, begun in 1649, Milton was already writing off the members of the Long Parliament as incorrigible. He praised Oliver Cromwell as the Protectorate was set up; though subsequently he had major reservations. When Cromwell seemed to be backsliding as a revolutionary, after a couple of years in power, Milton moved closer to the position of Sir Henry Vane, to whom he wrote a sonnet in 1652. The group of disaffected republicans included, besides Vane, John Bradshaw, John Hutchinson, Edmund Ludlow, Henry Marten, Robert Overton, Edward Sexby and John Streater; but not Marvell, who remained with Cromwell's party. Milton had already commended Overton, along with Edmund Whalley and Bulstrode Whitelocke, in Defensio Secunda. Nigel Smith writes that ... John Streater, and the form of republicanism he stood for, was a fulfilment of Milton's most optimistic ideas of free speech and of public heroism [...] As Richard Cromwell fell from power, he envisaged a step towards a freer republic or “free commonwealth”, writing in the hope of this outcome in early 1660. Milton had argued for an awkward position, in the Ready and Easy Way, because he wanted to invoke the Good Old Cause and gain the support of the republicans, but without offering a democratic solution of any kind. His proposal, backed by reference (amongst other reasons) to the oligarchical Dutch and Venetian constitutions, was for a council with perpetual membership. This attitude cut right across the grain of popular opinion of the time, which swung decisively behind the restoration of the Stuart monarchy that took place later in the year. Milton, an associate of and advocate on behalf of the regicides, was silenced on political matters as Charles II returned. Theology Like many Renaissance artists before him, Milton attempted to integrate Christian theology with classical modes. In his early poems, the poet narrator expresses a tension between vice and virtue, the latter invariably related to Protestantism. In Comus Milton may make ironic use of the Caroline court masque by elevating notions of purity and virtue over the conventions of court revelry and superstition. In his later poems, Milton's theological concerns become more explicit. In 1648 he wrote a hymn How lovely are thy dwelling fair, a paraphrase of Psalm 84, that explains his view on God. Milton embraced many heterodox Christian theological views. He rejected the Trinity, in the belief that the Son was subordinate to the Father, a position known as Arianism; and his sympathy or curiosity was probably engaged by Socinianism: in August 1650 he licensed for publication by William Dugard the Racovian Catechism, based on a non-trinitarian creed. A source has interpreted him as broadly Protestant, if not always easy to locate in a more precise religious category. In his 1641 treatise, Of Reformation, Milton expressed his dislike for Catholicism and episcopacy, presenting Rome as a modern Babylon, and bishops as Egyptian taskmasters. These analogies conform to Milton's puritanical preference for Old Testament imagery. He knew at least four commentaries on Genesis: those of John Calvin, Paulus Fagius, David Pareus and Andreus Rivetus. Through the Interregnum, Milton often presents England, rescued from the trappings of a worldly monarchy, as an elect nation akin to the Old Testament Israel, and shows its leader, Oliver Cromwell, as a latter-day Moses. These views were bound up in Protestant views of the Millennium, which some sects, such as the Fifth Monarchists predicted would arrive in England. Milton, however, would later criticise the "worldly" millenarian views of these and others, and expressed orthodox ideas on the prophecy of the Four Empires. The Restoration of the Stuart monarchy in 1660 began a new phase in Milton's work. In Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes Milton mourns the end of the godly Commonwealth. The Garden of Eden may allegorically reflect Milton's view of England's recent Fall from Grace, while Samson's blindness and captivity – mirroring Milton's own lost sight – may be a metaphor for England's blind acceptance of Charles II as king. Illustrated by Paradise Lost is mortalism, the belief that the soul lies dormant after the body dies. Despite the Restoration of the monarchy Milton did not lose his personal faith; Samson shows how the loss of national salvation did not necessarily preclude the salvation of the individual, while Paradise Regained expresses Milton's continuing belief in the promise of Christian salvation through Jesus Christ. Though he may have maintained his personal faith in spite of the defeats suffered by his cause, the Dictionary of National Biography recounts how he had been alienated from the Church of England by Archbishop William Laud, and then moved similarly from the Dissenters by their denunciation of religious tolerance in England. Milton had come to stand apart from all sects, though apparently finding the Quakers most congenial. He never went to any religious services in his later years. When a servant brought back accounts of sermons from nonconformist meetings, Milton became so sarcastic that the man at last gave up his place. Religious toleration Milton called in the Aeropagitica for "the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties" (applied, however, only to the conflicting Protestant sects, and not to atheists, Jews, Muslims or Catholics). "Milton argued for disestablishment as the only effective way of achieving broad toleration. Rather than force a man's conscience, government should recognise the persuasive force of the gospel." Divorce His thinking on divorce caused him considerable trouble with the authorities. An orthodox Presbyterian view of the time was that Milton's views on divorce constituted a one-man heresy: The fervently Presbyterian Edwards had included Milton’s divorce tracts in his list in Gangraena of heretical publications that threatened the religious and moral fabric of the nation; Milton responded by mocking him as “shallow Edwards” in the satirical sonnet “On the New Forcers of Conscience under the Long Parliament,” usually dated to the latter half of 1646. Even here, though, his originality is qualified: Thomas Gataker had already identified "mutual solace" as a principal goal in marriage. Milton abandoned his campaign to legitimise divorce after 1645, but he expressed support for polygamy in the De doctrina christiana, the theological treatise that provides the clearest evidence for his views. History History was particularly important for the political class of the period, and Lewalski considers that Milton "more than most illustrates" a remark of Thomas Hobbes on the weight placed at the time on the classical Latin historical writers Tacitus, Livy, Sallust and Cicero, and their republican attitudes. Milton himself wrote that "Worthy deeds are not often destitute of worthy relaters", in Book II of his History of Britain. A sense of history mattered greatly to him: The course of human history, the immediate impact of the civil disorders, and his own traumatic personal life, are all regarded by Milton as typical of the predicament he describes as "the misery that has bin since Adam". Legacy and influence Once Paradise Lost was published, Milton's stature as epic poet was immediately recognised. He cast a formidable shadow over English poetry in the 18th and 19th centuries; he was often judged equal or superior to all other English poets, including Shakespeare. Very early on, though, he was championed by Whigs, and decried by Tories: with the regicide Edmund Ludlow he was claimed as an early Whig, while the High Tory Anglican minister Luke Milbourne lumped Milton in with other "Agents of Darkness" such as John Knox, George Buchanan, Richard Baxter, Algernon Sidney and John Locke. Early reception of the poetry John Dryden, an early enthusiast, in 1677 began the trend of describing Milton as the poet of the sublime. Dryden's The State of Innocence and the Fall of Man: an Opera (1677) is evidence of an immediate cultural influence. In 1695, Patrick Hume became the first editor of Paradise Lost, providing an extensive apparatus of annotation and commentary, particularly chasing down allusions. In 1732 the classical scholar Richard Bentley offered a corrected version of Paradise Lost. Bentley was considered presumptuous, and was attacked in the following year by Zachary Pearce. Christopher Ricks judges that, as critic, Bentley was both acute and wrong-headed, and "incorrigibly eccentric"; William Empson also finds Pearce to be more sympathetic to Bentley's underlying line of thought than is warranted. There was an early, partial translation of Paradise Lost into German by Theodore Haak, and based on that a standard verse translation by Ernest Gottlieb von Berge. A subsequent prose translation by Johann Jakob Bodmer was very popular; it influenced Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock. The German-language Milton tradition returned to England in the person of the artist Henry Fuseli. Many enlightenment thinkers of the 18th century revered and commented on Milton's poetry and non-poetical works. In addition to John Dryden, among them were Alexander Pope, Joseph Addison, Thomas Newton, and Samuel Johnson. For example in The SpectatorJoseph Addison wrote extensive notes, annotations, and interpretations of certain passages of Paradise Lost. Jonathan Richardson, senior, and Jonathan Richardson, the younger, co-wrote a book of criticism. In 1749, Thomas Newton published an extensive edition of Milton's poetical works with annotations provided by himself, Dryden, Pope, Addison, the Richardsons (father and son) and others. Newton's edition of Milton was a culmination of the honour bestowed upon Milton by early Enlightenment thinkers; it may also have been prompted by Richard Bentley's infamous edition, described above. Samuel Johnson wrote numerous essays on Paradise Lost, and Milton was included in his Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets (1779–1781). Blake William Blake considered Milton the major English poet. Blake placed Edmund Spenser as Milton's precursor, and saw himself as Milton's poetical son. In his Milton a Poem, Blake uses Milton as a character. Romantic theory Edmund Burke was a theorist of the sublime, and he regarded Milton's description of Hell as exemplary of sublimity as aesthetic concept. For Burke it was to set alongside mountain-tops, a storm at sea, and infinity. In The Beautiful and the Sublime he wrote "No person seems better to have understood the secret of heightening, or of setting terrible things, if I may use the expression, in their strongest light, by the force of a judicious obscurity than Milton." The Romantic poets valued his exploration of blank verse, but for the most part rejected his religiosity. William Wordsworth began his sonnet "London, 1802" with "Milton! thou should'st be living at this hour" and modelled The Prelude, his own blank verse epic, on Paradise Lost. John Keats found the yoke of Milton's style uncongenial; he exclaimed that "Miltonic verse cannot be written but in an artful or rather artist's humour." Keats felt that Paradise Lost was a "beautiful and grand curiosity"; but his own unfinished attempt at epic poetry, Hyperion, was unsatisfactory to the author because, amongst other things, it had too many "Miltonic inversions". In The Madwoman in the Attic, Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar note that Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein is, in the view of many critics, "one of the key 'Romantic' readings of Paradise Lost." Later legacy The Victorian age witnessed a continuation of Milton's influence, George Eliot and Thomas Hardy being particularly inspired by Milton's poetry and biography. By contrast, the early 20th century, with the efforts of T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound, witnessed a reduction in Milton's critical stature. Harold Bloom, in The Anxiety of Influence, could still write that "Milton is the central problem in any theory and history of poetic influence in English [...]". Milton's Areopagitica is still cited as relevant to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. A quotation from Areopagitica – "A good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life" – is displayed in many public libraries, including the New York Public Library. The title of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy is derived from a quotation, "His dark materials to create more worlds", line 915 of Book II in Paradise Lost. Pullman was concerned to produce a version of Milton's poem accessible to teenagers, and has spoken of Milton as "our greatest public poet". T. S. Eliot believed that "of no other poet is it so difficult to consider the poetry simply as poetry, without our theological and political dispositions... making unlawful entry". Literary legacy Milton's use of blank verse, in addition to his stylistic innovations (such as grandiloquence of voice and vision, peculiar diction and phraseology) influenced later poets. At the time poetic blank verse was considered distinct from its use in verse drama, and Paradise Lost was taken as a unique examplar. Said Isaac Watts in 1734, "Mr. Milton is esteemed the parent and author of blank verse among us". "Miltonic verse" might be synonymous for a century with blank verse as poetry, a new poetic terrain independent from both the drama and the heroic couplet. Lack of rhyme was sometimes taken as Milton's defining innovation. He himself considered the rhymeless quality of Paradise Lost to be an extension of his own personal liberty: This neglect then of Rhime ... is to be esteem'd an example set, the first in English, of ancient liberty recover'd to heroic Poem from the troublesom and modern bondage of Rimeing. This pursuit of freedom was largely a reaction against conservative values entrenched within the rigid heroic couplet. Within a dominant culture that stressed elegance and finish, he granted primacy to freedom, breadth and imaginative suggestiveness, eventually developed into the romantic vision of sublime terror. Reaction to Milton’s poetic worldview included, grudgingly, acknowledgement that of poet’s resemblance to classical writers (Greek and Roman poetry being unrhymed. Blank verse came to be a recognised medium for religious works and for translations of the classics. Unrhymed lyrics like Collins' Ode to Evening (in the meter of Milton's translation of Horace's Ode to Pyrrha) were not uncommon after 1740. A second aspect of Milton's blank verse was the use of unconventional rhythm: His blank-verse paragraph, and his audacious and victorious attempt to combine blank and rhymed verse with paragraphic effect in Lycidas, lay down indestructible models and patterns of English verse-rhythm, as distinguished from the narrower and more strait-laced forms of English metre. Before Milton, "the sense of regular rhythm ... had been knocked into the English head so securely that it was part of their nature". The "Heroick measure", according to Samuel Johnson, "is pure ... when the accent rests upon every second syllable through the whole line The repetition of this sound or percussion at equal times, is the most complete harmony of which a single verse is capable", Caesural pauses, most agreed, were best placed at the middle and the end of the line. In order to support this symmetry, lines were most often octo- or deca-syllabic, with no enjambed endings. To this schema Milton introduced modifications, which included hypermetrical syllables (trisyllabic feet), inversion or slighting of stresses, and the shifting of pauses to all parts of the line. Milton deemed these features to be reflective of "the transcendental union of order and freedom". Admirers remained hesitant to adopt such departures from traditional metrical schemes: "The English ... had been writing separate lines for so long that they could not rid themselves of the habit”. Isaac Watts preferred his lines distinct from each other, as did Oliver Goldsmith, Henry Pemberton, and Scott of Amwell, whose general opinion it was that Milton's frequent omission of the initial unaccented foot was "displeasing to a nice ear". It was not until the late 18th century that poets (beginning with Gray) began to appreciate "the composition of Milton's harmony ... how he loved to vary his pauses, his measures, and his feet, which gives that enchanting air of freedom and wilderness to his versification". While neo-classical diction was as restrictive as its prosody, and narrow imagery paired with uniformity of sentence structure resulted in a small set of 800 nouns circumscribing the vocabulary of 90% of heroic couplets ever written up to the eighteenth century, and tradition required that the same adjectives attach to the same nouns, followed by the same verbs, Milton's pursuit of liberty extended into his vocabulary as well. It included many Latinate neologisms, as well as obsolete words already dropped from popular usage so completely that their meanings were no longer understood. In 1740 Francis Peck identified some examples of Milton's "old" words (now popular). The “Miltonian dialect” as it was called, was emulated by later poets; Pope used the diction of Paradise Lost in his Homer translation, while the lyric poetry of Gray and Collins was frequently criticised for their use of “obsolete words out of Spenser and Milton”. The language of Thomson’s finest poems (e.g. The Seasons, Castle of Indolence) was self-consciously modelled after the Miltonian dialect, with the same tone and sensibilities as Paradise Lost. Following to Milton, English poetry from Pope to John Keats exhibited a steadily increasing attention to the connotative, the imaginative and poetic, value of words. Miltonic effects The varied manifestations of personal liberty in Milton's works (e.g. abandonment of rhyme, irregular rhythms, peculiar diction) converge to create specific Miltonian effects that live on to this day. Raymond Dexter identifies nine outstanding characteristics specific to Paradise Lost that survived into later poetic movements: 1. Dignity, reserve and stateliness Of Man's first disobedience, and the fruit Of that forbidden Tree, whose mortal taste Brought death into the world, and all our woe, With loss of Eden, till one greater Man Restore us, and regain the blissful seat, Sing, Heavenly Muse (i. 1–6) 2. Sonorous, orotund voice O thou that, with surpassing glory crown'd Look'st from thy sole dominion like the god Of this new World. (iv. 32-4) 3. Inversion of the natural order of words and phrases Ten paces huge He back recoil’d. (vi. 193-4) "temperate vapours bland"(v. 5) "heavenly form Angelic"(ix. 457-8) "unvoyageable gulf obscure"(x. 366) 4. The omission of words not necessary to the sense And where their weakness, how attempted best, By force or subtlety. (ii. 357-8) 5. Parenthesis and opposition Their song was partial, but the harmony (What could it less when Spirits immortal sing?) Suspended Hell, and took with ravishment The thronging audience. In discourse more sweet (For eloquence the soul, song charms the sense) Others apart sat on a hill retired (ii. 552-7) 6. The use of one part of speech for another "with gems . . . rich emblazed", "grinned horrible", (adjective used as adverb) "Heaven's azure" or "the vast of Heaven". (adjective used as noun) "without disturb they took alarm"; "the place of her retire." (verbs used as nouns ) May serve to better us and worse our foes (adjective used as verb) Yet oft his heart, divine of something ill (verb, adjective employed in participal sense) "fuell'd entrails," "his con-sorted Eve," "roses bushing round." (substantive used as verb). 7. Vocabulary Archaic words from Chaucer, Spenser and Shakespeare: "erst," "grunsel," "welkin," "frore," "lore," "grisly," "ken" etc. Unusual Words from Greek or Latin: "dulcet," "panoplie," "sapience," "nocent," "congratulant” etc. Words employed in senses obsolete to the eighteenth century: "the secret top Of Oreb," "a singèd bottom all in-volved With stench," "tempt an abyss,” "his uncouth way" 8. The introduction into a comparatively short passage of proper names in number, not necessary to the sense, but adding richness, color, and imaginative suggestiveness And what resounds In fable or romance of Uther's son, Begirt with British and Armoric knights; And all who since, baptised or infidel, jousted in Aspramont, or Montalban, Damasco, or Marocco, or Trebisond; Or whom Biserta sent from Afric shore When Charlemain with all his peerage fell By Fontarabbia. (i. 579-87) 9. Unusual compound epithets "Sail-broad vans," "high-climbing hill," "arch-chemic sun," "half-rounding guards," "night-warbling bird," "love-labour'd song" Poetic and dramatic works 1631: L'Allegro 1631: Il Penseroso 1634: A Mask Presented at Ludlow Castle, 1634 commonly known as Comus (a masque) 1638: Lycidas 1645: Poems of Mr John Milton, Both English and Latin 1655: On the Late Massacre in Piedmont 1667: Paradise Lost 1671: Paradise Regained 1671: Samson Agonistes 1673: Poems, &c, Upon Several Occasions Political, philosophical and religious prose Of Reformation (1641) Of Prelatical Episcopacy (1641) Animadversions (1641) The Reason of Church-Government Urged against Prelaty (1642) Apology for Smectymnuus (1642) Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce (1643) Judgement of Martin Bucer Concerning Divorce (1644) Of Education (1644) Areopagitica (1644) Tetrachordon (1645) Colasterion (1645) The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates (1649) Eikonoklastes (1649) Defensio pro Populo Anglicano [First Defence] (1651) Defensio Secunda [Second Defence] (1654) A treatise of Civil Power (1659) The Likeliest Means to Remove Hirelings from the Church (1659) The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth (1660) Brief Notes Upon a Late Sermon (1660) Accedence Commenced Grammar (1669) History of Britain (1670) Artis logicae plenior institutio [Art of Logic] (1672) Of True Religion (1673) Epistolae Familiaries (1674) Prolusiones (1674) A brief History of Moscovia, and other less known Countries lying Eastward of Russia as far as Cathay, gathered from the writings of several Eye-witnesses (1682)[101] De Doctrina Christiana (1823) References Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Milton

Herman Melville

Herman Melville (August 1, 1819– September 28, 1891) was an American novelist, short story writer, and poet of the American Renaissance period best known for Typee (1846), a romantic account of his experiences in Polynesian life, and his whaling novel Moby-Dick (1851). His work was almost forgotten during his last thirty years. His writing draws on his experience at sea as a common sailor, exploration of literature and philosophy, and engagement in the contradictions of American society in a period of rapid change. He developed a complex, baroque style: the vocabulary is rich and original, a strong sense of rhythm infuses the elaborate sentences, the imagery is often mystical or ironic, and the abundance of allusion extends to Scripture, myth, philosophy, literature, and the visual arts. Born in New York City as the third child of a merchant in French dry goods, Melville’s formal education ended abruptly after his father died in 1832, leaving the family in financial straits. Melville briefly became a schoolteacher before he took to sea in 1839 as a common sailor on a merchant ship. In 1840 he signed aboard the whaler Acushnet for his first whaling voyage, but jumped ship in the Marquesas Islands. After further adventures, he returned to Boston in 1844. His first book, Typee (1845), a highly romanticized account of his life among Polynesians, became such a best-seller that he worked up a sequel, Omoo (1847). These successes encouraged him to marry Elizabeth Shaw, of a prominent Boston family, but were hard to sustain. His first novel not based on his own experiences, Mardi (1849), is a sea narrative that develops into a philosophical allegory, but was not well received. Redburn (1849), a story of life on a merchant ship, and his 1850 expose of harsh life aboard a Man-of-War, White-Jacket yielded warmer reviews but not financial security. In August 1850, Melville moved his growing family to Arrowhead, a farm near Pittsfield, Massachusetts, where he established a profound but short-lived friendship with Nathaniel Hawthorne, to whom he dedicated Moby-Dick. Moby-Dick was another commercial failure, published to mixed reviews. Melville’s career as a popular author effectively ended with the cool reception of Pierre (1852), in part a satirical portrait of the literary scene. His Revolutionary War novel Israel Potter appeared in 1855. From 1853 to 1856, Melville published short fiction in magazines, most notably “Bartleby, the Scrivener” (1853), “The Encantadas” (1854), and “Benito Cereno” (1855). These and three other stories were collected in 1856 as The Piazza Tales. In 1857, he voyaged to England, where he reunited with Hawthorne for the first time since 1852, and then went on to tour the Near East. The Confidence-Man (1857), was the last prose work he published during his lifetime. He moved to New York to take a position as Customs Inspector and turned to poetry. Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War (1866) was his poetic reflection on the moral questions of the Civil War. In 1867 his oldest child, Malcolm, died at home from a self-inflicted gunshot. Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land, a metaphysical epic, appeared in 1876. In 1886, his second son, Stanwix, died and Melville retired. During his last years, he privately published two volumes of poetry, left one volume unpublished, and returned to prose of the sea: the novella Billy Budd, left unfinished at his death, was published in 1924. Melville’s death from cardiovascular disease in 1891 subdued a reviving interest in his work. The centennial of his birth in 1919 became the starting point of the “Melville Revival”. Critics discovered his work, scholars explored his life, his major novels and stories have become world classics, and his poetry has gradually attracted respect. Biography Early life Born Herman Melvill in New York City on August 1, 1819, to Allan Melvill (1782–1832) and Maria (Gansevoort) Melvill (1791–1872), Herman was the third of eight children. His siblings, who played important roles in his career as well as his emotional life, were Gansevoort (1815–1846), Helen Maria (1817–1888), Augusta (1821–1876), Allan (1823–1872), Catherine (1825–1905), Frances Priscilla (1827–1885), and Thomas (1830–1884), who eventually became a governor of Sailors Snug Harbor. Part of a well-established and colorful Boston family, Melville’s father spent much time out of New York and in Europe as a commission merchant and an importer of French dry goods. Both of Melville’s grandfathers were heroes of the Revolutionary War. Major Thomas Melvill (1751–1832) had taken part in the Boston Tea Party, and his maternal grandfather, General Peter Gansevoort (1749–1812), was famous for having commanded the defense of Fort Stanwix in New York in 1777. Melville found satisfaction in his “double revolutionary descent”. Major Melvill sent his son Allan not to college but to France at the turn of the nineteenth century, where he spent two years in Paris and learned to speak and write French fluently. He subscribed to his father’s Unitarianism. In 1814 Allan married Maria Gansevoort Melvill, who was committed to the Dutch Reformed version of the Calvinist creed of her family. The severe Protestantism of the Gansevoort’s tradition ensured that she knew her Bible well, in English as well as in Dutch, the language she had grown up speaking with her parents. Almost three weeks after his birth, on August 19, Herman Melville was baptized at home by a minister of the South Reformed Dutch Church. During the 1820s Melville lived a privileged, opulent life, in a household with three or more servants at a time. Once every four years the family moved to more spacious and prestigious quarters, all the way to Broadway in 1828. Allan Melvill lived beyond his means and on large sums he borrowed from both his father and his wife’s widowed mother. His wife’s opinion of his financial conduct is unknown. Biographer Hershel Parker suggests Maria “thought her mother’s money was infinite and that she was entitled to much of her portion now, while she had small children”. How well, biographer Delbanco adds, the parents managed to hide the truth from their children is “impossible to know”. In 1830 Maria’s family finally lost patience and their support came to a halt, at which point Allan’s total debt to both families exceeded $20,000. The felicity of Melville’s early childhood, biographer Newton Arvin writes, depended not so much on wealth as on the “exceptionally tender and affectionate spirit in all the family relationships, especially in the immediate circle. ” Arvin describes Allan as “a man of real sensibility and a particularly warm and loving father”, while Maria was “warmly maternal, simple, robust, and affectionately devoted to her husband and her brood.” Melville’s education began when he was five, around the time the Melvills moved to a newly-built house at 33 Bleecker Street. In 1826, the same year that Melville contracted scarlet fever, Allan Melvill, who sent both Gansevoort and Herman to the New York Male High School, described Melville in a letter to Peter Gansevoort Jr. as "very backwards in speech & somewhat slow in comprehension". His older brother Gansevoort appeared to be the brightest of the children, but soon Melville’s development increased its pace. “You will be as much surprised as myself to know”, Allan wrote Peter Gansevoort Jr., "that Herman proved the best Speaker in the introductory Department, at the examination of the High School, he has made rapid progress during the 2 last quarters." In 1829 both Gansevoort and Herman were transferred to Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School, with Herman enrolling in the English Department on 28 September. “Herman I think is making more progress than formerly”, Allan wrote in May 1830 to Major Melvill, "& without being a bright Scholar, he maintains a respectable standing, & would proceed further, if he could only be induced to study more– being a most amiable & innocent child, I cannot find it in my heart to coerce him.” Emotionally unstable and behind with paying the rent for the house on Broadway, Allan tried to recover from his setbacks by moving his family to Albany in 1830 and going into the fur business. Melville attended the Albany Academy from October 1830 to October 1831, where he took the standard preparatory course, studying reading and spelling; penmanship; arithmetic; English grammar; geography; natural history; universal, Greek, Roman and English history; classical biography; and Jewish antiquities. It is unknown why he left the Academy in October 1831; Parker suggests that by then “even the tiny tuition fee seemed too much to pay”. His brothers Gansevoort and Allan continued their attendance a few months longer, Gansevoort until March the next year. “The ubiquitous classical references in Melville’s published writings,” as Melville scholar Merton Sealts observed, “suggest that his study of ancient history, biography, and literature during his school days left a lasting impression on both his thought and his art, as did his almost encyclopedic knowledge of both the Old and the New Testaments”. In December Melville’s father returned from New York City by steamboat, but ice forced him to travel the last seventy miles for two days and two nights in an open horse carriage at two degrees below zero, with the result that he developed a cold. In early January he began to show “signs of delirium” and his situation grew worse until he– in the words of his wife– “by reason of severe suffering was deprive’d of his Intellect”. Two months before reaching fifty, Allan Melville died on 28 January 1832. Since Melville was no longer attending school, he must have witnessed these scenes: twenty years later he described such a death of Pierre’s father in Pierre. 1832–1838: After father’s death One result of his father’s early death was that the religious creed of his mother exerted more influence. Melville’s saturation in orthodox Calvinism is for Arvin “surely the most decisive intellectual and spiritual influence of his early life”. Two months after his father’s death, Gansevoort entered the cap and fur business. Maria sought consolation in her faith and in April was admitted as a member of the First Reformed Dutch Church. Uncle Peter Gansevoort, who was one of the directors of the New York State Bank, got Herman a job as clerk for $150 a year. The issue of his emotional response to all the drama in his young life is a question biographers answer by citing from Redburn: “I had learned to think much and bitterly before my time”, the narrator remarks, adding, “I must not think of those delightful days, before my father became a bankrupt... and we removed from the city; for when I think of those days, something rises up in my throat and almost strangles me.” According to Arvin’s influential suggestion, with Melville, one has to reckon with the “tormented psychology, of the decayed patrician.” When Melville’s grandfather died on September 16, 1832, it turned out that Allan had borrowed more than his share of the inheritance. He left Maria Melville only $20. The grandmother died on April 12, 1833. Melville did his job well at the bank; though he was only fourteen in 1834, the bank considered him competent enough to be sent to Schenectady on an errand. Not much else is known from this period, except that he was very fond of drawing. The visual arts became a lifelong interest. Around May 1834 the Melvilles moved to another house in Albany, a three-story brick house. That same month a fire destroyed Gansevoort’s skin-preparing factory, which left him with personnel he could neither use nor afford. Instead he pulled Melville out of the bank to man the cap and fur store. (Biographer Andrew Delbanco says that Gansevoort was doing so well he could hire his younger brother until a fire broke out in 1835, destroying both factory and the store.) In any case, his older brother Gansevoort served as a role model for Melville in various ways. In early 1834 Gansevoort had become a member of the Albany’s Young Men’s Association for Mutual Improvement, and in January 1835 Melville became a member as well. In 1835, while still working in the store, Melville enrolled in Albany Classical School, perhaps using Maria’s part of the proceeds from the sale of the estate of his maternal grandmother in March 1835. In September of the following year Herman was back in Albany Academy, in the Latin course. He also joined debating societies, in an apparent effort to make up as much as he could for his missed years of schooling. In this period he also became acquainted with Shakespeare’s Macbeth at least, and teased his sisters with a passage from the witch scenes. In March 1837 he was again withdrawn from Albany Academy. Gansevoort had copies of John Todd’s Index Rerum, a blank book, more of a register, in which one could index remarkable passages from books one had read, for easy retrieval. Among the sample entries was “Pequot, beautiful description of the war with,” with a short title reference to the place in Benjamin Trumbull’s A Complete History of Connecticut (1797 or 1818) where the description could be found. The two surviving volumes are the best evidence for Melville’s reading in this period, because there is little doubt that Gansevoort’s reading served him as a guide. The entries include books that Melville later used for Moby-Dick and Clarel, such as "Parsees—of India—an excellent description of their character, & religion & an account of their descent—East India Sketch Book p. 21." Other entries are on Panther, the pirate’s cabin, and storm at sea from James Fenimore Cooper’s The Red Rover, Saint-Saba. That April the nationwide economic panic forced Gansevoort to file for bankruptcy and Uncle Thomas Jr. secretly planned to leave Pittsfield, where he had not paid taxes on the farm. On June 5 Maria informed the younger children that they had to move to some village where the rent was cheaper than in Albany. Gansevoort became a Law student in New York City and Herman took care of the farm while his uncle settled in Galena, Illinois. That summer Melville decided to become a schoolteacher. He got a position at Sikes District School near Lenox, Massachusetts, where he taught some thirty students of various ages, including his own. His term over, he returned to his mother in 1838. In February he was elected president of the Philo Logos Society, which Peter Gansevoort invited to move into Stanwix Hall for no rent. Many chambers were vacant as a result of the economic crisis. In March 1838 Melville published in the Albany Microscope two polemical letters about issues in the debating societies he was engaged in, but it is not entirely clear what the polemic was about. Biographers Leon Howard and Hershel Parker suggest that the real issue was the youthful desire to exercise his rhetoric skills in public, and the first appearance in print would have been an exciting experience for all young men involved. In May the Melvilles moved to Lansingburgh, almost a dozen miles north of Albany, into a rented house on the east side of the river in what is now Troy, at 1st Avenue and 114th Street. The family’s retreat was now complete: from the metropolis to a provincial city to a village. What Melville was doing after his term at Sikes ended until November, or if he even had a job after that, remains a mystery. Apparently he courted a local Lansingburgh girl sometime during the summer, but nothing else is known. On 7 November Melville arrived in Lansingburgh. Where he had come from is unknown. Five days later he paid for a term at Lansingburgh Academy, where he took a course in surveying and engineering. In April 1839 Peter Gansevoort wrote a letter to get Herman a job in the Engineer Department of the Erie Canal, saying that his nephew “possesses the ambition to make himself useful in a business which he desires to make his profession,” but no job resulted. Melville’s first known published essay came only weeks after he failed to find a job as an engineer. Using the unexplained initials L.A.V., Herman contributed “Fragments from a Writing Desk” to the Democratic Press and Lansingburgh Advertiser, a weekly newspaper, which printed the piece in two installments, the first on 4 May. According to scholar Sealts, the heavy-handed allusions reveal his early familiarity with the writings of William Shakespeare, John Milton, Walter Scott, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Edmund Burke, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lord Byron, and Thomas Moore, which Gansevoort had kept around the house. Biographer Parker calls the piece “characteristic Melvillean mood-stuff,” and considers its prose style “excessive enough to allow him to indulge his extravagances and just enough overdone to allow him to deny that he was taking his style seriously”. Biographer Delbanco finds the prose “overheated in the manner of Poe, with sexually charged echoes of Byron and The Arabian Nights”. 1839–1844: Years at sea On May 31, 1839, Gansevoort, then living in New York City, wrote that he was sure Herman could get a job on a whaler or merchant vessel. The next day, he signed aboard the merchant ship St. Lawrence as a “boy” (a green hand), which cruised from New York to Liverpool and arrived back in New York October 1. Redburn: His First Voyage (1849) draws on his experiences in this journey. Melville resumed teaching, now at Greenbush, New York, but left after one term because he had not been paid. In the summer of 1840 he and his friend James Murdock Fly went to Galena, Illinois to see if his Uncle Thomas could help them find work. On this trip it is possible that Herman went up the Mississippi, where he may well have witnessed scenes of frontier life he later used in his books. Unsuccessful, he and his friend returned home in autumn, very likely by way of St. Louis and up the Ohio River. Probably inspired by his reading of Richard Henry Dana, Jr.'s new book Two Years Before the Mast, and by Jeremiah N. Reynolds’s account in the May 1839 issue of The Knickerbocker magazine of the hunt for a great white sperm whale named Mocha Dick, Melville and Gansevoort traveled to New Bedford, where Melville signed up for a whaling voyage aboard a new ship, the Acushnet. He signed a contract on Christmas Day with the ship’s agent as a “green hand” for 1/175th of whatever profits the voyage would yield. On Sunday the 27th the brothers heard the Reverend Enoch Mudge preach at the Seamen’s Bethel on Johnny-Cake Hill, where white marble cenotaphs on the walls memorialized local sailors who had died at sea, often in battle with whales. On January 3, 1841, the Acushnet set sail. The vessel sailed around Cape Horn and traveled to the South Pacific for an 18-month voyage. On July 9, 1842, however, Melville and his ship-mate Richard Tobias Greene jumped ship at Nukahiva Bay in the Marquesas Islands and ventured into the mountains to avoid capture. Melville’s first book, Typee (1845), is loosely based on his stay in or near the Taipi Valley. Scholarly research starting in the 1930s and extending into the twenty-first century has increasingly shown that much if not all of this account was either taken from Melville’s readings or exaggerated to dramatize a contrast between idyllic native culture and Western civilization. On August 9, Melville boarded the Lucy Ann, bound for Tahiti, where he took part in a mutiny and was briefly jailed in the native Calabooza Beretanee. In October, he and crew mate John B. Troy escaped Tahiti for Eimeo. He then spent a month as beachcomber and island rover ("omoo" in Tahitian), eventually crossing over to Moorea. He drew on these experiences for Omoo, the sequel to Typee In November, he signed articles on the Nantucket whaler Charles & Henry for a six-month cruise (November 1842 − April 1843), and was discharged at Lahina in the Hawaiian Islands in May 1843. After four months of working several jobs, including as a clerk, he joined the US Navy initially as one of the crew of the frigate USS United States as an ordinary seaman on August 20. During the next year, the homeward bound ship visited the Marquesas Islands, Tahiti, and Valparaiso, and then, from summer to fall 1844, Mazatlan, Lima, and Rio de Janeiro, before reaching Boston on October 3. Melville was discharged on October 14. This navy experience is used in White-Jacket (1850) Melville’s fifth book. Melville’s wander-years created what biographer Arvin calls “a settled hatred of external authority, a lust for personal freedom” and a “growing and intensifying sense of his own exceptionalness as a person”, along with “the resentful sense that circumstance and mankind together had already imposed their will upon him in a series of injurious ways.” Scholar Milder believes the encounter with the wide ocean, where he was seemingly abandoned by God, led Melville to experience a “metaphysical estrangement” and influenced his social views in two ways: First that he belonged to the genteel classes but sympathized with the “disinherited commons” he had been placed among; second that experiencing the cultures of Polynesia let him view the West from an outsider’s perspective. 1845–1850: Successful writer Upon his return, Melville regaled his family and friends with his adventurous tales and romantic experiences, and they urged him to put them into writing. Melville completed Typee, his first book, in the summer of 1845 while living in Troy. His brother Gansevoort found a publisher for it in London, where it was published in February 1846 by John Murray and became an overnight bestseller, then in New York on March 17 by Wiley & Putnam. Inspired by his adventures in the Marquesas, the book was far from a reliable autobiographical account. Melville extended the period his narrator spent on the island to three months more than he himself did, made it appear that he understood the native language, and incorporated material from source books he had assembled. Scholar Robert Milder calls Typee “an appealing mixture of adventure, anecdote, ethnography, and social criticism presented with a genial latitudinarianism that gave novelty to a South Sea idyll at once erotically suggestive and romantically chaste”. An unsigned review in the Salem Advertiser, actually written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, called the book a “skilfully managed” narrative, “lightly but vigorously written” by an author with “that freedom of view... which renders him tolerant of codes of morals that may be little in accordance with our own”. The depictions of the “native girls are voluptuously colored, yet not more so than the exigencies of the subject appear to require.” Pleased but slightly bemused by the adulation of his new public, Melville later complained in a letter to Nathaniel Hawthorne that he would “go down to posterity... as a ‘man who lived among the cannibals’!” Some readers found it unbelievable, however. The book brought Melville into contact with his friend Greene again, Toby in the book, who wrote to the newspapers confirming Melville’s account. The two corresponded until 1863, and sustained a bond for life: in his final years Melville “traced and successfully located his old friend.” In March 1847, Omoo, a sequel to Typee, was published by Murray in London, and in May by Harper in New York. Omoo is “a slighter but more professional book,” according to Milder. Typee and Omoo gave Melville overnight renown as a writer and adventurer, and he often entertained by telling stories to his admirers. As the writer and editor Nathaniel Parker Willis wrote, “With his cigar and his Spanish eyes, he talks Typee and Omoo, just as you find the flow of his delightful mind on paper”. In 1847 Melville tried unsuccessfully to find a “government job” in Washington. On August 4, 1847, Melville married Elizabeth Shaw, daughter of Lemuel Shaw, the Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. The couple honeymooned in Canada and settled in a house on Fourth Avenue in New York City. In March 1848, Mardi was published by Richard Bentley in London, and in April by Harper in New York. According to Robert Milder, the book began as another South Sea story but, as he wrote, Melville left that genre behind, first in favor of “a romance of the narrator Taji and the lost maiden Yillah”, and then “to an allegorical voyage of the philosopher Babbalanja and his companions through the imaginary archipelago of Mardi”. On February 16, 1849, the Melvilles’ first child, Malcolm, was born. In October 1849, Redburn was published by Bentley in London, and in November by Harper in New York. The bankruptcy and death of Allan Melville, and Melville’s own youthful humiliations surface in this “story of outward adaptation and inner impairment”. Biographer Robertson-Lorant regards the work as a deliberate attempt for popular appeal: “Melville modeled each episode almost systematically on every genre that was popular with some group of antebellum readers,” combining elements of “the picaresque novel, the travelogue, the nautical adventure, the sentimental novel, the sensational French romance, the gothic thriller, temperance tracts, urban reform literature, and the English pastoral.” In January 1850, White-Jacket was published by Bentley in London, and in March by Harper in New York. 1850–1851: Hawthorne and Moby-Dick In early May 1850 Melville wrote to fellow sea author Richard Henry Dana a letter that contains what is the earliest surviving mention of the writing of Moby-Dick, saying he was already “half way” done. In June he described the book to his English publisher as “a romance of adventure, founded upon certain wild legends in the Southern Sperm Whale Fisheries”, and promised it would be done by the fall. The manuscript has not survived, so it is impossible to know its state at this critical juncture. Over the next several months, Melville radically transformed his initial plan, conceiving what Delbanco has described as “the most ambitious book ever conceived by an American writer”. From August 4 to 12, the Melvilles and their neighbor Sarah Morewood, Evert Duyckinck, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and other literary figures from New York and Boston, came to Pittsfield to enjoy a period of social parties, picnics, dinners, and the like. On August 5, Nathaniel Hawthorne and his publisher James T. Fields joined the group, while Hawthorne’s wife stayed at home to look after the children. As the men took a stroll through Ice Glen, someone noticed that Hawthorne and Melville were absent, and the group went looking for the two, who were at last found “deep in conversation”. The following day, the group visited the Hawthornes, who since May was living in nearby Lenox. “I liked Melville so much,” Hawthorne wrote to his friend Horatio Bridge, “that I have asked him to spend a few days with me,” an uncharacteristic move for a man so attached to his work that he would not suffer overnight guests to keep him from it. The following days, Melville wrote the essay “Hawthorne and His Mosses,” a review of Hawthorne’s Mosses from an Old Manse that appeared in two installments, on August 17 and 24, in The Literary World. Later that summer Melville received a package from Duyckinck with a letter asking him to forward it to Hawthorne. When he delivered the package to Hawthorne, he did not know it contained his last three books. Hawthorne read them, as he wrote to Duyckinck on August 29, “with a progressive appreciation of their author”. He liked the “unflinching” realism of Redburn and White-Jacket, and he thought Mardi was “a rich book, with depths here and there that compel a man to swim for his life”, though he also noticed it could have been better if the author had taken more time. In September, Melville borrowed three thousand dollars from his father-in-law Lemuel Shaw to buy a 160-acre farm in Pittsfield. Melville called his new home Arrowhead because of the arrowheads that were dug up around the property during planting season. That winter, Melville on an impulse paid Hawthorne a visit, only to discover he was “not in the mood for company” as he was finishing The House of the Seven Gables. Hawthorne’s wife Sophia entertained him while he waited for Hawthorne to come down for supper, and gave him copies of Twice-Told Tales and, for Malcolm, The Grandfather’s Chair. Melville invited them to visit his newly purchased farm house Arrowhead in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, some time in the next two weeks, and when Sophia agreed, he looked forward to "discussing the Universe with a bottle of brandy & cigars" with Hawthorne. A few days later Sophia notified the Melvilles that Hawthorne could not stop working on his new book for more than one day, and Melville felt moved to repeat his invitation: "Your bed is already made, & the wood marked for your fire." Eventually Melville visited the Hawthornes again, and the next day Hawthorne surprised him by arriving at Arrowhead with his daughter Una. According to Robertson-Lorant, “The handsome Hawthorne made quite an impression on the Melville women, especially Augusta, who was a great fan of his books.” They spent the day mostly “smoking and talking metaphysics”. In Robertson-Lorant’s assessment of the friendship, Melville was “infatuated with Hawthorne’s intellect, captivated by his artistry, and charmed by his elusive personality,” and though the two writers were “drawn together in an undeniable sympathy of soul and intellect, the friendship meant something different to each of them,” with Hawthorne offering Melville “the kind of intellectual stimulation he needed”. They may have been “natural allies and friends”, yet they were also “fifteen years apart in age and temperamentally quite different”, and Hawthorne “found Melville’s manic intensity exhausting at times”. Melville wrote ten letters to Hawthorne, “all of them effusive, profound, deeply affectionate”. Melville was inspired and encouraged by his new relationship with Hawthorne during the period that he was writing Moby-Dick. He dedicated this new novel to Hawthorne, though their friendship was to wane only a short time later. On October 18 The Whale was published in Britain in three volumes, and on November 14 Moby-Dick appeared in the United States as a single volume. In between these dates, on October 22, 1851, the Melvilles’ second child, Stanwix, was born. On December 1 Hawthorne wrote a letter of appraisal to Duyckinck, prompted in part by his disagreement with the review in Literary World: “What a book Melville has written! It gives me an idea of much greater power than his preceding ones. It hardly seemed to me that the review of it, in the Literary World, did justice to its best points.” In early December 1852 Melville visited the Hawthornes in Concord, and discussed the idea of the “Agatha” story which he had pitched to Hawthorne. This was the last known contact between the two writers before Melville visited Hawthorne in Liverpool four years later. 1852–1857: Unsuccessful writer Melville had high hopes that his next book would please the public and restore his finances. In April 1851 he wrote to his British publisher, Richard Bentley that his new book, “possessing unquestionable novelty” is "as I believe, very much more calculated for popularity than anything you have yet published of mine– being a regular romance, with a mysterious plot to it & stirring passions at work, and withall, representing a new & elevated aspect of American life... " In fact, Pierre: or, The Ambiguities was heavily psychological, though drawing on the conventions of the romance, and difficult in style. It was not well received. The New York Day Book on September 8, 1852, published a venomous attack headlined “HERMAN MELVILLE CRAZY”. The item, offered as a news story, reported, A critical friend, who read Melville’s last book, Ambiguities, between two steamboat accidents, told us that it appeared to be composed of the ravings and reveries of a madman. We were somewhat startled at the remark, but still more at learning, a few days after, that Melville was really supposed to be deranged, and that his friends were taking measures to place him under treatment. We hope one of the earliest precautions will be to keep him stringently secluded from pen and ink. On 22 May 1853 Elizabeth (Bessie) was born, the Melvilles’ third child and first daughter, and on or about that day Herman finished work on Isle of the Cross—one relative wrote that 'The Isle of the Cross’ is almost a twin sister of the little one ..." Herman traveled to New York to discuss it with his publisher, but later wrote that Harper & Brothers was “prevented” from publishing his manuscript, presumed to be Isle of the Cross, which has been lost. Finding it difficult to find a publisher for his follow-up novel to the commercial and critical failure of Pierre, Israel Potter, the narrative of a Revolutionary War veteran, was first serialized in Putnam’s Monthly Magazine in 1853. From November 1853 to 1856, Melville published fourteen tales and sketches in Putnams and Harpers magazines. In December 1855 he proposed to Dix & Edwards, the new owners of Putnam’s, that they publish a selection of the short fiction titled Benito Cereno and Other Sketches. The collection would eventually be named after a new introductory story Melville had written for it, “The Piazza,” and was published as The Piazza Tales, with five previously published stories, including “Bartleby, the Scrivener” and “Benito Cereno”. On March 2, 1855, Frances (Fanny) was born, the Melvilles’ fourth child. In this period his book Israel Potter was published. From October 11, 1856, to May 20, 1857, Melville made a six-month Grand Tour of the British Isles and the Mediterranean. While in England, in November he spent three days with Hawthorne, who had taken an embassy position there. At the seaside village of Southport, amid the sand dunes where they had stopped to smoke cigars, they had a conversation which Hawthorne later described in his journal: Melville, as he always does, began to reason of Providence and futurity, and of everything that lies beyond human ken, and informed me that he 'pretty much made up his mind to be annihilated’; but still he does not seem to rest in that anticipation; and, I think, will never rest until he gets hold of a definite belief. It is strange how he persists—and has persisted ever since I knew him, and probably long before—in wandering to-and-fro over these deserts, as dismal and monotonous as the sand hills amid which we were sitting. He can neither believe, nor be comfortable in his unbelief; and he is too honest and courageous not to try to do one or the other. If he were a religious man, he would be one of the most truly religious and reverential; he has a very high and noble nature, and better worth immortality than most of us. Melville’s subsequent visit to the Holy Land inspired his epic poem Clarel. On April 1, 1857, Melville published his last full-length novel, The Confidence-Man. This novel, subtitled His Masquerade, has won general acclaim in modern times as a complex and mysterious exploration of issues of fraud and honesty, identity and masquerade. But, when it was published, it received reviews ranging from the bewildered to the denunciatory. 1857–1876: Poet To repair his faltering finances, Melville was advised by friends to enter what was, for others, the lucrative field of lecturing. From late 1857 to 1860, he embarked upon three lecture tours, and spoke at lyceums, chiefly on Roman statuary and sightseeing in Rome. Melville’s lectures, which mocked the pseudo-intellectualism of lyceum culture, were panned by contemporary audiences. On May 30, 1860, Melville boarded the clipper Meteor for California, with his brother Thomas at the helm. After a shaky trip around Cape Horn Melville returned alone to New York via Panama in November. Turning to poetry, he submitted a collection of verse to a publisher in 1860, but it was not accepted. In 1861 he shook hands with Abraham Lincoln. In 1863 he bought his brother Allan’s house at 104 East Twent-Sixth Street in New York City and moved there, Allan for his part bought Arrowhead. On March 30 his father-in-law died. In 1864 Melville and Allan paid a visit to the Virginia battlefields of the Civil War. After the end of the American Civil War, he published Battle Pieces and Aspects of the War (1866), a collection of over 70 poems that has been described as “a polyphonic verse journal of the conflict”. It was generally ignored by reviewers, who gave him at best patronizingly favorable reviews. The volume did not sell well; of the Harper & Bros. printing of 1200 copies, only 525 had been sold ten years later. Uneven as a collection of individual poems, “its achievement lies in the interplay of voices and moods throughout which Melville patterns a shared historical experience into formative myth”. In 1866 Melville’s wife and her relatives used their influence to obtain a position for him as customs inspector for the City of New York (a humble but adequately paying appointment). He held the post for 19 years and won the reputation of being the only honest employee in a notoriously corrupt institution. Unbeknownst to him, his modest position and income “were protected throughout the periodic turmoil of political reappointments by a customs official who never spoke to Melville but admired his writings: future US president Chester A. Arthur”. In 1867 his oldest son Malcolm shot himself, perhaps accidentally, and died at home at the age of 18. Some contemporary psychologists believe it was a suicide. In 1867 Elizabeth Melville contemplated a divorce with her minister and relatives, who repeatedly urged her to leave him under the belief that he may have been insane, but she refused. In 1872 his mother died aged eighty-two. Though Melville’s professional writing career had ended, he still remained dedicated to his writing. Melville devoted years to “his autumnal masterpiece,” an 18,000-line epic poem titled Clarel: A Poem and a Pilgrimage, inspired by his 1856 trip to the Holy Land. His uncle, Peter Gansevoort, by a bequest, paid for the publication of the massive epic in 1876. The epic-length verse-narrative about a student’s spiritual pilgrimage to the Holy Land, was considered quite obscure, even in his own time. Among the longest single poems in American literature, the book had an initial printing of 350 copies, but sales failed miserably, and the unsold copies were burned when Melville was unable to afford to buy them at cost. The critic Lewis Mumford found a copy of the poem in the New York Public Library in 1925 “with its pages uncut”—in other words, it had sat there unread for 50 years. Clarel is a narrative in 18,000 verse lines, featuring a young American student of divinity as the title character. He travels to Jerusalem to renew his faith. One of the central characters, Rolfe, is similar to Melville in his younger days, a seeker and adventurer. Scholars also agree that the reclusive Vine is based on Hawthorne, who had died twelve years before. 1877–1891: Final years While Melville had his steady customs job, he no longer showed signs of depression, which recurred after the death of his second son. On 23 February 1886, Stanwix Melville died in San Francisco at age 36. Melville retired on 31 December 1885, after several of his wife’s relatives died and left the couple legacies which Mrs. Melville administered with skill and good fortune. As English readers, pursuing the vogue for sea stories represented by such writers as G. A. Henty, rediscovered Melville’s novels in the late nineteenth century, the author had a modest revival of popularity in England, though not in the United States. He wrote a series of poems, with prose head notes, inspired by his early experiences at sea. He published them in two collections, each issued in a tiny edition of 25 copies for his relatives and friends. Of these, scholar Robert Milder calls John Marr and Other Poems (1888), “the finest of his late verse collections”. The second privately printed volume is Timoleon (1891). Intrigued by one of these poems, Melville began to rework the headnote, expanding it first as a short story and eventually as a novella. He worked on it on and off for several years, but when he died in September 1891, the piece was unfinished. Also left unpublished were another volume of poetry, Weeds and Wildings, and a sketch, “Daniel Orme”. To Billy Budd, his widow added notes and edited it, but the manuscript was not discovered until 1919, by Raymond Weaver, his first biographer. He worked at transcribing and editing a full text, which he published in 1924 as Billy Budd, Sailor. It was an immediate critical success in England and soon one in the United States. The authoritative version was published in 1962, after two scholars studied the papers for several years. In 1951 it was adapted as a stage play on Broadway, and as an opera by English composer Benjamin Britten with assistance on the libretto by E. M. Forster. In 1961 Peter Ustinov released a movie based on the stage play and starring Terence Stamp. Death Melville died at his home in New York City early on the morning of September 28, 1891, at age 72. The doctor listed “cardiac dilation” on the death certificate. He was interred in the Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx, New York City. A common story recounts that his New York Times obituary called him “Henry Melville,” implying that he was unknown and unappreciated at his time of death, but the story is not true. A later article was published on October 6 in the same paper, referring to him as “the late Hiram Melville,” but this appears to have been a typesetting error. Writing style Melville’s writing style shows enormous changes throughout the years as well as consistencies. In the words of Arvin, Melville’s development “had been abnormally postponed, and when it came, it came with a rush and a force that had the menace of quick exhaustion in it.” As early a juvenile piece as “Fragments from a Writing Desk” from 1839, scholar Sealts points out, already shows “a number of elements that anticipate Melville’s later writing, especially his characteristic habit of abundant literary allusion”. Typee and Omoo were documentary adventures that called for a division of the narrative in short chapters. Such compact organization bears the risk of fragmentation when applied to a lengthy work such as Mardi, but with Redburn and White Jacket, Melville turned the short chapter into an instrument of form and concentration. A number of chapters of Moby-Dick are no longer than two pages in standard editions, and an extreme example is Chapter 122, consisting of a single paragraph of 36 words (including the thrice-repeated “Um, um, um.”) The skillful handling of chapters in Moby-Dick is one of the most fully developed Melvillean signatures, and is a measure of “his manner of mastery as a writer”. Individual chapters have become “a touchstone for appreciation of Melville’s art and for explanation” of his themes. In contrast, the chapters in Pierre, called Books, are divided into short numbered sections, seemingly an “odd formal compromise” between Melville’s natural length and his purpose to write a regular romance that called for longer chapters. As satirical elements were introduced, the chapter arrangement restores “some degree of organization and pace from the chaos”. The usual chapter unit then reappears for Israel Potter, The Confidence-Man and even Clarel, but only becomes “a vital part in the whole creative achievement” again in the juxtaposition of accents and of topics in Billy Budd. Newton Arvin points out that only superficially the books after Mardi seem as if Melville’s writing went back to the vein of his first two books. In reality, his movement “was not a retrograde but a spiral one”, and while Redburn and White-Jacket may lack the spontaneous, youthful charm of his first two books, they are “denser in substance, richer in feeling, tauter, more complex, more connotative in texture and imagery.” The rhythm of the prose in Omoo “achieves little more than easiness; the language is almost neutral and without idiosyncrasy”, yet Redburn shows a “gain in rhythmical variety and intricacy, in sharpness of diction, in syntactical resource, in painterly bravura and the fusing of image and emotion into a unity of strangeness, beauty and dread”. Melville’s early works were “increasingly baroque” in style, and with Moby-Dick Melville’s vocabulary had grown superabundant. Bezanson calls it an “immensely varied style”. According to critic Warner Berthoff, three characteristic uses of language can be recognized. First, the exaggerated repetition of words, as in the series “pitiable,” “pity,” “pitied,” and “piteous” (Ch. 81, “The Pequod Meets the Virgin”). A second typical device is the use of unusual adjective-noun combinations, as in “concentrating brow” and “immaculate manliness” (Ch. 26, “Knights and Squires”). A third characteristic is the presence of a participial modifier to emphasize and to reinforce the already established expectations of the reader, as the words “preluding” and “foreshadowing” ("so still and subdued and yet somehow preluding was all the scene ...," “In this foreshadowing interval ...”). After his use of hyphenated compounds in Pierre, Melville’s writing gives Berthoff the impression of becoming less exploratory and less provocative in his choices of words and phrases. Instead of providing a lead “into possible meanings and openings-out of the material in hand,” the vocabulary now served “to crystallize governing impressions,” the diction no longer attracted attention to itself, except as an effort at exact definition. The language, Berthoff continues, reflects a “controlling intelligence, of right judgment and completed understanding”. The sense of free inquiry and exploration which infused his earlier writing and accounted for its “rare force and expansiveness,” tended to give way to “static enumeration.” For Berthoff, added “seriousness of consideration” came at the cost of losing “pace and momentum”. The verbal music and kinetic energy of Moby-Dick seem “relatively muted, even withheld” in the later works. Melville’s paragraphing in his best work Berthoff considers to be the virtuous result of “compactness of form and free assembling of unanticipated further data”, such as when the mysterious sperm whale is compared with Exodus’s invisibility of God’s face in the final paragraph of Chapter 86 ("The Tail"). Over time Melville’s paragraphs became shorter as his sentences grew longer, until he arrived at the “one-sentence paragraphing characteristic of his later prose.” Berthoff points to the opening chapter of The Confidence-Man for an example, as it counts fifteen paragraphs, seven of which consist of only one elaborate sentence, and four that have only two sentences. The use of similar technique in Billy Budd contributes in large part, Berthoff says, to its “remarkable narrative economy”. In Nathalia Wright’s view, Melville’s sentences generally have a looseness of structure, easy to use for devices as catalogue and allusion, parallel and refrain, proverb and allegory. The length of his clauses may vary greatly, but the “torterous” writing in Pierre and The Confidence-Man is there to convey feeling, not thought. Unlike Henry James, who was an innovator of sentence ordering to render the subtlest nuances in thought, Melville made few such innovations. His domain is the mainstream of English prose, with its rhythm and simplicity influenced by the King James Bible. Another important characteristic of Melville’s writing style is in its echoes and overtones. Melville’s imitation of certain distinct styles is responsible for this. His three most important sources, in order, are the Bible, Shakespeare, and Milton. Scholar Nathalia Wright has identified three stylistic categories of Biblical influence. Direct quotation from any of the sources is slight; only one sixth of his Biblical allusions can be qualified as such. First, far more unmarked than acknowledged quotations occur, some favorites even numerous times throughout his whole body of work, taking on the nature of refrains. Examples of this idiom are the injunctions to be ‘as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves,’ ‘death on a pale horse,’ 'the man of sorrows’, the ‘many mansions of heaven;’ proverbs ‘as the hairs on our heads are numbered,’ ‘pride goes before a fall,’ ‘the wages of sin is death;’ adverbs and pronouns as 'verily, whoso, forasmuch as; phrases as come to pass, children’s children, the fat of the land, vanity of vanities, outer darkness, the apple of his eye, Ancient of Days, the rose of Sharon.’ Second, there are paraphrases of individual and combined verses. Redburn’s “Thou shalt not lay stripes upon these Roman citizens” makes use of language of the Ten Commandments in Ex.20, and Pierre’s inquiry of Lucy: “Loveth she me with the love past all understanding?” combines John 21:15–17 and Philippians 4:7 Third, certain Hebraisms are used, such as a succession of genitives ("all the waves of the billows of the seas of the boisterous mob"), the cognate accusative ("I dreamed a dream," “Liverpool was created with the Creation”), and the parallel ("Closer home does it go than a rammer; and fighting with steel is a play without ever an interlude"). A passage from Redburn (see quotebox) shows how all these different ways of alluding interlock and result in a fabric texture of Biblical language, though there is very little direct quotation. In addition to this, Melville successfully imitates three Biblical strains: he sustains the apocalyptic for a whole chapter of Mardi; the prophetic strain is expressed in Moby-Dick, most notably in Father Mapple’s sermon; and the tradition of the Psalms is imitated at length in The Confidence-Man. Melville owned an edition of Shakespeare’s works by 1849, and his reading of it greatly influenced the style of his next book, Moby-Dick (1851). The critic F. O. Matthiessen found that the language of “Shakespeare went far beyond all other influences” upon the book, in that it inspired Melville to discover his own full strength. On almost every page, debts to Shakespeare can be discovered. The “mere sounds, full of Leviathanism, but signifying nothing” at the end of “Cetology” (Ch.32) echo the famous phrase in Macbeth: “Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.” Ahab’s first extended speech to the crew, in the “Quarter-Deck” (Ch.36), Matthiessen points out, is “virtually blank verse” and so is Ahab’s soliloquy at the beginning of “Sunset” (Ch.37):'I leave a white and turbid wake;/ Pale waters, paler cheeks, where’er I sail./ The envious billows sidelong swell to whelm/ My track; let them; but first I pass.' Through Shakespeare, Melville infused Moby-Dick with a power of expression he had not previously possessed. Reading Shakespeare had been “a catalytic agent” for Melville, one that transformed his writing “from limited reporting to the expression of profound natural forces.” The extent to which Melville assimilated Shakespeare is evident in the description of Ahab, Matthiessen continues, which ends in language “that suggests Shakespeare’s but is not an imitation of it: ‘Oh, Ahab! what shall be grand in thee, it must needs be plucked from the skies and dived for in the deep, and featured in the unbodied air!’ The imaginative richness of the final phrase seems particularly Shakespearean, ”but its two key words appear only once each in the plays... and to neither of these usages is Melville indebted for his fresh combination." Melville’s diction depended upon no source, and his prose is not based on anybody else’s verse but on “a sense of speech rhythm”. According to Matthiessen, Melville’s mastering of Shakespeare supplied him with verbal resources that enabled him “to make language itself dramatic” through three essential techniques: To rely on verbs of action, “which lend their dynamic pressure to both movement and meaning.” The effective tension caused by the contrast of “thou launchest navies of full-freighted worlds” and “there’s that in here that still remains indifferent” in “The Candles” (Ch. 119) makes the last clause lead to a “compulsion to strike the breast,” which suggests “how thoroughly the drama has come to inhere in the words;” The Shakespearean energy of verbal compounds was not lost on him ("full-freighted"); And, finally, Melville learned how to handle “the quickened sense of life that comes from making one part as speech act as another - for example, 'earthquake’ as an adjective, or the coining of ‘placeless,’ an adjective from a noun.” Melville’s style seamlessly flows over into theme, because all these borrowings have an artistic purpose, which is to suggest an appearance “larger and more significant than life” for characters and themes that are “essentially simple and mundane”. The allusions suggest that beyond the world of appearances another world exists, one that “exerts influence upon this world, and in which ultimate truth resides.” Moreover, the ancient background thus suggested for Melville’s narratives– ancient allusions being next in number to the Biblical ones– invests them “with a certain timeless quality”. Critical response Contemporary criticism Melville was not financially successful as a writer, having earned just over $10,000 for his writing during his lifetime. After his success with travelogues based on voyages to the South Seas and stories based on misadventures in the merchant marine and navy, Melville’s popularity declined dramatically. By 1876, all of his books were out of print. In the later years of his life and during the years after his death, he was recognized, if at all, as a minor figure in American literature. Melville revival and Melville studies The “Melville Revival” of the late 1910s and 1920s brought about a reassessment of his work. The centennial of his birth was in 1919. Carl Van Doren’s 1917 article on Melville in a standard history of American literature was the start of renewed appreciation. Van Doren also encouraged Raymond Weaver, who wrote the author’s first full-length biography, Herman Melville: Mariner and Mystic (1921). Discovering the unfinished manuscript of Billy Budd, among papers shown to him by Melville’s granddaughter, Weaver edited it and published it in a new collected edition of Melville’s works. Other works that helped fan the flames for Melville were Carl Van Doren’s The American Novel (1921), D. H. Lawrence’s Studies in Classic American Literature (1923), Carl Van Vechten’s essay in The Double Dealer (1922), and Lewis Mumford’s biography, Herman Melville: A Study of His Life and Vision (1929). Starting in the mid-1930s, the Yale University scholar Stanley Williams supervised more than a dozen dissertations on Melville that were eventually published as books. Where the first wave of Melville scholars focused on psychology, Williams’ students were prominent in establishing Melville Studies as an academic field concerned with texts and manuscripts, tracing Melville’s influences and borrowings (even plagiarism), and exploring archives and local publications. Jay Leyda, known for his work in film, spent more than a decade gathering documents and records for the day by day Melville Log (1951). Led by Leyda, the second phase of the Melville Revival emphasized research. Its scholars tended to think that Weaver, Murray, and Mumford favored Freudian interpretations which read Melville’s fiction too literally as autobiography, exaggerated Melville’s suffering in the family, mistakenly inferred a homosexual attachment to Hawthorne, and saw a tragic withdrawal after the cold critical reception for his last prose works rather than a turn to poetry as a new and satisfying form. Other post-war studies, however, continued the broad imaginative and interpretive style. Charles Olson’s Call Me Ishmael (1947) presented Ahab as a Shakespearean character, and Newton Arvin’s critical biography, Herman Melville (1950) won the National Book Award for non-fiction in 1951. Critical editions In the 1960s, Northwestern University Press, in alliance with the Newberry Library and the Modern Language Association, launched a project to edit and published reliable critical texts of Melville’s complete works, including unpublished poems, journals, and correspondence. The aim of the editors was to present a text “as close as possible to the author’s intention as surviving evidence permits”. The volumes have extensive appendices, including textual variants from each of the editions published in Melville’s lifetime, an historical note on the publishing history and critical reception, and related documents. In many cases, it was not possible to establish a “definitive text”, but the edition supplies all evidence available at the time. Since the texts were prepared with financial support from the United States Department of Education, no royalties are charged, and they have been widely reprinted. The Melville Society In 1945, The Melville Society was founded, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the study of Melville’s life and works. Between 1969 and 2003 it published 125 issues of Melville Society Extracts, which are now freely available on the society’s website. Since 1999 it publishes Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies, currently three issues a year, published by Johns Hopkins University Press. Melville’s poetry Melville did not publish poetry until late in life, and his reputation as a poet was not high until late in the 20th century. Melville, says recent literary critic Lawrence Buell, “is justly said to be nineteenth-century America’s leading poet after Whitman and Dickinson, yet his poetry remains largely unread even by many Melvillians.” True, Buell concedes, even more than most Victorian poets, Melville turned to poetry as an “instrument of meditation rather than for the sake of melody or linguistic play.” It is also true that he turned from fiction to poetry late in life. Yet he wrote twice as much poetry as Dickinson and probably as many lines as Whitman, and he wrote distinguished poetry for a quarter of a century, twice as long as his career publishing prose narratives. The three novels of the 1850s which Melville worked on most seriously to present his philosophical explorations, Moby-Dick, Pierre, and The Confidence Man, seem to make the step to philosophical poetry a natural one rather than simply a consequence of commercial failure. In 2000 the Melville scholar Elizabeth Renker wrote “a sea change in the reception of the poems is incipient”. Some critics now place him as the first modernist poet in the United States; others assert that his work more strongly suggests what today would be a postmodern view. Henry Chapin wrote in an introduction to John Marr and Other Sailors (1888), a collection of Melville’s late poetry, “Melville’s loveable freshness of personality is everywhere in evidence, in the voice of a true poet”. The poet and novelist Robert Penn Warren was a leading champion of Melville as a great American poet. Warren issued a selection of Melville’s poetry prefaced by an admiring critical essay. The poetry critic Helen Vendler remarked of Clarel: “What it cost Melville to write this poem makes us pause, reading it. Alone, it is enough to win him, as a poet, what he called 'the belated funeral flower of fame’”. Gender studies Melville’s writings did not attract the attention of women’s studies scholars of the 1970s and 1980s, though his preference for sea-going tales that involved almost only males has since then been of interest to scholars in men’s studies and especially gay and queer studies. Melville was remarkably open in his exploration of sexuality of all sorts. For example, Alvin Sandberg claimed that the short story “The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids” offers “an exploration of impotency, a portrayal of a man retreating to an all-male childhood to avoid confrontation with sexual manhood,” from which the narrator engages in “congenial” digressions in heterogeneity. In line with this view, Warren Rosenberg argues the homosocial “Paradise of Bachelors” is shown to be “superficial and sterile”. David Harley Serlin observes in the second half of Melville’s diptych, “The Tartarus of Maids,” the narrator gives voice to the oppressed women he observes: As other scholars have noted, the “slave” image here has two clear connotations. One describes the exploitation of the women’s physical labor, and the other describes the exploitation of the women’s reproductive organs. Of course, as models of women’s oppression, the two are clearly intertwined. In the end Serlin says that the narrator is never fully able to come to terms with the contrasting masculine and feminine modalities. Issues of sexuality have been observed in other works as well. Rosenberg notes Taji, in Mardi, and the protagonist in Pierre “think they are saving young 'maidens in distress’ (Yillah and Isabel) out of the purest of reasons but both are also conscious of a lurking sexual motive”. When Taji kills the old priest holding Yillah captive, he says, [R]emorse smote me hard; and like lightning I asked myself whether the death deed I had done was sprung of virtuous motive, the rescuing of a captive from thrall, or whether beneath the pretense I had engaged in this fatal affray for some other selfish purpose, the companionship of a beautiful maid. In Pierre, the motive of the protagonist’s sacrifice for Isabel is admitted: “womanly beauty and not womanly ugliness invited him to champion the right”. Rosenberg argues, This awareness of a double motive haunts both books and ultimately destroys their protagonists who would not fully acknowledge the dark underside of their idealism. The epistemological quest and the transcendental quest for love and belief are consequently sullied by the erotic. Rosenberg says that Melville fully explores the theme of sexuality in his major epic poem, Clarel. When the narrator is separated from Ruth, with whom he has fallen in love, he is free to explore other sexual (and religious) possibilities before deciding at the end of the poem to participate in the ritualistic order represented by marriage. In the course of the poem, “he considers every form of sexual orientation– celibacy, homosexuality, hedonism, and heterosexuality– raising the same kinds of questions as when he considers Islam or Democracy”. Some passages and sections of Melville’s works demonstrate his willingness to address all forms of sexuality, including the homoerotic, in his works. Commonly noted examples from Moby-Dick are the “marriage bed” episode involving Ishmael and Queequeg, which is interpreted as male bonding; and the “Squeeze of the Hand” chapter, describing the camaraderie of sailors’ extracting spermaceti from a dead whale. Rosenberg notes that critics say that “Ahab’s pursuit of the whale, which they suggest can be associated with the feminine in its shape, mystery, and in its naturalness, represents the ultimate fusion of the epistemological and sexual quest.” In addition, he notes that Billy Budd’s physical attractiveness is described in quasi-feminine terms: “As the Handsome Sailor, Billy Budd’s position aboard the seventy-four was something analogous to that of a rustic beauty transplanted from the provinces and brought into competition with the highborn dames of the court.” Law and literature Since the late 20th century, Billy Budd has become a central text in the field of legal scholarship known as law and literature. In the novel, Billy, a handsome and popular young sailor, is impressed from the merchant vessel Rights of Man to serve aboard H.M.S. Bellipotent in the late 1790s, during the war between Revolutionary France and Great Britain. He excites the enmity and hatred of the ship’s master-at-arms, John Claggart. Claggart accuses Billy of phony charges of mutiny and other crimes, and the Captain, the Honorable Edward Fairfax Vere, brings them together for an informal inquiry. At this encounter, Billy is frustrated by his stammer, which prevents him from speaking, and strikes Claggart. The blow catches Claggart squarely on the forehead and, after a gasp or two, the master-at-arms dies. Vere immediately convenes a court-martial, at which, after serving as sole witness and as Billy’s de facto counsel, Vere urges the court to convict and sentence Billy to death. The trial is recounted in chapter 21, the longest chapter in the book. It has become the focus of scholarly controversy; was Captain Vere a good man trapped by bad law, or did he deliberately distort and misrepresent the applicable law to condemn Billy to death? Themes As early as 1839, in the juvenile sketch “Fragments from a Writing Desk,” Melville explores a problem which would reappear in the short stories “Bartleby” (1853) and “Benito Cereno” (1855): the impossibility to find common ground for mutual communication. The sketch centers on the protagonist and a mute lady, leading scholar Sealts to observe: “Melville’s deep concern with expression and communication evidently began early in his career.” According to scholar Nathalia Wright, Melville’s characters are all preoccupied by the same intense, superhuman and eternal quest for “the absolute amidst its relative manifestations,” an enterprise central to the Melville canon: “All Melville’s plots describe this pursuit, and all his themes represent the delicate and shifting relationship between its truth and its illusion.” It is not clear, however, what the moral and metaphysical implications of this quest are, because Melville did not distinguish between these two aspects. Throughout his life Melville struggled with and gave shape to the same set of epistemological doubts and the metaphysical issues these doubts engendered. An obsession for the limits of knowledge led to the question of God’s existence and nature, the indifference of the universe, and the problem of evil. Legacy and honors In 1985, the New York City Herman Melville Society gathered at 104 East 26th Street to dedicate the intersection of Park Avenue south and 26th Street as Herman Melville Square. This is the street where Melville lived from 1863 to 1891 and where, among other works, he wrote Billy Budd. In 2010 a species of extinct giant sperm whale, Livyatan melvillei, was named in honor of Melville. The paleontologists who discovered the fossil were fans of Moby-Dick and dedicated their discovery to the author. Selected bibliography Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life (1846) Omoo: A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas (1847) Mardi: And a Voyage Thither (1849) Redburn: His First Voyage (1849) White-Jacket; or, The World in a Man-of-War (1850) Moby-Dick; or, The Whale (1851) Pierre: or, The Ambiguities (1852) Isle of the Cross (1853 unpublished, and now lost) “Bartleby, the Scrivener” (1853) (short story) The Encantadas, or Enchanted Isles (1854) (novella, possibly incorporating a short rewrite of the lost Isle of the Cross) “Benito Cereno” (1855) Israel Potter: His Fifty Years of Exile (1855) The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade (1857) Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War (1866) (poetry collection) The Martyr (1866) one of poems in a collection, on the death of Lincoln Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land (1876) (epic poem) John Marr and Other Sailors (1888) (poetry collection) Timoleon (1891) (poetry collection) Billy Budd, Sailor (An Inside Narrative) (1891 unfinished, published posthumously in 1924; authoritative edition in 1962) Notes References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herman_Melville

James McIntyre

James McIntyre (baptised 25 May 1828– 31 March 1906), called The Cheese Poet, was a Canadian poet. McIntyre was born in Forres, Scotland and came to Canada in 1841 at the age of 14. He worked as a hired hand to begin with, performing pioneer chores that formed the basis of a number of his works. Later, he settled in St. Catharines, Ontario, where he dealt in furniture. There he married and had a daughter and son. He later moved to Ingersoll, Ontario, then a town of 5,000 on the banks of the Thames in Oxford County, the heart of Canadian dairy country at the time. He opened a furniture factory on the river as well as a store which sold furniture, along with such items as pianos and coffins. He was well loved in the community, from which he often received aid in hard times, due in part to his poesy and oratorical skills—he was called on to speak at every kind of social gathering in Ingersoll. The region seems to have inspired him, and it was in celebration of the proud history of Canada, the natural beauty and industry of the region, and especially (as noted above) its cheese, that the majority of his oeuvre was written. The ancient poets ne’er did dream That Canada was land of cream, They ne’er imagined it could flow In this cold land of ice and snow, Where everything did solid freeze They ne’er hoped or looked for cheese. from “Oxford Cheese Ode” [1] McIntyre was uninhibited by minor shortcomings—such as his lack of literary skills. The Toronto Globe ran his pieces as comic relief, and the New York Tribune expressed amusement, but their mockery did not dampen his enthusiasm. He is assumed to have continued writing until his death, in 1906. He published two volumes of poetry: Musings on the Canadian Thames (1884); Poems of James McIntyre (1889). McIntyre was forgotten after his death for a number of years, until his work was rediscovered and reprinted by William Arthur Deacon—literary editor of the Toronto Mail and Empire and its successor the Globe and Mail—in his book The Four Jameses (1927). In recent years a volume of his work, Oh! Queen of Cheese: Selections from James McIntyre, the Cheese Poet (ed. Roy A Abramson; Toronto: Cherry Tree, 1979) collected his poems together with a variety of cheese recipes and anecdotes. However, the greatest boost to his fame probably came from a number of his poems being anthologized in the collection Very Bad Poetry, edited by Ross and Kathryn Petras (Vintage, 1997). This included his masterpiece and possibly best-known poem, "Ode on the Mammoth Cheese Weighing Over 7,000 Pounds," written about an actual cheese produced in Ingersoll in 1866 and sent to exhibitions in Toronto, New York, and Britain: We have seen thee, Queen of Cheese, Lying quietly at your ease, Gently fanned by evening breeze; Thy fair form no flies dare seize. All gaily dressed, soon you’ll go To the provincial show, To be admired by many a beau In the city of Toronto. from “Ode on the Mammoth Cheese” [2] An annual poetry contest is held in Ingersoll, Ontario, to honour McIntyre. The contest is sponsored by The Ingersoll Times and the Corporation of the Town of Ingersoll, and includes a cheese-themed poetry competition. References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_McIntyre_(poet)

Lucy Maud Montgomery

Lucy Maud Montgomery OBE (November 30, 1874– April 24, 1942), publicly known as L. M. Montgomery, was a Canadian author best known for a series of novels beginning in 1908 with Anne of Green Gables. The book was an immediate success. The central character, Anne Shirley, an orphaned girl, made Montgomery famous in her lifetime and gave her an international following. The first novel was followed by a series of sequels with Anne as the central character. Montgomery went on to publish 20 novels as well as 530 short stories, 500 poems, and 30 essays. Most of the novels were set in Prince Edward Island, and locations within Canada’s smallest province became a literary landmark and popular tourist site—namely Green Gables farm, the genesis of Prince Edward Island National Park. She was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1935. Montgomery’s work, diaries and letters have been read and studied by scholars and readers worldwide. Early life Lucy Maud Montgomery was born in Clifton (now New London) in Prince Edward Island on November 30, 1874. Her mother Clara Woolner Macneill Montgomery died of tuberculosis when Maud was 21 months old. Stricken with grief over his wife’s death, Hugh John Montgomery gave custody to Montgomery’s maternal grandparents. Later he moved to Prince Albert, North-West Territories (now Prince Albert, Saskatchewan) when Montgomery was seven. She went to live with her maternal grandparents, Alexander Marquis Macneill and Lucy Woolner Macneill, in the nearby community of Cavendish and was raised by them in a strict and unforgiving manner. Montgomery’s early life in Cavendish was very lonely. Despite having relatives nearby, much of her childhood was spent alone. Montgomery credits this time of her life, in which she created many imaginary friends and worlds to cope with her loneliness, with developing her creativity. Montgomery completed her early education in Cavendish with the exception of one year (1890–1891) during which time she was in Prince Albert with her father and her stepmother, Mary Ann McRae. In November 1890, while in Prince Albert, Montgomery’s first work, a poem entitled “On Cape LeForce,” was published in the Charlottetown paper, The Daily Patriot. She was as excited about this as she was about her return to her beloved Prince Edward Island in 1891. The return to Cavendish was a great relief to her. Her time in Prince Albert was unhappy, for she did not get along with her stepmother and because by, “... Maud’s account, her father’s marriage was not a happy one.” In 1893, following the completion of her grade school education in Cavendish, she attended Prince of Wales College in Charlottetown, and obtained a teacher’s license. She completed the two-year program in one year. In 1895 and 1896, she studied literature at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Writing career, romantic interests, and family life Published books and suitors Upon leaving Dalhousie, Montgomery worked as a teacher in various Prince Edward Island schools. Though she did not enjoy teaching, it afforded her time to write. Beginning in 1897, she began to have her short stories published in magazines and newspapers. Montgomery was prolific and had over 100 stories published from 1897 to 1907. During her teaching years, Montgomery had numerous love interests. As a highly fashionable young woman, she enjoyed “slim, good looks” and won the attention of several young men. In 1889, at 14, Montgomery began a relationship with a Cavendish boy named Nate Lockhart. To Montgomery, the relationship was merely a humorous and witty friendship. It ended abruptly when Montgomery refused his marriage proposal. The early 1890s brought unwelcome advances from John A. Mustard and Will Pritchard. Mustard, her teacher, quickly became her suitor; he tried to impress her with his knowledge of religious matters. His best topics of conversation were his thoughts on Predestination and “other dry points of theology”, which held little appeal for Montgomery. During the period when Mustard’s interest became more pronounced, Montgomery found a new interest in Will Pritchard, the brother of her friend Laura Pritchard. This friendship was more amiable but, again, he felt more for Montgomery than she did for him. When Pritchard sought to take their friendship further, Montgomery resisted. Montgomery refused both marriage proposals; the former was too narrow-minded, and the latter was merely a good chum. She ended the period of flirtation when she moved to Prince Edward Island. However, she and Pritchard did continue to correspond for over six years, until Pritchard caught influenza and died in 1897. In 1897, Montgomery accepted the proposal of Edwin Simpson, who was a student in French River near Cavendish. Montgomery wrote that she accepted his proposal out of a desire for “love and protection” and because she felt her prospects were rather low. While teaching in Lower Bedeque, she had a brief but passionate romantic attachment to Herman Leard, a member of the family with which she boarded. In 1898, after much unhappiness and disillusionment, Montgomery broke off her engagement to Simpson. Montgomery no longer sought romantic love. In 1898, Montgomery moved back to Cavendish to live with her widowed grandmother. For a nine-month period between 1901 and 1902, she worked in Halifax as a substitute proofreader for the newspapers Morning Chronicle and The Daily Echo. Montgomery was inspired to write her first books during this time on Prince Edward Island. Until her grandmother’s death in March 1911, Montgomery stayed in Cavendish to take care of her. This coincided with a period of considerable income from her publications. Although she enjoyed this income, she was aware that “marriage was a necessary choice for women in Canada.” Marriage and family In 1908, Montgomery published her first book, Anne of Green Gables. An immediate success, it established Montgomery’s career, and she would write and publish material (Including numerous sequels to Anne) continuously for the rest of her life. Shortly after her grandmother’s death in 1911, she married Ewen (spelled in her notes and letters as “Ewan”) Macdonald (1870–1943), a Presbyterian minister, and they moved to Ontario where he had taken the position of minister of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Leaskdale in present-day Uxbridge Township, also affiliated with the congregation in nearby Zephyr. Montgomery wrote her next eleven books from the Leaskdale manse. The structure was subsequently sold by the congregation and is now the Lucy Maud Montgomery Leaskdale Manse Museum. The Macdonalds had three sons; the second was stillborn. The great increase of Montgomery’s writings in Leaskdale is the result of her need to escape the hardships of real life. Montgomery underwent several periods of depression while trying to cope with the duties of motherhood and church life and with her husband’s attacks of religious melancholia (endogenous major depressive disorder) and deteriorating health: "For a woman who had given the world so much joy, [life] was mostly an unhappy one." For much of her life, writing was her one great solace. Also, during this time, Montgomery was engaged in a series of "acrimonious, expensive, and trying lawsuits with the publisher L.C. Page, that dragged on until she finally won in 1929.” Montgomery stopped writing about Anne in about 1920, writing in her journal that she had tired of the character. She preferred instead to create books about other young, female characters, feeling that her strength was writing about characters who were either very young or very old. Other series written by Montgomery include the “Emily” and “Pat” books, which, while successful, did not reach the same level of public acceptance as the “Anne” volumes. She also wrote a number of stand-alone novels, which were also generally successful, if not as successful as her Anne books. Later life In 1926, the family moved into the Norval Presbyterian Charge, in present-day Halton Hills, Ontario, where today the Lucy Maud Montgomery Memorial Garden can be seen from Highway 7. In 1935, upon her husband’s retirement, Montgomery moved to Swansea, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto, buying a house which she named Journey’s End, situated on Riverside Drive along the east bank of the Humber River. Montgomery continued to write, and (in addition to writing other material) returned to writing about Anne after a 15-year hiatus, filling in previously unexplored gaps in the chronology she had developed for the character. She published Anne of Windy Poplars in 1936 and Anne of Ingleside in 1939. Jane of Lantern Hill, a non-Anne novel, was also composed around this time and published in 1937. In the last year of her life, Montgomery completed what she intended to be a ninth book featuring Anne, titled The Blythes Are Quoted. It included fifteen short stories (many of which were previously published) that she revised to include Anne and her family as mainly peripheral characters; forty-one poems (most of which were previously published) that she attributed to Anne and to her son Walter, who died as a soldier in the Great War; and vignettes featuring the Blythe family members discussing the poems. The book was delivered to Montgomery’s publisher on the day of her death, but for reasons unexplained, the publisher declined to issue the book at the time. Montgomery scholar Benjamin Lefebvre speculates that the book’s dark tone and anti-war message (Anne speaks very bitterly of WWI in one passage) may have made the volume unsuitable to publish in the midst of the second world war. An abridged version of this book, which shortened and reorganized the stories and omitted all the vignettes and all but one of the poems, was published as a collection of short stories called The Road to Yesterday in 1974, more than 30 years after the original work had been submitted. A complete edition of The Blythes Are Quoted, edited by Benjamin Lefebvre, was finally published in its entirety by Viking Canada in October 2009, more than 67 years after it was composed. Death Montgomery died on April 24, 1942. A note was found beside her bed, reading, in part, “I have lost my mind by spells and I do not dare think what I may do in those spells. May God forgive me and I hope everyone else will forgive me even if they cannot understand. My position is too awful to endure and nobody realizes it. What an end to a life in which I tried always to do my best.” Montgomery died from coronary thrombosis in Toronto. However, it was revealed by her granddaughter, Kate Macdonald Butler, in September 2008 that Montgomery suffered from depression– possibly as a result of caring for her mentally ill husband for decades– and may have taken her own life via a drug overdose. But, there is another point of view. According to Mary Rubio, who wrote a biography of Montgomery, Lucy Maud Montgomery: The Gift of Wings (2008), the message may have been intended to be a journal entry as part of a journal that can no longer be found, rather than a simple suicide note. During her lifetime, Montgomery published 20 novels, over 500 short stories, an autobiography, and a book of poetry. Aware of her fame, by 1920 Montgomery began editing and recopying her journals, presenting her life as she wanted it remembered. In doing so certain episodes were changed or omitted. She was buried at the Cavendish Community Cemetery in Cavendish following her wake in the Green Gables farmhouse and funeral in the local Presbyterian church. Legacy Collections The L. M. Montgomery Institute, founded in 1993, at the University of Prince Edward Island, promotes scholarly inquiry into the life, works, culture, and influence of L. M. Montgomery and coordinates most of the research and conferences surrounding her work. The Montgomery Institute collection consists of novels, manuscripts, texts, letters, photographs, sound recordings and artifacts and other Montgomery ephemera. Her major collections are archived at the University of Guelph. The first biography of Montgomery was The Wheel of Things: A Biography of L. M. Montgomery (1975), written by Mollie Gillen. Dr. Gillen also discovered over 40 of Montgomery’s letters to her pen-friend George Boyd MacMillan in Scotland and used them as the basis for her work. Beginning in the 1980s, her complete journals, edited by Mary Rubio and Elizabeth Waterston, were published by the Oxford University Press. From 1988–95, editor Rea Wilmshurst collected and published numerous short stories by Montgomery. Most of her essays, along with interviews with Montgomery, commentary on her work, and coverage of her death and funeral, appear in Benjamin Lefebvre’s The L. M. Montgomery Reader, Volume 1: A Life in Print (2013). Despite the fact that Montgomery published over twenty books, “she never felt she achieved her one 'great’ book”. Her readership, however, has always found her characters and stories to be among the best in fiction. Mark Twain said Montgomery’s Anne was “the dearest and most moving and delightful child since the immortal Alice". Montgomery was honoured by being the first female in Canada to be named a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in England and by being invested in the Order of the British Empire in 1935. However, her fame was not limited to Canadian audiences. Anne of Green Gables became a success worldwide. For example, every year, thousands of Japanese tourists “make a pilgrimage to a green-gabled Victorian farmhouse in the town of Cavendish on Prince Edward Island”. In 2012, the original novel Anne of Green Gables was ranked number nine among all-time best children’s novels in a survey published by School Library Journal, a monthly with primarily U.S. audience. The British public ranked it number 41 among all novels in The Big Read, a 2003 BBC survey to determine the “nation’s best-loved novel”. Landmarked places Montgomery’s home of Leaskdale Manse in Ontario, and the area surrounding Green Gables and her Cavendish home in Prince Edward Island, have both been designated National Historic Sites. Montgomery herself was designated a Person of National Historic Significance by the Government of Canada in 1943. Bala’s Museum in Bala, Ontario, is a house museum established in 1992. Officially it is “Bala’s Museum with Memories of Lucy Maud Montgomery”, for Montgomery and her family stayed in the boarding house during a July 1922 holiday that inspired her novel The Blue Castle (1926). The museum hosts some events pertaining to Montgomery or her fiction, including re-enactment of the holiday visit. Honours and awards Montgomery was honoured by Britain’s King George V as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), as there were no Canadian orders, decorations or medals for civilians until the 1970s. Montgomery was named a National Historic Person in 1943 by the Canadian federal government. Her Ontario residence was designated a National Historic Site (NHS) in 1997 (Leaskdale Manse NHS), while the place that inspired her famous novels, Green Gables, was designated “L. M. Montgomery’s Cavendish NHS” in 2004. On May 15, 1975, the Post Office Department issued a stamp to “Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables” designed by Peter Swan and typographed by Bernard N. J. Reilander. The 8¢ stamps are perforated 13 and were printed by Ashton-Potter Limited. A pair of stamps was issued in 2008 by Canada Post, marking the centennial of the publication of Montgomery’s classic first novel. The City of Toronto named a park for her (Lucy Maud Montgomery Park) and in 1983 placed a historical marker there near the house where she lived from 1935 until her death in 1942. On November 30, 2015 (her 141st birthday), Google honoured Lucy Maud Montgomery with a Google Doodle published in twelve countries. Works Novels Anne of Green Gables series * Anne of Green Gables (1908) * Anne of Avonlea (1909) * Anne of the Island (1915) * Anne of Windy Poplars (1936) * Anne’s House of Dreams (1917) * Anne of Ingleside (1939) * Rainbow Valley (1919) * Rilla of Ingleside (1921) * The Blythes Are Quoted (2009)—was given to publisher the day before her death and lost. Finally found in mid–2000s. Emily trilogy * Emily of New Moon (1923) * Emily Climbs (1925) * Emily’s Quest (1927) Pat of Silver Bush * Pat of Silver Bush (1933) * Mistress Pat (1935) The Story Girl * The Story Girl (1911) * The Golden Road (1913) Miscellaneous * Kilmeny of the Orchard (1910) * The Blue Castle (1926) * Magic for Marigold (1929) * A Tangled Web (1931) * Jane of Lantern Hill (1937) Poetry * The Watchman & Other Poems (1916) * The Poetry of Lucy Maud Montgomery, selected by John Ferns and Kevin McCabe (1987) Non-fiction * Courageous Women (1934) (with Marian Keith and Mabel Burns McKinley) Autobiography * The Alpine Path: The Story of My Career (1974; originally published in Everywoman’s World in 1917) * The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery (5 vols.), edited by Mary Rubio and Elizabeth Waterston (1985–2004) * The Complete Journals of L.M. Montgomery: The PEI Years 1889-1911 (2 vols.), edited by Mary Henley Rubio and Elizabeth Hillman Waterston (2012-2014) References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucy_Maud_Montgomery

William Topaz McGonagall

William Topaz McGonagall (March 1825 – 29 September 1902) was a Scottish weaver, doggerel poet and actor. He won notoriety as an extremely bad poet who exhibited no recognition of, or concern for, his peers' opinions of his work. He wrote about 200 poems, including his notorious "The Tay Bridge Disaster" and "The Famous Tay Whale", which are widely regarded as some of the worst in English literature. Groups throughout Scotland engaged him to make recitations from his work and contemporary descriptions of these performances indicate that many listeners were appreciating McGonagall's skill as a comic music hall character. Collections of his verse remain popular, with several volumes available today. McGonagall has been acclaimed as the worst poet in British history. The chief criticisms are that he is deaf to poetic metaphor and unable to scan correctly. McGonagall's fame stems from the humorous effects these shortcomings generate in his work. The inappropriate rhythms, weak vocabulary, and ill-advised imagery combine to make his work amongst the most unintentionally amusing dramatic poetry in the English language. His work is in a long tradition of narrative ballads and verse written and published about great events and tragedies, and widely circulated among the local population as handbills. In an age before radio and television, their voice was one way of communicating important news to an avid public. References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_McGonagall

Edgar Lee Masters

Edgar Lee Masters (August 23, 1868– March 5, 1950) was an American attorney, poet, biographer, and dramatist. He is the author of Spoon River Anthology, The New Star Chamber and Other Essays, Songs and Satires, The Great Valley, The Serpent in the Wilderness An Obscure Tale, The Spleen, Mark Twain: A Portrait, Lincoln: The Man, and Illinois Poems. In all, Masters published twelve plays, twenty-one books of poetry, six novels and six biographies, including those of Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, Vachel Lindsay, and Walt Whitman. Life and career Born in Garnett, Kansas to attorney Hardin Wallace Masters and Emma J. Dexter, his father had briefly moved to set up a law practice, then soon moved back to his paternal grandparents’ farm near Petersburg in Menard County, Illinois. In 1880 they moved to Lewistown, Illinois, where he attended high school and had his first publication in the Chicago Daily News. The culture around Lewistown, in addition to the town’s cemetery at Oak Hill, and the nearby Spoon River were the inspirations for many of his works, most notably Spoon River Anthology, his most famous and acclaimed work. He attended Knox Academy in 1889–90, a now defunct preparatory program run by Knox College, but was forced to leave due to his family’s inability to finance his education. After working in his father’s law office, he was admitted to the Illinois bar and moved to Chicago, where he established a law partnership in 1893 with the law firm of Kickham Scanlan. He married twice. In 1898 he married Helen M. Jenkins, the daughter of Robert Edwin Jenkins, a lawyer in Chicago, and had three children. During his law partnership with Clarence Darrow from 1903 to 1908, Masters defended the poor. In 1911 he started his own law firm, despite three years of unrest (1908–11) caused by extramarital affairs and an argument with Darrow. Two of his children followed him with literary careers. His daughter Marcia pursued poetry, while his son Hilary Masters became a novelist. Hilary and his half-brother Hardin wrote a memoir of their father. Masters died at a nursing home on March 5, 1950, in Melrose Park, Pennsylvania, age 81. He is buried in Oakland cemetery in Petersburg, Illinois. His epitaph includes his poem, “To-morrow is My Birthday” from Toward the Gulf (1918): Good friends, let’s to the fields…After a little walk and by your pardon, I think I’ll sleep, there is no sweeter thing.Nor fate more blessed than to sleep. I am a dream out of a blessed sleep-Let’s walk, and hear the lark. Family history Edgar’s father was Hardin Wallace Masters, whose father was Squire Davis Masters, whose father was Thomas Masters, whose father was Hillery Masters, the son of Robert Masters (born c. 1715, Prince George’s County, Maryland, the son of William W. Masters and wife Mary Veatch Masters). Edgar Lee Masters wrote in his autobiography, Across Spoon River (1936), that his ancestor Hillery Masters was the son of “Knotteley” Masters, but family genealogies show that Hillery and Notley Masters were, in fact, brothers. Poetry Masters first published his early poems and essays under the pseudonym Dexter Wallace (after his mother’s maiden name and his father’s middle name) until the year 1903, when he joined the law firm of Clarence Darrow. Masters began developing as a notable American poet in 1914, when he began a series of poems (this time under the pseudonym Webster Ford) about his childhood experiences in Western Illinois, which appeared in Reedy’s Mirror, a St. Louis publication. In 1915 the series was bound into a volume and re-titled Spoon River Anthology. Years later, he wrote a memorable and invaluable account of the book’s background and genesis, his working methods and influences, as well as its reception by the critics, favorable and hostile, in an autobiographical article notable for its human warmth and general interest. Although he never matched the success of his Spoon River Anthology, he did publish several other volumes of poems including Book of Verses in 1898, Songs and Sonnets in 1910, The Great Valley in 1916, Song and Satires in 1916, The Open Sea in 1921, The New Spoon River in 1924, Lee in 1926, Jack Kelso in 1928, Lichee Nuts in 1930, Gettysburg, Manila, Acoma in 1930, Godbey, sequel to Jack Kelso in 1931, The Serpent in the Wilderness in 1933, Richmond in 1934, Invisible Landscapes in 1935, The Golden Fleece of California in 1936, Poems of People in 1936, The New World in 1937, More People in 1939, Illinois Poems in 1941, and Along the Illinois in 1942. Lincoln: the Man In 1931 Masters published the biography Lincoln: the Man, which demythologizes Abraham Lincoln, portraying him as a tool of bankers wanting a new Bank of the United States, “that political system which doles favors to the strong in order to win and keep their adherence to the government”, and advocates “a people taxed to make profits for enterprises that cannot stand alone”. He claimed the Whig Party led by Lincoln’s mentor Henry Clay “had no platform to announce because its principles were plunder and nothing else.” Quotations from the book: “The political history of America has been written for the most part by those who were unfriendly to the theory of a confederated republic, or who did not understand it. It has been written by devotees of the protective principle [tariff], by centralists, and to a large degree by New England.” “For in six weeks he was to inaugurate a war without the American people having anything to say about it. He was to call for and send troops into the South, and thus stir that psychology of hate and fear from which a people cannot extricate themselves, though knowing and saying that the war was started by usurpation. Did he mean that he would bow to the American people when the law was laid down by their courts, through which alone the law be interpreted as the Constitutional voice of the people? No, he did not mean that; because when Taney decided that Lincoln had no power to suspend the writ of habeas corpus, Lincoln flouted and trampled the decision of the court.” “The War between the States demonstrated that salvation is not of the Jews, but of the Greeks. The World War added to this proof; for Wilson did many things that Lincoln did, and with Lincoln as authority for doing them. Perhaps it will happen again that a few men, deciding what is a cause of war, and what is necessary to its successful prosecution, may, as Lincoln and Wilson did, seal the lips of discussion and shackle the press; but no less the ideal of a just state, which has founded itself in reason and in free speech, will remain.” Notable works Poetry * A Book of Verses (1898) * Songs and Sonnets (1910) * Spoon River Anthology (1915) * Songs and Satires (1916) * Fiddler Jones (1916) * The Great Valley (New York: Macmillan Co., 1916) * Toward the Gulf (New York: Macmillan Co., 1918) * Starved Rock (New York: Macmillan Co., 1919) * Jack Kelso: A Dramatic Poem (1920) * Domesday Book (New York: Macmillan Co., 1920) * The Open Sea (New York: Macmillan Co., 1921) * The New Spoon River (New York: Macmillan Co., 1924) * Selected Poems (1925) * Lichee-Nut Poems (American Mercury, Jan. 1925) * Lee: A Dramatic Poem (1926) * Godbey: A Dramatic Poem (1931), sequel to Jack Kelso (1920) * The Serpent in the Wilderness (1933) * Richmond: A Dramatic Poem (1934) * Invisible Landscapes (1935) * Poems of People (1936) * The Golden Fleece of California (1936) (poetic narrative) * The New World (1937) * More People (1939) * Illinois Poems (1941) * Along the Illinois (1942) * Silence (1946) * George Gray * Many Soldiers * The Unknown Biographies * Children of the Market Place: A Fictitious Autobiography (New York: Macmillan Co., 1922). Life of Stephen Douglas. * Levy Mayer and the New Industrial Era (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1927). Chicago attorney Levy Mayer (1858-1922). * Lincoln: The Man (1931) * Vachel Lindsay: A Poet in America (1935) * Across Spoon River: An Autobiography (memoir) (1936) * Whitman (1937) * Mark Twain: A Portrait (1938) Books * The New Star Chamber and Other Essays (1904) * The Blood of the Prophets (1905) (play) * Althea (1907) (play) * The Trifler (1908) (play) * Mitch Miller (novel) (1920) * Skeeters Kirby (novel) (1923) * The Nuptial Flight (novel) (1923) * Kit O’Brien (novel) (1927) * The Fate of the Jury: An Epilogue to Domesday Book (1929) * Gettysburg, Manila, Acoma: Three Plays (1930) * The Tale of Chicago (1933) * The Tide of Time (novel) (1937) * The Sangamon (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1942, 1988) Awards & honors Masters was awarded the Mark Twain Silver Medal in 1936, the Poetry Society of America medal in 1941, the Academy of American Poets Fellowship in 1942, and the Shelly Memorial Award in 1944. In 2014, he was inducted into the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame. References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Lee_Masters

Walter de la Mare

Walter John de la Mare (/ˈdɛləˌmɛər/; 25 April 1873– 22 June 1956) was an English poet, short story writer and novelist. He is probably best remembered for his works for children, for his poem “The Listeners”, and for subtle psychological horror stories, amongst them “Seaton’s Aunt” and “Out of the Deep”. His 1921 novel Memoirs of a Midget won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction, and his post-war Collected Stories for Children won the 1947 Carnegie Medal for British children’s books. Life De la Mare was born in Kent at 83 Maryon Road, Charlton (now part of the Royal Borough of Greenwich), partly descended from a family of French Huguenots, and was educated at St Paul’s Cathedral School. He was born to James Edward de la Mare, a principal at the Bank of England, and Lucy Sophia Browning (James’ second wife), daughter of Scottish naval surgeon and author Dr Colin Arrott Browning. The suggestion that Lucy was related to poet Robert Browning has been found to be incorrect. He had two brothers, Francis Arthur Edward and James Herbert, and four sisters Florence Mary, Constance Eliza, Ethel (who died in infancy), and Ada Mary. De la Mare preferred to be known as 'Jack’ by his family and friends as he disliked the name Walter. In 1892 de la Mare joined the Esperanza Amateur Dramatics Club where he met and fell in love with Elfrida Ingpen, the leading lady, who was ten years older than he. They were married on 4 August 1899 and they went on to have four children: Richard Herbert Ingpen, Colin, Florence and Lucy Elfrida de la Mare. Their house at Anerley in south London was the scene of many parties, notable for imaginative games of charades. De la Mare’s first book, Songs of Childhood, was published under the name Walter Ramal. He worked in the statistics department of the London office of Standard Oil for eighteen years to support his family, but nevertheless found time to write. In 1908, through the efforts of Sir Henry Newbolt he received a Civil List pension which enabled him to concentrate on writing. In 1940, his wife Elfrida was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and spent the rest of her life as an invalid, eventually dying in 1943. From 1940 until his death, de la Mare lived in South End House, Montpelier Row, Twickenham, the same street on which Alfred, Lord Tennyson had lived a century earlier. For the Collected Stories for Children (Faber & Faber, 1947), he won the annual Carnegie Medal from the Library Association, recognising the year’s best children’s book by a British subject. It was the first collection to win the award. De la Mare suffered from a coronary thrombosis in 1947 and died of another in 1956. He spent his final year mostly bed-ridden, being cared for by a nurse whom he loved but never had a physical relationship with. His ashes are buried in the crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral, where he had once been a choirboy. The imagination De la Mare described two distinct “types” of imagination– although “aspects” might be a better term: the childlike and the boylike. It was at the border between the two that Shakespeare, Dante, and the rest of the great poets lay. De la Mare claimed that all children fall into the category of having a childlike imagination at first, which is usually replaced at some point in their lives. He explained in the lecture “Rupert Brooke and the Intellectual Imagination” that children “are not bound in by their groping senses. Facts to them are the liveliest of chameleons.... They are contemplatives, solitaries, fakirs, who sink again and again out of the noise and fever of existence and into a waking vision.” His biographer Doris Ross McCrosson summarises this passage, “Children are, in short, visionaries.” This visionary view of life can be seen as either vital creativity and ingenuity, or fatal disconnection from reality (or, in a limited sense, both). The increasing intrusions of the external world upon the mind, however, frighten the childlike imagination, which “retires like a shocked snail into its shell”. From then onward the boyish imagination flourishes, the “intellectual, analytical type”. By adulthood (de la Mare proposed), the childlike imagination has either retreated for ever or grown bold enough to face the real world. Thus emerge the two extremes of the spectrum of adult minds: the mind moulded by the boylike is “logical” and “deductive”. That shaped by the childlike becomes “intuitive, inductive”. For de la Mare, “The one knows that beauty is truth, the other reveals that truth is beauty.” Yet another way he puts it is that the visionary’s source of poetry is within, while the intellectual’s sources are without– external– in “action, knowledge of things, and experience” (McCrosson’s terms). De la Mare hastens to add that this does not make the intellectual’s poetry any less good, but it is clear where his own preference lies. Come Hither Come Hither was an anthology, edited by de la Mare, mostly of poetry with some prose. It has a frame story, and can be read on several levels. It was first published in 1923, and was a success; further editions followed. Alongside children’s literature it includes a selection of the leading Georgian poets (from de la Mare’s perspective). Supernaturalism De la Mare was also a significant writer of ghost stories. John Clute comments that "in his long career, de la Mare seems to have published about 100 stories, of which about eighty-five have been collected. At least forty of these have supernatural content". Many of de la Mare’s ghost stories can be found in the collections Eight Tales, The Riddle and Other Stories, The Connoisseur and Other Stories, On the Edge and The Wind Blows Over. His complete short stories have now been published in three volumes issued by Giles de la Mare Publishers, London. De la Mare also wrote two supernatural novels, Henry Brocken (1904) and The Return (1910). His poem The Ghost Chase appeared in Punch magazine, 26 March 1941 (page 299), and was illustrated by Rowland Emett. De la Mare’s supernatural writings were a favourite of H. P. Lovecraft, who in his classic study Supernatural Horror in Literature noted that de la Mare’s supernatural horror fiction features “a keen potency which only a rare master can achieve”, especially praising de la Mare’s novel The Return and such of his stories as “Seaton’s Aunt”, “The Tree”, “Out of the Deep”, “Mr Kempe”, “A Recluse” and “All Hallows”. Gary William Crawford has described de la Mare’s supernatural fiction for adults as being “among the finest to appear in the first half of this century”. Boucher and McComas, however, dismissed his 1949 Collected Tales, saying that “we freely admit we find Mr de la Mare’s self-consciously subtle wordiness unreadable”. Several later writers of supernatural fiction, including Robert Aickman, Ramsey Campbell, David A. McIntee and Reggie Oliver, have cited de la Mare’s ghostly fiction as inspirational. The horror scholar S. T. Joshi has said that de la Mare’s supernatural fiction “should always have an audience that will shudder apprehensively at its horror and be moved to somber reflection by its pensive philosophy”. For children, de la Mare wrote the fairy tale The Three Mulla Mulgars (1910, AKA The Three Royal Monkeys), praised by the literary historian Julia Briggs as a “neglected masterpiece” and by the critic Brian Stableford as a “classic animal fantasy”. Writer Joan Aiken cited some of his short stories, such as “The Almond Tree” and “Sambo and the Snow Mountains”, for their sometimes unexplained quality, which she also employed in her own work. Works Novels * Henry Brocken (1904) * The Three Mulla Mulgars (1910) (edition illustrated by Dorothy P. Lathrop (1919)) also published as The Three Royal Monkeys (children’s novel) * The Return (1910; revised edition 1922; second revised edition 1945) * Memoirs of a Midget (1921) * Mr. Bumps and His Monkey (1942) (illustrated by Dorothy P. Lathrop) Short story collections * The Riddle and Other Stories (1923) * Ding Dong Bell (1924) * Broomsticks and Other Tales (1925) (children’s stories) * The Connoisseur and Other Stories (1926) * On the Edge (1930) * The Lord Fish (1930) (children’s stories) * The Dutch Cheese (1931) (editions illustrated by Dorothy P. Lathrop (1931) and Irene Hawkins (1947)) (children’s stories) * The Walter de la Mare Omnibus (1933) * The Wind Blows Over (1936) * The Nap and Other Stories (1936) * Stories, Essays and Poems (1938) * The Best Stories of Walter de la Mare (1942) * Collected Stories for Children (1947) (editions illustrated by Irene Hawkins (1947) and Robin Jacques (1957)) * A Beginning and Other Stories (1955) * Eight Tales (1971) * Walter de la Mare, Short Stories 1895–1926 (1996), Walter de la Mare, Short Stories 1927–1956 (2000), and Walter de la Mare, Short Stories for Children (2006) (Complete edition, ed. Giles de la Mare) Poetry collections * Songs of Childhood (1902) * The Listeners (1912) * Peacock Pie (1913) (editions illustrated by W. Heath Robinson [1916], Claud Lovat Fraser [1924], Rowland Emett [1941] and Edward Ardizzone [1946]) * The Sunken Garden and Other Poems (1917) * The Marionettes (1918) * The Veil and Other Poems (1921) * Down-Adown-Derry: A Book of Fairy Poems (1922) (illustrated by Dorothy P. Lathrop) * Stuff and Nonsense and So On (1927) (editions illustrated by Bold [1927] and Margaret Wolpe [1946]) * Bells and Grass (1941) (editions illustrated by Rowland Emett [1941] and Dorothy P. Lathrop [1942]) * Time Passes and Other Poems (1942) * O Lovely England (1952) * Walter de la Mare: The Complete Poems, ed. Giles de la Mare (1969) Plays * Crossings: A Fairy Play (1921) (edition illustrated by Dorothy P. Lathrop (1923)) Nonfiction * Some Women Novelists of the 'Seventies (1929) * Desert Islands and Robinson Crusoe (1930) * “The Early Novels of Wilkie Collins” (1932) Anthologies edited * Come Hither (1923; new and revised edition, 1928; third edition, reset and printed from new plates, 1957) * Early One Morning, in the Spring: Chapters on Children and on Childhood As It Is Revealed in Particular in Early Memories and in Early Writings (1935) * Behold, This Dreamer!: Of Reverie, Night, Sleep, Dream, Love-Dreams, Nightmare, Death, the Unconscious, the Imagination, Divination, the Artist, and Kindred Subjects (1939) * Love (1943) References in other works * De la Mare’s play Crossings has an important role in Robertson Davies’ novel The Manticore. In 1944, when the protagonist David Staunton is sixteen, de la Mare’s play is produced by the pupils of his sister’s school in Toronto, Canada. Staunton falls deeply in love with the girl playing the main role– a first love which would have a profound effect on the rest of his life. References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_de_la_Mare

Thomas Merton

Thomas Merton (January 31, 1915 – December 10, 1968) was an American Trappist monk, writer, theologian, mystic, poet, social activist, and scholar of comparative religion. On May 26, 1949, he was ordained to the priesthood and given the name Father Louis.Merton wrote more than 70 books, mostly on spirituality, social justice and a quiet pacifism, as well as scores of essays and reviews. Among Merton’s most enduring works is his bestselling autobiography The Seven Storey Mountain (1948), which sent scores of World War II veterans, students, and even teenagers flocking to monasteries across the US, and was also featured in National Review’s list of the 100 best non-fiction books of the century. Merton was a keen proponent of interfaith understanding. He pioneered dialogue with prominent Asian spiritual figures, including the Dalai Lama, the Japanese writer D. T. Suzuki, the Thai Buddhist monk Buddhadasa, and the Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh, and authored books on Zen Buddhism and Taoism. In the years since his death, Merton has been the subject of several biographies. Biography Early life Thomas Merton was born in Prades, Pyrénées-Orientales, France, on January 31, 1915, to Owen Merton, a New Zealand painter active in Europe and the United States, and Ruth Jenkins, an American Quaker and artist. He was baptized in the Church of England, in accordance with his father’s wishes. Merton’s father was often absent during his son’s upbringing. During World War I, in August 1915, the Merton family left France for the United States. They settled first with Ruth’s parents on Long Island, New York, and then near them in Douglaston, New York. In 1917, the family moved into an old house in Flushing, New York, where Merton’s brother, John Paul, was born on November 2, 1918. The family was considering returning to France when Ruth was diagnosed with stomach cancer, from which she died on October 21, 1921, in Bellevue Hospital. Merton was six years old.In 1922, Owen Merton and Thomas traveled briefly to Bermuda, where Owen fell in love with the American novelist Evelyn Scott, a married woman. Still grieving for his mother, Thomas never quite warmed to Scott. Happy to get away from Scott, Thomas returned to Douglaston in 1923 to live with his mother’s family and his brother. Owen Merton, Scott, and her husband sailed to Europe and traveled through France, Italy, England and Algeria. During the winter of 1924, while in Algeria, Owen Merton became ill and was thought to be near death. The news of his father’s illness filled Thomas with anxiety.By March 1925, Owen Merton was well enough to organize a show of his paintings at the Leicester Galleries in London. He then returned to New York and took Thomas to live with him in Saint-Antonin, France. Thomas returned to France with mixed feelings, as he had lived with his grandparents for the last two years and had become attached to them. During their travels, Merton’s father and Scott had discussed marriage on occasion. After the trip to New York, Owen Merton realized that Thomas would not be reconciled to Scott and broke off his relationship with her. France 1926 In 1926, when Merton was eleven, his father enrolled him in a boys’ boarding school in Montauban, the Lycée Ingres. There, Merton felt lonely, depressed and abandoned. During his initial months at the school, Merton begged his father to remove him. With time, however, he grew comfortable with his surroundings. He befriended a circle of aspiring writers at the Lycée and he himself wrote two novels.Sundays at the Lycée offered a nearby Catholic Mass, but Merton never attended, instead often taking an early train home. A Protestant clergyman came Sundays to teach at the Lycée to those who did not attend Mass, but Merton took scant interest. During the Christmas breaks of 1926 and 1927, he spent his time with friends of his father in Murat, Auvergne. He admired the devout Catholic couple, whom he saw as good and decent people, but religion only once came up as a topic between them. Merton expressed his belief that all religions “lead to God, only in different ways, and every man should go according to his own conscience, and settle things according to his own private way of looking at things.” He wanted them to argue with him, but they did not. As he came to understand later, they realized that his attitude “implied a fundamental and utter lack of faith, and a dependence on my own lights, and attachment to my own opinion”; furthermore, since “I did not believe in anything,... anything I might say I believed would be only empty talk.”Meanwhile, Merton’s father was traveling, painting and attending to an exhibition of his work in London. In the summer of 1928, he took Merton out of the Lycée Ingres, informing him that they were headed together to England. England 1928 Merton and his father moved to the home of Owen’s aunt and uncle in Ealing, West London. Merton was soon enrolled in Ripley Court Preparatory School, another boarding school, this one in Surrey. Merton enjoyed his studies there and benefited from a greater sense of community than had existed at the lycée. On Sundays, all students attended services at the local Anglican church. Merton began routinely praying, but discontinued the practice after leaving the school. During holidays, Merton stayed at his great-aunt and uncle’s home, where occasionally his father visited. During Easter vacation in 1929, Merton and Owen went to Canterbury. Merton enjoyed the countryside around Canterbury, taking long walks. When the holiday ended, Owen returned to France, Merton to Ripley. Toward the end of that year, Merton learned that his father was ill and living in Ealing. Merton went to see him and together they left for Scotland, where a friend had offered his house for Owen’s recovery. Shortly after, Owen was taken to London to the North Middlesex Hospital. Merton soon learned his father had a brain tumor. He took the news badly, but later, when he visited Owen in hospital, the latter seemed to be recovering. This eased Merton’s anxiety. In 1930, Merton was sent to Oakham School, a boarding school in Rutland, England. At the end of the first year, his grandparents and John Paul visited him. His grandfather discussed his finances, explaining that he would be provided for if Owen died. Merton and the family spent most of that summer visiting the hospital to see his father, who was so ill he could no longer speak. This caused Merton much pain. On January 16, 1931, at the start of term at Oakham, Owen died. Tom Bennett, Owen’s physician and former classmate in New Zealand, became Thomas’s legal guardian. He allowed Merton to use his unoccupied house in London during the holidays. That year, Merton visited Rome and Florence for a week and also saw his grandparents in New York. Upon his return to Oakham, Merton became joint editor of the school magazine, the Oakhamian. At that time in his life, Merton was an agnostic. In 1932, on a walking tour in Germany, he developed an infection under a toenail. He ignored it, and it developed into a case of blood poisoning so severe that at one point he thought he was going to die. But “the thought of God, the thought of prayer did not even enter my mind, either that day, or all the rest of the time that I was ill, or that whole year. Or if the thought did come to me, it was only as an occasion for its denial and rejection.” His declared “creed” was “I believe in nothing.”In September, he passed the entrance exam for Clare College, Cambridge. On his 18th birthday, and tasting new freedom, he went off on his own. He stopped in Paris and Marseille, then walked to Hyères, where he ran out of money and wired Bennett for more. Scoldingly, Bennett granted his request, which may have shown Merton he cared. Merton then walked to Saint Tropez, where he took a train to Genoa and then another to Florence. From Florence he left for Rome, a trip that in some ways changed the course of his life. Rome 1933 Two days after arriving in Rome in February 1933, Merton moved out of his hotel to a small pensione with views of Palazzo Barberini and San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, two magnificent pieces of architecture rich with history. In The Seven Storey Mountain, Merton remarks: I had been in Rome before, on an Easter vacation from school, for about a week. I had seen the Forum and the Colosseum and the Vatican museum and St. Peter’s. But I had not really seen Rome. This time, I started out again, with the misconception common to Anglo-Saxons, that the real Rome is the Rome of the ugly ruins, the hills and the slums of the city. Merton began visiting churches, not knowing why he felt drawn to them. He did not participate in Masses, but simply observed and appreciated them. One day, he happened upon a church near the Roman Forum, called Santi Cosma e Damiano. In its apse, he saw a great mosaic of Jesus Christ come in judgment in a dark blue sky and was transfixed. Merton had a hard time leaving the place, though he was unsure why. Merton had found the Rome he said he did not see on his first visit: Byzantine Christian Rome. From this point on in his trip he set about visiting the various churches and basilicas in Rome, such as the Lateran Baptistery, Santa Costanza, the Basilica di San Clemente, Santa Prassede and Santa Pudenziana (to name a few). He purchased a Vulgate (Latin Bible), reading the entire New Testament. One night in his pensione, Merton sensed for a few moments that Owen was in the room with him. The mystical experience focused him on the emptiness he felt in his life, and, for the first time, he really prayed, asking God to deliver him from darkness. The Seven Storey Mountain also describes a visit to Tre Fontane, a Trappist monastery in Rome. While visiting the church there, he was at ease, yet when entering the monastery he was overtaken with anxiety. Alone that afternoon, he remarked to himself, “I should like to become a Trappist monk.” He would eventually become a Trappist; although they are known for silence, Merton was vocal and expressive about his beliefs, especially in his writings. United States 1933 Merton took a boat from Italy to the United States to visit his grandparents in Douglaston for the summer, before entering Clare College. Initially he retained some of the spirit he had had in Rome, continuing to read his Latin Bible. He wanted to find a church to attend, but had still not quite quelled his antipathy towards Catholicism. He went to Zion Episcopal Church in Douglaston, but was irritated by the services there, so he went to Flushing, New York, and attended a Quaker Meeting. Merton appreciated the silence of the atmosphere but did not feel at home with the group. By mid-summer, he had lost nearly all the interest in organized religion that he had found in Rome. At the end of the summer he returned to England. College Cambridge University In October 1933, Merton entered Clare College as an undergraduate. Merton, now 18, seems to have viewed Clare College as the end-all answer to his life without meaning. In The Seven Storey Mountain, the brief chapter on Cambridge paints a fairly dark, negative picture of his life there but is short on detail. Some of Merton’s Oakham schoolmates, who had gone up to Cambridge at the same time, recalled that Merton drifted away and became isolated there. He drank to excess, frequenting local pubs instead of studying. He also indulged in sexual licence, with some friends calling him a womanizer. He spent freely—far too freely in Bennett’s opinion—and was summoned for the first of what was to be a series of stern lectures in his guardian’s London consulting rooms. Although details are sketchy—they appear to have been excised from a franker first draft of the autobiography by the Trappist censors—most of Merton’s biographers agree that he fathered a child with one of the women he encountered at Cambridge and there was some kind of legal action pending that was settled discreetly by Bennett. By any account, this child has never been identified.By this time Bennett had had enough and, in a meeting in April, Merton and his guardian appear to have struck a deal: Merton would return to the United States and Bennett would not tell Merton’s grandparents about his indiscretions. In May Merton left Cambridge after completing his exams. Columbia University In January 1935, Merton enrolled as a sophomore at Columbia University in Manhattan. He lived with the Jenkins family in Douglaston and took a train to the Columbia campus each day. Merton’s years at Columbia matured him, and it is here that he discovered Catholicism in a real sense. These years were also a time in his life where he realized others were more accepting of him as an individual. In short, at 21 he was an equal among his peers. At that time he established a close and long-lasting friendship with the proto-minimalist painter Ad Reinhardt. Merton began an 18th-century English literature course during the spring semester taught by Mark Van Doren, a professor with whom he maintained a friendship until death. Van Doren did not teach his students in any traditional sense; instead he engaged them, sharing his love of literature. Merton was also interested in Communism at Columbia, where he briefly joined the Young Communist League; however, the first meeting he attended failed to interest him further, and he never went back. During summer break, John Paul returned home from Gettysburg Academy in Pennsylvania. The two brothers spent their summer breaks bonding with each other, claiming later to have seen every movie produced between 1934 and 1937. When the fall semester arrived, John Paul left to enroll at Cornell University while Tom returned to Columbia. He began working for two school papers, a humor magazine called the Jester and the Columbia Review. Also on the Jester’s staff were the poet Robert Lax and the journalist Ed Rice. Lax and Merton became best friends and kept up a lively correspondence until Merton’s death; Rice later founded the Catholic magazine Jubilee, to which Merton frequently contributed essays. Merton also became a member of Alpha Delta Phi that semester and joined the Philolexian Society, the campus literary and debate group. In October 1935, in protest of Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia, Merton joined a picket of the Casa Italiana. The Casa Italiana, established in 1926, was conceived of by Columbia and the Italian government as a “university within a university”. Merton also joined the local peace movement, having taken “the Oxford Pledge” to not support any government in any war they might undertake. In 1936, Merton’s grandfather, Samuel Jenkins, died. Merton and his grandfather had grown rather close through the years, and Merton immediately left school for home upon receiving the news. He states that, without thinking, he went to the room where his grandfather’s body was and knelt down to pray over him. In February 1937, Merton read a book that opened his mind to Catholicism, The Spirit of Medieval Philosophy by Étienne Gilson. In it he encountered an explanation of God that he found logical and pragmatic. Tom had purchased the book for a class on medieval French literature, not seeing the nihil obstat in the book denoting its Catholic origin. This work was pivotal, paving the way for more encounters with Catholicism. Another author Merton began reading was Aldous Huxley, whose book Ends and Means introduced Merton to mysticism. In August that year, Tom’s grandmother, Bonnemaman, died. In January 1938, Merton was graduated from Columbia with a B.A. in English. He then continued at Columbia, doing graduate work in English. In June, a friend, Seymour Freedgood, arranged a meeting with Mahanambrata Brahmachari, a Hindu monk visiting New York from the University of Chicago. Merton was impressed by the man, whom he saw as profoundly centered in God, but expected him to recommend his religion in some manner. Instead, Brahmachari recommended that they reconnect with their own spiritual roots and traditions. He suggested Merton read The Confessions of Augustine and The Imitation of Christ. Although Merton was surprised to hear the monk recommend Catholic books, he read them both. He also started to pray again regularly.Merton began to consider Catholicism as something to explore further. Finally, in August 1938, he decided to attend Mass and went to Corpus Christi Church located near to the Columbia campus on West 121st Street in Morningside Heights. Mass was foreign to him, but he listened attentively. Following the experience, Merton’s reading list became increasingly geared toward Catholicism. While doing his graduate work, he was writing his thesis on William Blake, whose spiritual symbolism he was coming to appreciate in new ways. One evening in September, Merton was reading about Gerard Manley Hopkins’ conversion to Catholicism and becoming a priest. Suddenly, he could not shake the sense that he, too, should follow such a path. He headed quickly to the Corpus Christi Church rectory, where he met Fr. George Barry Ford, and expressed his desire to become Catholic. In the following weeks Merton started catechism, learning the basics of his new faith. On November 16, 1938, Thomas Merton underwent the rite of baptism once again at Corpus Christi Church and received Holy Communion. On February 22, 1939, Merton received his M.A. in English from Columbia University. Merton decided he would pursue his Ph.D. at Columbia and moved from Douglaston to Greenwich Village. In January 1939, Merton had heard good things about a part-time teacher named Daniel Walsh, so he decided to take a course on Thomas Aquinas with Walsh. Through Walsh, Merton was introduced to Jacques Maritain at a lecture on Catholic Action, which took place at a Catholic Book Club meeting the following March. Merton and Walsh developed a lifelong friendship, and it was Walsh who convinced Merton that Thomism was not for him. On May 25, 1939, Merton received Confirmation at Corpus Christi, and took the confirmation name James. Franciscans Vocation In October 1939, Merton invited friends to sleep at his place following a long night out at a jazz club. Over breakfast, Merton told them of his desire to become a priest. Soon after this epiphany, Merton visited Fr. Ford at Corpus Christi to share his feeling. Ford agreed with Merton, but added that he felt Merton was suited for the priesthood of the diocesan priest and advised against joining an order. Soon after, Merton met with his teacher Dan Walsh, whose advice he trusted. Walsh disagreed with Ford’s assessment. Instead, he felt Merton was spiritually and intellectually suited for a priestly vocation in a specific order. They discussed the Jesuits, Cistercians and Franciscans. Merton had appreciated what he had read of Saint Francis of Assisi; as a result, he felt that might be the direction in which he was being called. Walsh set up a meeting with a Fr. Edmund Murphy, a friend at the monastery of St. Francis of Assisi on 31st Street. The interview went well and Merton was given an application, as well as Fr. Murphy’s personal invitation to become a Franciscan friar. He noted that Merton would not be able to enter the novitiate until August 1940 because that was the only month in which they accepted novices. Merton was excited, yet disappointed that it would be a year before he would fulfill his calling. By 1940 Merton began to doubt about whether he was fit to be a Franciscan. He felt he had not been candid about his past with Fr. Murphy or Dan Walsh. It is possible this may have concerned his time at Cambridge, although The Seven Storey Mountain is never specific about what he felt he was hiding. Merton arranged to see Fr. Murphy and tell him of his past troubles. Fr. Murphy was understanding during the meeting, but told Tom he ought to return the next day once he had time to consider this new information. That next day Fr. Murphy delivered Merton devastating news. He no longer felt Merton was suitable material for a Franciscan vocation as a friar, and even said that the August novitiate was now full. Fr. Murphy seemed uninterested in helping Merton’s cause any further, and Merton believed at once that his calling was finished. St. Bonaventure University In early August 1940, the month he would have entered the Franciscan novitiate, Merton went to Olean, New York, to stay with friends, including Robert Lax and Ed Rice, at a cottage where they had vacationed the summer before. This was a tough time for Merton, and he wanted to be in the company of friends. Merton now needed a job. In the vicinity was St. Bonaventure University, a Franciscan university he had learned about through Bob Lax a year before. The day after arriving in Olean, Merton went to St. Bonaventure for an interview with then-president Fr. Thomas Plassman. Fortuitously, there was an opening in the English department and Merton was hired on the spot. Merton chose St. Bonaventure because he still harbored a desire to be a friar; he decided that he could at least live among them even if he could not be one of them. St. Bonaventure University holds a repository of Merton materials.In September 1940, Merton moved into a dormitory on campus. (His old room in Devereux Hall has a sign above the door to this effect.) While Merton’s stay at Bonaventure would prove brief, the time was pivotal for him. While teaching there, his spiritual life blossomed as he went deeper and deeper into his prayer life. He all but gave up drinking, quit smoking, stopped going to movies and became more selective in his reading. In his own way he was undergoing a kind of lay renunciation of worldly pleasures. In April 1941, Merton went to a retreat he had booked for Holy Week at the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani near Bardstown, Kentucky. At once he felt a pull to the place, and he could feel his spirits rise during his stay. Returning to St. Bonaventure with Gethsemani on his mind, Merton returned to teaching. In May 1941 he had an occasion where he used his old Vulgate, purchased in Italy back in 1933, as a kind of oracle. The idea was that he would randomly select a page and blindly point his finger somewhere, seeing if it would render him some sort of sign. On his second try Merton laid his finger on a Bible verse which stated, “ecce eris tacens” (Luke 1:20 DR.LV.NVUL; Latin for “behold, thou shalt be silent”). Immediately Merton thought of the Cistercians. Although he was still unsure of his qualifications for a religious vocation, Merton felt he was being drawn more and more to a specific calling. In August 1941, Merton attended a talk at the school given by Catherine de Hueck. Hueck had founded the Friendship House in Toronto and its sister house in Harlem, which Merton visited. Appreciative of the mission of Hueck and Friendship House, which was racial harmony and charity, he decided to volunteer there for two weeks. Merton was amazed at how little he had learned of New York during his studies at Columbia. Harlem was such a different place, full of poverty and prostitution. Merton felt especially troubled by the situation of children being raised in the environment there. Friendship House had a profound impact on Merton, and he would speak of it often in his later writing. In November 1941, Hueck asked if Merton would consider becoming a full-time member of Friendship House, to which Merton responded cordially yet noncommittally. He still felt unfit to serve Christ, hinting at such in a letter to Hueck that month, in which he implied he was not good enough for her organization. In early December Merton let Hueck know that he would not be joining Friendship House, explaining his persistent attraction to the priesthood. Monastic life Fearing the Draft Board, on December 10, 1941, Thomas Merton arrived at the Abbey of Gethsemani and spent three days at the monastery guest house, waiting for acceptance into the Order. The novice master would come to interview Merton, gauging his sincerity and qualifications. In the interim, Merton was put to work polishing floors and scrubbing dishes. On December 13 he was accepted into the monastery as a postulant by Frederic Dunne, Gethsemani’s abbot since 1935. Merton’s first few days did not go smoothly. He had a severe cold from his stay in the guest house, where he sat in front of an open window to prove his sincerity. But Merton devoted himself entirely to adjusting to the austerity, enjoying the change of lifestyle. During his initial weeks at Gethsemani, Merton studied the complicated Cistercian sign language and daily work and worship routine. In March 1942, during the first Sunday of Lent, Merton was accepted as a novice at the monastery. In June, he received a letter from his brother John Paul stating he was soon to leave for war and would be coming to Gethsemani to visit before leaving. On July 17 John Paul arrived in Gethsemani and the two brothers did some catching up. John Paul expressed his desire to become Catholic, and by July 26 was baptized at a church in nearby New Haven, Kentucky, leaving the following day. This would be the last time the two saw each other. John Paul died on April 17, 1943, when his plane failed over the English Channel. A poem by Merton to John Paul appears in The Seven Storey Mountain. Writer Merton kept journals throughout his stay at Gethsemani. Initially, he felt writing to be at odds with his vocation, worried it would foster a tendency to individuality. Fortunately his superior, Dunne, saw that Merton had both a gifted intellect and talent for writing. In 1943 Merton was tasked to translate religious texts and write biographies on the saints for the monastery. Merton approached his new writing assignment with the same fervor and zeal he displayed in the farmyard. On March 19, 1944, Merton made his temporary profession of vows and was given the white cowl, black scapular and leather belt. In November 1944 a manuscript Merton had given to friend Robert Lax the previous year was published by James Laughlin at New Directions: a book of poetry titled Thirty Poems. Merton had mixed feelings about the publishing of this work, but Dunne remained resolute over Merton continuing his writing. In 1946 New Directions published another poetry collection by Merton, A Man in the Divided Sea, which, combined with Thirty Poems, attracted some recognition for him. The same year Merton’s manuscript for The Seven Storey Mountain was accepted by Harcourt Brace & Company for publication. The Seven Storey Mountain, Merton’s autobiography, was written during two-hour intervals in the monastery scriptorium as a personal project. By 1947 Merton was more comfortable in his role as a writer. On March 19 he took his solemn vows, a commitment to live out his life at the monastery. He also began corresponding with a Carthusian at St. Hugh’s Charterhouse in England. Merton had harbored an appreciation for the Carthusian Order since coming to Gethsemani in 1941, and would later come to consider leaving the Cistercians for that Order. On July 4 the Catholic journal Commonweal published an essay by Merton titled Poetry and the Contemplative Life. In 1948 The Seven Storey Mountain was published to critical acclaim, with fan mail to Merton reaching new heights. Merton also published several works for the monastery that year, which were: Guide to Cistercian Life, Cistercian Contemplatives, Figures for an Apocalypse, and The Spirit of Simplicity. That year Saint Mary’s College (Indiana) also published a booklet by Merton, What Is Contemplation? Merton published as well that year a biography, Exile Ends in Glory: The Life of a Trappistine, Mother M. Berchmans, O.C.S.O. Merton’s abbot, Dunne, died on August 3, 1948, while riding on a train to Georgia. Dunne’s passing was painful for Merton, who had come to look on the abbot as a father figure and spiritual mentor. On August 15 the monastic community elected Dom James Fox, a former US Navy officer, as their new abbot. In October Merton discussed with him his ongoing attraction to the Carthusian and Camaldolese Orders and their eremitical way of life, to which Fox responded by assuring Merton that he belonged at Gethsemani. Fox permitted Merton to continue his writing, Merton now having gained substantial recognition outside the monastery. On December 21 Merton was ordained as a subdeacon. From 1948 on, Merton identified as an anarchist.On January 5, 1949, Merton took a train to Louisville and applied for American citizenship. Published that year were Seeds of Contemplation, The Tears of Blind Lions, The Waters of Siloe, and the British edition of The Seven Storey Mountain under the title Elected Silence. On March 19 Merton became a deacon in the Order, and on May 26 (Ascension Thursday) he was ordained a priest, saying his first Mass the following day. In June the monastery celebrated its centenary, for which Merton authored the book Gethsemani Magnificat in commemoration. In November Merton started teaching mystical theology to novices at Gethsemani, a duty he greatly enjoyed. By this time Merton was a huge success outside the monastery, The Seven Storey Mountain having sold over 150,000 copies. In subsequent years Merton would author many other books, amassing a wide readership. He would revise Seeds of Contemplation several times, viewing his early edition as error-prone and immature. A person’s place in society, views on social activism, and various approaches toward contemplative prayer and living became constant themes in his writings. During long years at Gethsemani, Merton changed from the passionately inward-looking young monk of The Seven Storey Mountain to a more contemplative writer and poet. Merton became well known for his dialogues with other faiths and his non-violent stand during the race riots and Vietnam War of the 1960s. By the 1960s, he had arrived at a broadly human viewpoint, one deeply concerned about the world and issues like peace, racial tolerance, and social equality. He had developed a personal radicalism which had political implications but was not based on ideology, rooted above all in non-violence. He regarded his viewpoint as based on “simplicity” and expressed it as a Christian sensibility. His New Seeds of Contemplation was published in 1962. In a letter to Nicaraguan Catholic priest, liberation theologian and politician Ernesto Cardenal (who entered Gethsemani but left in 1959 to study theology in Mexico), Merton wrote: “The world is full of great criminals with enormous power, and they are in a death struggle with each other. It is a huge gang battle, using well-meaning lawyers and policemen and clergymen as their front, controlling papers, means of communication, and enrolling everybody in their armies.”Edward Deming Andrews and his wife, Faith Andrews dedicated their lives to all things Shaker. “They felt that the contemplative monk, more than any other person they encountered in their entire careers, understood the true nature of Shaker perfectionism and purity and how those qualities came to be expressed in artifacts of Shaker culture. Merton, for his part, deeply respected his worldly friends and their scholarly mission and showed remarkable understanding of their work. Merton’s interest in the Shakers was long-standing. He loved the simplicity of Shaker design, which he saw as a reflection of their spiritual simplicity. He studied their doctrines, compared their spiritual life with that of the Cistercians (unfavorably to the Cistercians at one point), photographed their architecture, and, until he met the Andrewses, had even planned to write a book about the Believers. In his small writing room at the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemane in Kentucky he treasured the plain Shaker school desk on which he did much of his writing; sometimes, when he was alone, he would sing the Shaker hymn ”Decisive Work." No other person is as important for understanding the motivation and ideals of the Andrewses and hence the history of the Andrews Collection. Merton’s oft-quoted trope about the Shaker chair appears in his introduction to the Andrewses “Religion in Wood”: ‘The peculiar grace of a Shaker chair is due to the fact that it was made by someone capable of believing that an angel might come and sit on it.’ Merton finally achieved the solitude he had long desired while living in a hermitage on the monastery grounds in 1965. Over the years he had occasional battles with some of his abbots about not being allowed out of the monastery despite his international reputation and voluminous correspondence with many well-known figures of the day. At the end of 1968, the new abbot, Flavian Burns, allowed him the freedom to undertake a tour of Asia, during which he met the Dalai Lama in India on three occasions, and also the Tibetan Buddhist Dzogchen master Chatral Rinpoche, followed by a solitary retreat near Darjeeling, India. In Darjeeling, he befriended Tsewang Yishey Pemba, a prominent member of the Tibetan community. Then, in what was to be his final letter, he noted, “In my contacts with these new friends, I also feel a consolation in my own faith in Christ and in his dwelling presence. I hope and believe he may be present in the hearts of all of us.” Personal life and death According to The Seven Storey Mountain, the youthful Merton loved jazz, but by the time he began his first teaching job he had forsaken all but peaceful music. Later in life, whenever he was permitted to leave Gethsemani for medical or monastic reasons, he would catch what live jazz he could, mainly in Louisville or New York. In April 1966, Merton underwent a surgery to treat debilitating back pain. While recuperating in a Louisville hospital, he fell in love with Margie Smith, a student nurse assigned to his care whom he referred to in his personal diary as “M.” He wrote poems to her and reflected on the relationship in “A Midsummer Diary for M.” Merton struggled to maintain his vows while being deeply in love. He never consummated the relationship, which had a sexual component. Death On December 10, 1968, Merton was at a Red Cross retreat center named Sawang Kaniwat in the town of Samutprakarn near Bangkok, Thailand, attending a monastic conference. After giving a talk at the morning session, he was found dead later in the afternoon in the room of his cottage, wearing only shorts, lying on his back with a short-circuited Hitachi floor fan lying across his body. His associate, Jean Leclercq, states: “In all probability the death of Thomas Merton was due in part to heart failure, in part to an electric shock.” Since there was no autopsy, there was no suitable explanation for the wound in the back of Merton’s head, “which had bled substantially.” Arriving from the cottage next to Merton’s, the Primate of the Benedictine Order and presiding officer of the conference, Rembert Weakland, anointed Merton.His body was flown back to the United States on board a US military aircraft returning from Vietnam. He is buried at the Trappist Monastery, Gethsemani Abbey in Bardstown, Kentucky. In 2016, theologian Matthew Fox claimed that Merton had been assassinated by agents of the Central Intelligence Agency. James W. Douglass made a similar claim in 1997. In 2018, Hugh Turley and David Martin published The Martyrdom of Thomas Merton: An Investigation, questioning the claim of accidental electrocution. Spirituality beyond Catholicism Eastern religions Merton was first exposed to and became interested in Eastern religions when he read Aldous Huxley’s Ends and Means in 1937, the year before his conversion to Catholicism. Throughout his life, he studied Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Sufism in addition to his academic and monastic studies.While Merton was not interested in what these traditions had to offer as doctrines and institutions, he was deeply interested in what each said of the depth of human experience. This is not to say that Merton believed that these religions did not have valuable rituals or practices for him and other Christians, but that, doctrinally, Merton was so committed to Christianity and he felt that practitioners of other faiths were so committed to their own doctrines that any discussion of doctrine would be useless for all involved. He believed that for the most part, Christianity had forsaken its mystical tradition in favor of Cartesian emphasis on “the reification of concepts, idolization of the reflexive consciousness, flight from being into verbalism, mathematics, and rationalization.” Eastern traditions, for Merton, were mostly untainted by this type of thinking and thus had much to offer in terms of how to think of and understand oneself. Merton was perhaps most interested in—and, of all of the Eastern traditions, wrote the most about—Zen. Having studied the Desert Fathers and other Christian mystics as part of his monastic vocation, Merton had a deep understanding of what it was those men sought and experienced in their seeking. He found many parallels between the language of these Christian mystics and the language of Zen philosophy. O In 1959, Merton began a dialogue with D. T. Suzuki which was published in Merton’s Zen and the Birds of Appetite as “Wisdom in Emptiness”. This dialogue began with the completion of Merton’s The Wisdom of the Desert. Merton sent a copy to Suzuki with the hope that he would comment on Merton’s view that the Desert Fathers and the early Zen masters had similar experiences. Nearly ten years later, when Zen and the Birds of Appetite was published, Merton wrote in his postface that “any attempt to handle Zen in theological language is bound to miss the point”, calling his final statements “an example of how not to approach Zen.” Merton struggled to reconcile the Western and Christian impulse to catalog and put into words every experience with the ideas of Christian apophatic theology and the unspeakable nature of the Zen experience. In keeping with Merton’s idea that non-Christian faiths had much to offer Christianity in experience and perspective and little or nothing in terms of doctrine, Merton distinguished between Zen Buddhism, an expression of history and culture, and Zen. What Merton meant by Zen Buddhism was the religion that began in China and spread to Japan as well as the rituals and institutions that accompanied it. By Zen, Merton meant something not bound by culture, religion or belief. In this capacity, Merton was influenced by the book Zen Catholicism. With this idea in mind, Merton’s later writings about Zen may be understood to be coming more and more from within an evolving and broadening tradition of Zen which is not particularly Buddhist but informed by Merton’s monastic training within the Christian tradition. American Indian spirituality Merton also explored American Indian spirituality. He wrote a series of articles on American Indian history and spirituality for The Catholic Worker, The Center Magazine, Theoria to Theory, and Unicorn Journal. He explored themes such as American Indian fasting and missionary work. Legacy Merton’s influence has grown since his death and he is widely recognized as an important 20th-century Catholic mystic and thinker. Interest in his work contributed to a rise in spiritual exploration beginning in the 1960s and 1970s in the United States. Merton’s letters and diaries reveal the intensity with which their author focused on social justice issues, including the civil rights movement and proliferation of nuclear arms. He had prohibited their publication for 25 years after his death. Publication raised new interest in Merton’s life. The Abbey of Gethsemani benefits from the royalties of Merton’s writing. In addition, his writings attracted much interest in Catholic practice and thought, and in the Cistercian vocation. In recognition of Merton’s close association with Bellarmine University, the university established an official repository for Merton’s archives at the Thomas Merton Center on the Bellarmine campus in Louisville, Kentucky. The Thomas Merton Award, a peace prize, has been awarded since 1972 by the Thomas Merton Center for Peace and Social Justice in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. An annual lecture in his name is given at his alma mater, Columbia University. The campus ministry building at St. Bonaventure University, the school where Merton taught English briefly between graduating from Columbia University with his M.A. in English and entering the Trappist Order, is named after him. St. Bonaventure University also holds an important repository of Merton materials worldwide. Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton Catholic Secondary School in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada, which was formerly named St. Joseph’s Commercial and was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph, is named in part after him. Some of Merton’s manuscripts that include correspondence with his superiors are located in the library of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia. Merton was one of four Americans mentioned by Pope Francis in his speech to a joint meeting of the United States Congress on September 24, 2015. Francis said, “Merton was above all a man of prayer, a thinker who challenged the certitudes of his time and opened new horizons for souls and for the Church. He was also a man of dialogue, a promoter of peace between peoples and religions.”Merton is honored with a feast day on the liturgical calendar of some church members of the Anglican Communion. In popular culture Merton appears as a character in the film Quiz Show, played by actor Adam Kilgour. The film is based on the true story of Charles Van Doren who was the son of one of Merton’s most beloved professors at Columbia, Mark Van Doren. Merton is seen visiting the van Doren family during the Thanksgiving holiday and chatting with them over dinner. The play Glory of the World celebrates the life of Thomas Merton. The play is written by Charles Mee. Roy Cockrum, a former monk who won the Powerball lottery in 2014, helped finance the production of the play in New York. Prior to New York the play was being shown in Louisville, Kentucky.In the movie First Reformed, written and directed by Paul Schrader, Ethan Hawke’s character (a middle-aged Protestant reverend) is influenced by Merton’s work. References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Merton

William Morris

William Morris (24 March 1834– 3 October 1896) was an English textile designer, poet, novelist, translator, and socialist activist. Associated with the British Arts and Crafts Movement, he was a major contributor to the revival of traditional British textile arts and methods of production. His literary contributions helped to establish the modern fantasy genre, while he played a significant role in propagating the early socialist movement in Britain. Born in Walthamstow, Essex, to a wealthy middle-class family, Morris came under the strong influence of medievalism while studying Classics at Oxford University, there joining the Birmingham Set. After university he trained as an architect, married Jane Burden, and developed close friendships with the Pre-Raphaelite artists Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti and with the Neo-Gothic architect Philip Webb. Webb and Morris designed a family home, Red House, then in Kent, where the latter lived from 1859 to 1865, before relocating to Bloomsbury, central London. In 1861, Morris founded a decorative arts firm with Burne-Jones, Rossetti, Webb, and others: the Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. Becoming highly fashionable and much in demand, the firm profoundly influenced interior decoration throughout the Victorian period, with Morris designing tapestries, wallpaper, fabrics, furniture, and stained glass windows. In 1875, Morris assumed total control of the company, which was renamed Morris & Co. Although retaining a main home in London, from 1871 Morris rented the rural retreat of Kelmscott Manor, Oxfordshire. Greatly influenced by visits to Iceland, with Eiríkr Magnússon he produced a series of English-language translations of Icelandic Sagas. He also achieved success with the publication of his epic poems and novels, namely The Earthly Paradise (1868–1870), A Dream of John Ball (1888), the utopian News from Nowhere (1890), and the fantasy romance The Well at the World’s End (1896). In 1877 he founded the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings to campaign against the damage caused by architectural restoration. Embracing Marxism and influenced by anarchism, in the 1880s Morris became a committed revolutionary socialist activist; after an involvement in the Social Democratic Federation (SDF), he founded the Socialist League in 1884, but broke with that organization in 1890. In 1891 he founded the Kelmscott Press to publish limited-edition, illuminated-style print books, a cause to which he devoted his final years. Morris is recognised as one of the most significant cultural figures of Victorian Britain; though best known in his lifetime as a poet, he posthumously became better known for his designs. Founded in 1955, the William Morris Society is devoted to his legacy, while multiple biographies and studies of his work have seen publication. Many of the buildings associated with his life are open to visitors, much of his work can be found in art galleries and museums, and his designs are still in production. Early life Youth: 1834–52 Morris was born at Elm House in Walthamstow, Essex, on 24 March 1834. Raised into a wealthy middle-class family, he was named after his father, a financier who worked as a partner in the Sanderson & Co. firm, bill brokers in the City of London. His mother was Emma Morris (née Shelton), who descended from a wealthy bourgeois family from Worcester. Morris was the third of his parents’ surviving children; their first child, Charles, had been born in 1827 but died four days later. Charles had been followed by the birth of two girls, Emma in 1829 and Henrietta in 1833, before William’s birth. These children were followed by the birth of siblings Stanley in 1837, Rendall in 1839, Arthur in 1840, Isabella in 1842, Edgar in 1844, and Alice in 1846. The Morris family were followers of the evangelical Protestant form of Christianity, and William was baptised four months after his birth at St. Mary’s Church, Walthamstow. As a child, Morris was kept largely housebound at Elm House by his mother; there, he spent much time reading, favouring the novels of Walter Scott. Aged 6, Morris moved with his family to the Georgian Italianate mansion at Woodford Hall, Woodford, Essex, which was surrounded by 50 acres of land adjacent to Epping Forest. He took an interest in fishing with his brothers as well as gardening in the Hall’s grounds, and spent much time exploring the Forest, where he was fascinated both by the Iron Age earthworks at Loughton Camp and Ambresbury Banks and by the Early Modern Hunting Lodge at Chingford. He also took rides through the Essex countryside on his pony, and visited the various churches and cathedrals throughout the country, marveling at their architecture. His father took him on visits outside of the county, for instance to Canterbury Cathedral, the Chiswick Horticultural Gardens, and to the Isle of Wight, where he adored Blackgang Chine. Aged 9, he was then sent to Misses Arundale’s Academy for Young Gentlemen, a nearby preparatory school; although initially riding there by pony each day, he later began boarding, intensely disliking the experience. In 1847, Morris’s father died unexpectedly. From this point, the family relied upon continued income from the copper mines at Devon Great Consols, and sold Woodford Hall to move into the smaller Water House. In February 1848 Morris began his studies at Marlborough College in Marlborough, Wiltshire, where he gained a reputation as an eccentric nicknamed “Crab”. He despised his time there, being bullied, bored, and homesick. He did use the opportunity to visit many of the prehistoric sites of Wiltshire, such as Avebury and Silbury Hill, which fascinated him. The school was Anglican in faith and in March 1849 Morris was confirmed by the Bishop of Salisbury in the college chapel, developing an enthusiastic attraction towards the Anglo-Catholic movement and its Romanticist aesthetic. At Christmas 1851, Morris was removed from the school and returned to Water House, where he was privately tutored by the Reverend Frederick B. Guy, Assistant Master at the nearby Forest School. Oxford and the Birmingham Set: 1852–56 In June 1852 Morris entered Oxford University’s Exeter College, although since the college was full, he only went into residence in January 1853. He disliked the college and was bored by the manner in which they taught him Classics. Instead he developed a keen interest in Medieval history and Medieval architecture, inspired by the many Medieval buildings in Oxford. This interest was tied to Britain’s growing Medievalist movement, a form of Romanticism that rejected many of the values of Victorian industrial capitalism. For Morris, the Middle Ages represented an era with strong chivalric values and an organic, pre-capitalist sense of community, both of which he deemed preferable to his own period. This attitude was compounded by his reading of Thomas Carlyle’s book Past and Present (1843), in which Carlyle championed Medieval values as a corrective to the problems of Victorian society. Under this influence, Morris’s dislike of contemporary capitalism grew, and he came to be influenced by the work of Christian socialists Charles Kingsley and Frederick Denison Maurice. At the college, Morris met fellow first-year undergraduate Edward Burne-Jones, who became his lifelong friend and collaborator. Although from very different backgrounds, they found that they had a shared attitude to life, both being keenly interested in Anglo-Catholicism and Arthurianism. Through Burne-Jones, Morris joined a group of undergraduates from Birmingham who were studying at Pembroke College: William Fulford, Richard Watson Dixon, Charles Faulkner, and Cormell Price. They were known among themselves as the “Brotherhood” and to historians as the Birmingham Set. Morris was the most affluent member of the Set, and was generous with his wealth toward the others. Like Morris, the Set were fans of the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and would meet together to recite the plays of William Shakespeare. Morris was heavily influenced by the writings of the art critic John Ruskin, being particularly inspired by his chapter “On the Nature of Gothic Architecture” in the second volume of The Stones of Venice; he later described it as “one of the very few necessary and inevitable utterances of the century”. Morris adopted Ruskin’s philosophy of rejecting the tawdry industrial manufacture of decorative arts and architecture in favour of a return to hand-craftsmanship, raising artisans to the status of artists, creating art that should be affordable and hand-made, with no hierarchy of artistic mediums. Ruskin had achieved attention in Victorian society for championing the art of a group of painters who had emerged in London in 1848 calling themselves the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. The Pre-Raphaelite style was heavily Medievalist and Romanticist, emphasising abundant detail, intense colours and complex compositions; it greatly impressed Morris and the Set. Influenced both by Ruskin and by John Keats, Morris began to spend more time writing poetry, in a style that was imitative of much of theirs. Both he and Burne-Jones were influenced by the Romanticist milieu and the Anglo-Catholic movement, and decided to become clergymen in order to found a monastery where they could live a life of chastity and dedication to artistic pursuit, akin to that of the contemporary Nazarene movement. However, as time went on Morris became increasingly critical of Anglican doctrine and the idea faded. In summer 1854, Morris travelled to Belgium to look at Medieval paintings, and in July 1855 went with Burne-Jones and Fulford across northern France, visiting Medieval churches and cathedrals. It was on this trip that he and Burne-Jones committed themselves to “a life of art”. For Morris, this decision resulted in a strained relationship with his family, who believed that he should have entered either commerce or the clergy. On a subsequent visit to Birmingham, Morris discovered Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur, which became a core Arthurian text for him and Burne-Jones. In January 1856, the Set began publication of The Oxford and Cambridge Magazine, designed to contain “mainly Tales, Poetry, friendly critiques and social articles”. Mainly funded by Morris, who briefly served as editor and heavily contributed to it with his own stories, poems, reviews and articles, the magazine lasted for twelve issues, and garnered praise from Tennyson and Ruskin. Apprenticeship, the Pre-Raphaelites, and marriage: 1856–59 Having passed his finals and been awarded a BA, Morris began an apprenticeship with the Oxford-based Neo-Gothic architect George Edmund Street in January 1856. His apprenticeship focused on architectural drawing, and there he was placed under the supervision of the young architect Philip Webb, who became a close friend. Morris soon relocated to Street’s London office, in August 1856 moving into a flat in Bloomsbury, Central London with Burne-Jones, an area perhaps chosen for its avant-garde associations. Morris was fascinated by London but dismayed at its pollution and rapid expansion into neighbouring countryside, describing it as “the spreading sore”. Morris became increasingly fascinated with the idyllic Medievalist depictions of rural life which appeared in the paintings of the Pre-Raphaelites, and spent large sums of money purchasing such artworks. Burne-Jones shared this interest, but took it further by becoming an apprentice to one of the foremost Pre-Raphaelite painters, Dante Gabriel Rossetti; the three soon became close friends. Through Rossetti, Morris came to associate with poet Robert Browning, and the artists Arthur Hughes, Thomas Woolner, and Ford Madox Brown. Tired of architecture, Morris abandoned his apprenticeship, with Rossetti persuading him to take up painting instead, which he chose to do in the Pre-Raphaelite style. Morris aided Rossetti and Burne-Jones in painting the Arthurian murals at Oxford Union, although his contributions were widely deemed inferior and unskilled compared to those of the others. At Rossetti’s recommendation, Morris and Burne-Jones moved in together to the flat at Bloomsbury’s No. 17 Red Lion Square by November 1856. Morris designed and commissioned furniture for the flat in a Medieval style, much of which he painted with Arthurian scenes in a direct rejection of mainstream artistic tastes. Morris also continued writing poetry and began designing illuminated manuscripts and embroidered hangings. In March 1857, Bell and Dandy published a book of Morris’s poems, The Defence of Guenevere, which was largely self-funded by the author himself. It did not sell well and garnered few reviews, most of which were unsympathetic. Disconcerted, Morris would not publish again for a further eight years. In October 1857 Morris met Jane Burden, a woman from a poor working-class background, at a theatre performance and asked her to model for him. Smitten with her, they entered into a relationship and were engaged in spring 1858; Burden would later admit however that she never loved Morris. They were married in a low-key ceremony held at St Michael at the North Gate church in Oxford on 26 April 1859, before honeymooning in Bruges, Belgium, and settling temporarily at 41 Great Ormond Street, London. Career and fame Red House and the Firm: 1859–65 Morris desired a new home for himself and his wife, resulting in the construction of the Red House in the Kentish hamlet of Upton near Bexleyheath, ten miles from central London. The building’s design was a co-operative effort, with Morris focusing on the interiors and the exterior being designed by Webb, for whom the House represented his first commission as an independent architect. Named after the red bricks and red tiles from which it was constructed, Red House rejected architectural norms by being L-shaped. Influenced by various forms of contemporary Neo-Gothic architecture, the House was nevertheless unique, with Morris describing it as “very mediaeval in spirit”. Situated within an orchard, the house and garden were intricately linked in their design. It took a year to construct, and cost Morris £4000 at a time when his fortune was greatly reduced by a dramatic fall in the price of his shares. Burne-Jones described it as “the beautifullest place on Earth.” After construction, Morris invited friends to visit, most notably Burne-Jones and his wife Georgiana, as well as Rossetti and his wife Lizzie Siddal. They aided him in painting murals on the furniture, walls, and ceilings, much of it based on Arthurian tales, the Trojan War, and Geoffrey Chaucer’s stories, while he also designed floral embroideries for the rooms. They also spent much time playing tricks on each other, enjoying games like hide and seek, and singing while accompanied by the piano. Siddall stayed at the House during summer and autumn 1861 as she recovered from a traumatic miscarriage and an addiction to laudanum; she would die of an overdose in February 1862. In April 1861, Morris founded a decorative arts company, Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co., with six other partners: Burne-Jones, Rossetti, Webb, Ford Madox Brown, Charles Faulkner, and Peter Paul Marshall. Operating from premises at No. 6 Red Lion Square, they referred to themselves as “the Firm” and were intent on adopting Ruskin’s ideas of reforming British attitudes to production. They hoped to reinstate decoration as one of the fine arts and adopted an ethos of affordability and anti-elitism. For additional staff, they employed boys from the Industrial Home for Destitute Boys in Euston, central London, many of whom were trained as apprentices. Although working within the Neo-Gothic school of design, they differed from Neo-Gothic architects like Gilbert Scott who simply included certain Gothic features on modern styles of building; instead they sought to return completely to Medieval Gothic methods of craftmanship. The products created by the Firm included furniture, architectural carving, metalwork, stained glass windows, and murals. Their stained glass windows proved a particular success in the firm’s early years as they were in high demand for the surge in the Neo-Gothic construction and refurbishment of churches, many of which were commissioned by the architect George Frederick Bodley. Despite Morris’s anti-elitist ethos, the Firm soon became increasingly popular and fashionable with the bourgeoisie, particularly following their exhibit at the 1862 International Exhibition in South Kensington, where they received press attention and medals of commendation. However, they faced much opposition from established design companies, particularly those belonging to the Neo-Classical school. Morris was slowly abandoning painting, recognising that his work lacked a sense of movement; none of his paintings are dated later than 1862. Instead he focused his energies on designing wallpaper patterns, the first being “Trellis”, designed in 1862. His designs would be produced from 1864 by Jeffrey and Co. of Islington, who created them for the Firm under Morris’s supervision. Morris also retained an active interest in various groups, joining the Hogarth Club, the Mediaeval Society, and the Corps of Artist Volunteers, the latter being in contrast to his later pacifism. Meanwhile, Morris’s family continued to grow. In January 1861, Morris and Janey’s first daughter was born: named Jane Alice Morris, she was commonly known as “Jenny”. Jenny was followed in March 1862 by the birth of their second daughter, Mary “May” Morris. Morris was a caring father to his daughters, and years later they both recounted having idyllic childhoods. However, there were problems in Morris’s marriage as Janey became increasingly close to Rossetti, who often painted her. It is unknown if their affair was ever sexual, although by this point other members of the group were noticing Rossetti and Janey’s closeness. Imagining the creation of an artistic community at Upton, Morris helped develop plans for a second house to be constructed adjacent to Red House in which Burne-Jones could live with his family; the plans were abandoned when Burne-Jones’ son Philip died from scarlet fever. By 1864, Morris had become increasingly tired of life at Red House, being particularly unhappy with the 3 to 4 hours spent commuting to his London workplace on a daily basis. He sold Red House, and in autumn 1865 moved with his family to No. 26 Queen Square in Bloomsbury, the same building that the Firm moved its base of operations to earlier in the summer. Queen Square and The Earthly Paradise: 1865–70 At Queen Square, the Morris family lived in a flat directly above the Firm’s shop. They were joined by Janey’s sister Bessie Burton and a number of household servants. Meanwhile, changes were afoot at the Firm as Faulkner left, and to replace him they employed a business manager, Warrington Taylor, who would remain with them till 1866. Taylor pulled the Firm’s finances into order and spent much time controlling Morris and ensuring that he worked to schedule. During these years the Firm carried out a number of high-profile designs; from September 1866 to January 1867, they redecorated the Armoury and Tapestry Room in St. James’ Palace, in the latter year also designing the Green Dining Room at the South Kensington Museum (it is now the Morris Room at the Victoria and Albert Museum). The Firm’s work received increasing interest from people in the United States, resulting in Morris’s acquaintance with Henry James and Charles Eliot Norton. However, despite its success, the Firm was not turning over a large net profit, and this, coupled with the decreasing value of Morris’ stocks, meant that he had to decrease his spending. Janey’s relationship with Rossetti had continued, and by the late 1860s gossip regarding their affair had spread about London, where they were regularly seen spending time together. Morris biographer Fiona MacCarthy argued that it was likely that Morris had learned of and accepted the existence of their affair by 1870. In this year he developed an affectionate friendship with Aglaia Coronie, the daughter of wealthy Greek refugees, although there is no evidence that they had an affair. Meanwhile, Morris’s relationship with his mother had improved, and he would regularly take his wife and children to visit her at her house in Leyton. He also went on various holidays; in the summer of 1866 he, Webb, and Taylor toured the churches of northern France. In August 1866 Morris joined the Burne-Jones family on their holiday in Lymington, while in August 1867 both families holidayed together in Oxford. In August 1867 the Morrises holidayed in Southwold, Suffolk, while in the summer of 1869 Morris took his wife to Bad Ems in Rhineland-Palatinate, central Germany, where it was hoped that the local health waters would aid her ailments. While there, he enjoyed walks in the countryside and focused on writing poetry. Morris had continued to devote much time to writing poetry. In 1867 Bell and Dandy published Morris’s epic poem, The Life and Death of Jason, at his own expense. The book was a retelling of the ancient Greek myth of the hero Jason and his quest to find the Golden Fleece. In contrast to Morris’s former publication, The Life and Death of Jason was well received, resulting in the publishers paying Morris a fee for the second edition. From 1865 to 1870, Morris worked on another epic poem, The Earthly Paradise. Designed as a homage to Chaucer, it consisted of 24 stories, adopted from an array of different cultures, and each by a different narrator; set in the late 14th century, the synopsis revolved around a group of Norsemen who flee the Black Death by sailing away from Europe, on the way discovering an island where the inhabitants continue to venerate the ancient Greek gods. Published in four parts by F. S. Ellis, it soon gained a cult following and established Morris’ reputation as a major poet. Kelmscott Manor and Iceland: 1870–75 By 1870, Morris had become a public figure in Britain, resulting in repeated press requests for photographs, which he despised. That year, he also reluctantly agreed to sit for a portrait by establishment painter George Frederic Watts. Morris was keenly interested in Icelandic literature, having befriended the Icelandic theologian Eiríkr Magnússon. Together they produced prose translations of the Eddas and Sagas for publication in English. Morris also developed a keen interest in creating hand-written illuminated manuscripts, producing 18 such books between 1870 and 1875, the first of which was A Book of Verse, completed as a birthday present for Georgina Burne-Jones. 12 of these 18 were handwritten copies of Nordic tales such as Halfdan the Black, Frithiof the Bold, and The Dwellers of Eyr. Morris deemed calligraphy to be an art form, and taught himself both Roman and italic script, as well as learning how to produce gilded letters. In November 1872 he published Love is Enough, a poetic drama based on a story in the Medieval Welsh text, the Mabinogion. Illustrated with Burne-Jones woodcuts, it was not a popular success. By 1871, he had begun work on a novel set in the present, The Novel on Blue Paper, which was about a love triangle; it would remain unfinished and Morris later asserted that it was not well written. By early summer 1871, Morris began to search for a house outside London where his children could spend time away from the city’s pollution. He settled on Kelmscott Manor in the village of Kelmscott, Oxfordshire, obtaining a joint tenancy on the building with Rossetti in June. Morris adored the building, which was constructed circa 1570, and would spend much time in the local countryside. Conversely, Rossetti would be unhappy at Kelmscott, and eventually suffered a mental breakdown. Morris divided his time between London and Kelmscott, however when Rossetti was there he would not spend more than three days at a time at the latter. He was also fed up with his family home in Queen Square, deciding to obtain a new house in London. Although retaining a personal bedroom and study at Queen Square, he relocated his family to Horrington House in Turnham Green Road, West London, in January 1873. This allowed him to be far closer to the home of Burne-Jones, with the duo meeting on almost every Sunday morning for the rest of Morris’ life. Leaving Jane and his children with Rossetti at Kelmscott, in July 1871 Morris left for Iceland with Faulkner, W.H. Evans, and Magnússon. Sailing from the Scottish port of Granton aboard a Danish mail boat, they proceeded to the island via Tórshavn in the Faroe Islands before arriving at Reykjavik, where they disembarked. There they met the President of the Althing, Jón Sigurðsson, with Morris being sympathetic to the Icelandic independence movement. From there, they proceeded by Icelandic horse along the south coast to Bergþórshvoll, Thórsmörk, Geysir, Þingvellir, and then back to Reyjkavik, where they departed back to Britain in September. In April 1873, Morris and Burne-Jones holidayed in Italy, visiting Florence and Siena. Although generally disliking the country, Morris was interested in the Florentine Gothic architecture. Soon after, in July, Morris returned to Iceland, revisiting many of the sites he had previously seen, but then proceeding north to Varna glacier and Fljótsdalur. His two visits to the country profoundly influenced him, in particular in his growing leftist opinions; he would comment that these trips made him realise that “the most grinding poverty is a trifling evil compared with the inequality of classes.” Morris and Burne-Jones then spent time with one of the Firm’s patrons, the wealthy George Howard, 9th Earl of Carlisle and his wife Rosalind, at their Medieval home in Naworth Castle, Cumberland. In July 1874, the Morris family then took Burne-Jones’ two children with them on their holiday to Bruges, Belgium. However, by this point Morris’ friendship with Rossetti had seriously eroded, and in July 1874 their acrimonious falling out led Rossetti to leave Kelmscott, with Morris’ publisher F.S. Ellis taking his place. With the company’s other partners drifting off to work on other projects, Morris decided to consolidate his own control of the Firm and become sole proprietor and manager. In March 1875, he paid £1000 each in compensation to Rossetti, Brown, and Marshall, although the other partners waived their claims to financial compensation. That month, the Firm was officially disbanded and replaced by Morris & Co, although Burne-Jones and Webb would continue to produce designs for it in future. This accomplished, he resigned his directorship of the Devon Great Consols, selling his remaining shares in the company. Textile experimentation and political embrace: 1875–80 Now in complete control of the Firm, Morris took an increased interest in the process of textile dyeing and entered into a co-operative agreement with Thomas Wardle, a silk dyer who operated the Hencroft Works in Leek, Staffordshire. As a result, Morris would spend time with Wardle at his home on various occasions between summer 1875 and spring 1878. Deeming the colours to be of inferior quality, Morris rejected the chemical aniline dyes which were then predominant, instead emphasising the revival of organic dyes, such as indigo for blue, walnut shells and roots for brown, and cochineal, kermes, and madder for red. Living and working in this industrial environment, he gained a personal understanding of production and the lives of the proletariat, and was disgusted by the poor living conditions of workers and the pollution caused by industry; these factors greatly influenced his political views. After learning the skills of dyeing, in the late 1870s Morris turned his attention to weaving, experimenting with silk weaving at Queen’s Square. In the Spring of 1877, the Firm opened a store at No. 449 Oxford Street and obtained new staff who were able to improve its professionalism; as a result, sales increased and its popularity grew. By 1880, Morris & Co. had become a household name, having become very popular with Britain’s upper and middle classes. The Firm was obtaining increasing numbers of commissions from aristocrats, wealthy industralists, and provincial entrepreneurs, with Morris furnishing parts of St. James’ Palace and the chapel at Eaton Hall. As a result of his growing sympathy for the working-classes and poor, Morris felt personally conflicted in serving the interests of these individuals, privately describing it as “ministering to the swinish luxury of the rich”. Continuing with his literary output, Morris translated his own version of Virgil’s Aeneid, titling it The Aeneids of Vergil (1876). Although many translations were already available, often produced by trained Classicists, Morris claimed that his unique perspective was as “a poet not a pedant”. He also continued producing translations of Icelandic tales with Magnússon, including Three Northern Love Stories (1875) and Völuspa Saga (1876). In 1877 Morris was approached by Oxford University and offered the largely honorary position of Professor of Poetry. He declined, asserting that he felt unqualified, knowing little about scholarship on the theory of poetry. In summer 1876 Jenny Morris was diagnosed with epilepsy. Refusing to allow her to be societally marginalised or institutionalised, as was common in the period, Morris insisted that she be cared for by the family. When Janey took May and Jenny to Oneglia in Italy, the latter suffered a serious seizure, with Morris rushing to the country to see her. They then proceeded to visit a number of other cities, including Venice, Padua, and Verona, with Morris attaining a greater appreciation of the country than he had on his previous trip. In April 1879 Morris moved the family home again, this time renting an 18th-century mansion on Hammersmith’s Upper Mall in West London. Owned by the novelist George MacDonald, Morris would name it Kelmscott House and re-decorate it according to his own taste. In the House’s grounds he set up a workshop, focusing on the production of hand-knotted carpets. Excited that both of his homes were along the course of the River Thames, in August 1880 he and his family took a boat trip along the river from Kelmscott House to Kelmscott Manor. Morris became politically active in this period, coming to be associated with the radicalist current within British liberalism. He joined the Eastern Question Association (EQA) and was appointed the group’s treasurer in November 1876. EQA had been founded by campaigners associated with the centre-left Liberal Party who opposed Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli’s alliance with the Ottoman Empire; the Association highlighted the Ottoman massacre of Bulgarians and feared that the alliance would lead Disraeli to join the Ottomans in going to war with the Russian Empire. Morris took an active role in the EQA campaign, authoring the lyrics for the song “Wake, London Lads!” to be sung at a rally against military intervention. Morris eventually became disillusioned with the EQA, describing it as being “full of wretched little personalities”. He nevertheless joined a regrouping of predominantly working-class EQA activists, the National Liberal League, becoming their treasurer in summer 1879; the group remained small and politically ineffective, with Morris resigning as treasurer in late 1881, shortly before the group’s collapse. However, his discontent with the British liberal movement grew following the election of the Liberal Party’s William Ewart Gladstone to the Premiership in 1880. Morris was particularly angered that Gladstone’s government did not reverse the Disraeli regime’s occupation of the Transvaal, introduced the Coercion Bill, and oversaw the Bombardment of Alexandria. Morris later related that while he had once believed that “one might further real Socialistic progress by doing what one could on the lines of ordinary middle-class Radicalism”, following Gladstone’s election he came to realise "that Radicalism is on the wrong line, so to say, and will never develope [sic] into anything more than Radicalism: in fact that it is made for and by the middle classes and will always be under the control of rich capitalists. In 1876, Morris visited Burford Church in Oxfordshire, where he was appalled at the restoration conducted by his old mentor, G.E. Street. He recognised that these programs of architectural restoration led to the destruction or major alteration of genuinely old features in order to replace them with “sham old” features, something which appalled him. To combat the increasing trend for restoration, in March 1877 he founded the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB), which he personally referred to as “Anti-Scrape”. Adopting the role of honorary secretary and treasurer, most of the other early members of SPAB were his friends, while the group’s program was rooted in Ruskin’s The Seven Lamps of Architecture (1849). As part of SPAB’s campaign, Morris tried to build connections with art and antiquarian societies and the custodians of old buildings, and also contacted the press to highlight his cause. He was particularly strong in denouncing the ongoing restoration of Tewkesbury Abbey and was vociferous in denouncing the architects responsible, something that deeply upset Street. Turning SPAB’s attention abroad, in Autumn 1879 Morris launched a campaign to protect St Mark’s Basilica in Venice from restoration, garnering a petition with 2000 signatures, among whom were Disraeli, Gladstone, and Ruskin. Later life Merton Abbey and the Democratic Federation: 1881–84 In summer 1881, Morris took out a lease on the seven-acre former silk weaving factory at Merton Abbey Mills, in Merton, Southwest London. Relocating his workshops to the site, the premises were used for weaving, dyeing, and creating stained glass; within three years, 100 craftsmen would be employed there. Working conditions at the Abbey were better than at most Victorian factories. However, despite Morris’s ideals, there was little opportunity for the workers to display their own individual creativity. Morris had initiated a system of profit sharing among the Firm’s upper clerks, however this did not include the majority of workers, who were instead employed on a piecework basis. Morris was aware that, in retaining the division between employer and employed, the company failed to live up to his own egalitarian ideals, but defended this, asserting that it was impossible to run a socialist company within a competitive capitalist economy. The Firm itself was expanding, opening up a store in Manchester in 1883 and holding a stand at that year’s Foreign Fair in Boston. Janey’s relationship with Rossetti had continued through a correspondence and occasional visits, although she found him extremely paranoid and was upset by his addiction to chloral. She last saw him in 1881, and he died in April the following year. Morris described his mixed feelings toward his deceased friend by stating that he had “some of the very greatest qualities of genius, most of them indeed; what a great man he would have been but for the arrogant misanthropy which marred his work, and killed him before his time”. In August 1883, Janey would be introduced to the poet Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, with whom she embarked on a second affair, which Morris might have been aware of. In January 1881 Morris was involved in the establishment of the Radical Union, an amalgam of radical working-class groups which hoped to rival the Liberals, and became a member of its executive committee. However, he soon rejected liberal radicalism completely and moved toward socialism. In this period, British socialism was a small, fledgling and vaguely defined movement, with only a few hundred adherents. Britain’s first socialist party, the Democratic Federation (DF), had been founded by Henry Hyndman, an adherent of the socio-political ideology of Marxism, with Morris joining the DF in January 1883. Morris began to read voraciously on the subject of socialism, including Henry George’s Progress and Poverty, Alfred Russel Wallace’s Land Nationalisation, and Karl Marx’s Das Kapital, although admitted that Marx’s economic analysis of capitalism gave him “agonies of confusion on the brain”. Instead he preferred the writings of William Cobbett and Sergius Stepniak, although he also read the critique of socialism produced by John Stuart Mill. In May 1883, Morris was appointed to the DF’s executive, and was soon elected to the position of treasurer. Devoting himself to the socialist cause, he regularly lectured at meetings across Britain, hoping to gain more converts, although was regularly criticised for doing so by the mainstream press. In November 1883 he was invited to speak at University College, Oxford, on the subject of “Democracy and Art” and there began espousing socialism; this shocked and embarrassed many members of staff, earning national press coverage. With other DF members, he travelled to Blackburn, Lancashire in February 1884 amid the great cotton strike, where he lectured on socialism to the strikers. The following month he marched in a central London demonstration commemorating the first anniversary of Marx’s death and the thirteenth anniversary of the Paris Commune. Morris aided the DF using his artistic and literary talents; he designed the group’s membership card, and helped author their manifesto, Socialism Made Plain, in which they demanded improved housing for workers, free compulsory education for all children, free school meals, an eight-hour working day, the abolition of national debt, nationalisation of land, banks, and railways, and the organisation of agriculture and industry under state control and co-operative principles. Some of his DF comrades found it difficult to reconcile his socialist values with his position as proprietor of the Firm, although he was widely admired as a man of integrity. The DF began publishing a weekly newspaper, Justice, which soon faced financial losses that Morris covered. Morris also regularly contributed articles to the newspaper, in doing so befriending another contributor, George Bernard Shaw. His socialist activism monopolised his time, forcing him to abandon a translation of the Persian Shahnameh. It also led to him seeing far less of Burne-Jones, with whom he had strong political differences; although once a republican, Burne-Jones had become increasingly conservative, and felt that the DF were exploiting Morris for his talents and influence. While Morris devoted much time to trying to convert his friends to the cause, of Morris’ circle of artistic comrades, only Webb and Faulkner fully embraced socialism, while Swinburne expressed his sympathy with it. In 1884 the DF renamed itself the Social Democratic Federation (SDF) and underwent an internal reorganisation. However, the group was facing an internal schism between those (such as Hyndman), who argued for a parliamentary path toward socialism, and those (like Morris) who deemed the Houses of Parliament intrinsically corrupt and capitalist. Personal issues between Morris and Hyndman were exacerbated by their attitude to British foreign policy; Morris was staunchly anti-imperialist while Hyndman expressed patriotic sentiment encouraging some foreign intervention. The division between the two groups developed into open conflict, with the majority of activists sharing Morris’ position. In December 1884 Morris and his supporters– most notably Ernest Belfort Bax and Edward Aveling– left the SDF; the first major schism of the British socialist movement. Socialist League: 1884–89 In December 1884, Morris founded the Socialist League (SL) with other SDF defectors. He composed the SL’s manifesto with Bax, describing their position as that of “Revolutionary International Socialism”, advocating proletarian internationalism and world revolution while rejecting the concept of socialism in one country. In this, he committed himself to “making Socialists” by educating, organising, and agitating to establish a strong socialist movement; calling on activists to boycott elections, he hoped that socialists would take part in a proletariat revolution and help to establish a socialist society. Bax taught Morris more about Marxism, and introduced him to Marx’s collaborator, Friedrich Engels; Engels thought Morris honest but lacking in practical skills to aid the proletariat revolution. Morris remained in contact with other sectors of London’s far left community, being a regular at the socialist International Club in Shoreditch, East London, however he avoided the recently created Fabian Society, deeming it too middle-class. Although a Marxist, he befriended prominent anarchist activists Stepniak and Peter Kropotkin, and came to be influenced by their anarchist views, to the extent that biographer Fiona MacCarthy described his approach as being “Marxism with visionary libertarianism”. As the leading figure in the League Morris embarked on a series of speeches and talks on street corners, in working men’s clubs, and in lecture theatres across England and Scotland. He also visited Dublin, there offering his support for Irish nationalism, and formed a branch of the League at his Hammersmith house. By the time of their first conference in July 1885, the League had eight branches across England and had affiliations with several socialist groups in Scotland. However, as the British socialist movement grew it faced increased opposition from the establishment, with police frequently arresting and intimidating activists. To combat this, the League joined a Defence Club with other socialist groups, including the SDF, for which Morris was appointed treasurer. Morris was passionate in denouncing the “bullying and hectoring” that he felt socialists faced from the police, and on one occasion was arrested after fighting back against a police officer; a magistrate dismissed the charges. The Black Monday riots of February 1886 led to increased political repression against left-wing agitators, and in July Morris was arrested and fined for public obstruction while preaching socialism on the streets. Morris oversaw production of the League’s monthly—soon to become weekly—newspaper, Commonweal, serving as its editor for six years, during which time he kept it financially afloat. First published in February 1885, it would contain contributions from such prominent socialists as Engels, Shaw, Paul Lafargue, Wilhelm Liebknecht, and Karl Kautsky, with Morris also regularly writing articles and poems for it. In Commonweal he serialised a 13-episode poem, The Pilgrims of Hope, which was set in the period of the Paris Commune. From November 1886 to January 1887, Morris’ novel, A Dream of John Ball, was serialised in Commonweal. Set in Kent during the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, it contained strong socialist themes although proved popular among those of different ideological viewpoints, resulting in its publication in book form by Reeves and Turner in 1888. Shortly after, a collection of Morris’ essays, Signs of Change, was published. From January to October 1890, Morris serialised his novel, News from Nowhere, in Commonweal, resulting in improved circulation for the paper. In March 1891 it was published in book form, before being translated into French, Italian, and German by 1898 and becoming a classic among Europe’s socialist community. Combining utopian socialism and soft science fiction, the book tells the tale of a contemporary socialist, William Guest, who falls asleep and awakes in the mid-20th century, discovering a future society based on common ownership and democratic control of the means of production. In this society there is no private property, no big cities, no authority, no monetary system, no divorce, no courts, no prisons, and no class systems; it was a depiction of Morris’ ideal socialist society. Morris had also continued with his translation work; in April 1887, Reeves and Turner published the first volume of Morris’ translation of Homer’s Odyssey, with the second following in November. Venturing into new territory, Morris also authored and starred in a play, The Tables Turned; Or Nupkins Awakened, which was performed at a League meeting in November 1887. It told the story of socialists who are put on trial in front of a corrupt judge; the tale ends with the prisoners beind freed by a proletariat revolution. In June 1889, Morris traveled to Paris as the League’s delegate to the International Socialist Working Men’s Congress, where his international standing was recognised by being chosen as English spokesman by the Congress committee. The Second International emerged from the Congress, although Morris was distraught at its chaotic and disorganised proceedings. At the League’s Fourth Conference in May 1888, factional divisions became increasingly apparent between Morris’ anti-parliamentary socialists, the parliamentary socialists, and the anarchists; the Bloomsbury Branch were expelled for supporting parliamentary action. Under the leadership of Charles Mowbray, the League’s anarchist wing were growing and called on the League to embrace violent action in trying to overthrow the capitalist system. By autumn 1889 the anarchists had taken over the League’s executive committee and Morris was stripped of the editorship of Commonweal in favour of the anarchist Frank Kitz. This alienated Morris from the League, which had also become a financial burden for him; he had been subsidising its activities with £500 a year, a very large sum of money at the time. By the autumn of 1890, Morris left the Socialist League, with his Hammersmith branch seceding to become the independent Hammersmith Socialist Society in November 1890. The Kelmscott Press and Morris’ final years: 1889–96 The work of Morris & Co. continued during Morris’s final years, producing an array of stained glass windows designed by Burne-Jones and the six narrative tapestry panels depicting the quest for the Holy Grail for Stanmore Hall, Shropshire. Morris’s influence on Britain’s artistic community became increasingly apparent as the Art Workers’ Guild was founded in 1884, although, at the time, he was too preoccupied with his socialist activism to pay it any attention. Although the proposal faced some opposition, Morris would be elected to the Guild in 1888, and was elected to the position of master in 1892. Morris similarly did not offer initial support for the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, but changed his opinion after the success of their first exhibit, held in Regents Street in October 1888. Giving lectures on tapestries for the group, in 1892 he would be elected president. At this time, Morris also re-focused his attentions on SPAB campaigning; those causes he championed including the preservation of St. Mary’s Church in Oxford, Blythburgh Church in Suffolk, Peterborough Cathedral, and Rouen Cathedral. Although his socialist activism had decreased, he remained involved with the Hammersmith Socialist Society, and in October 1891 oversaw the creation of a short-lived newsletter, the Hammersmith Socialist Record. Coming to oppose factionalism within the socialist movement, he sought to rebuild his relationship with the SDF, appearing as a guest lecturer at some of their events, and supporting SDF candidate George Lansbury when he stood in the Wandsworth by-election of February 1894. In 1893 the Hammersmith Socialist Society co-founded the Joint Committee of Socialist Bodies with representatives of the SDF and Fabian Society; Morris helped draw up its “Manifesto of English Socialists”. He offered support for far left activists on trial, including a number of militant anarchists whose violent tactics he nevertheless denounced. He also began using the term “communism” for the first time, stating that “Communism is in fact the completion of Socialism: when that ceases to be militant and becomes triumphant, it will be communism.” In December 1895 he gave his final open-air talk at Stepniak’s funeral, where he spoke alongside prominent far left activists Eleanor Marx, Kier Hardie, and Errico Malatesta. Liberated from internal factional struggles, he retracted his anti-Parliamentary position and worked for socialist unity, giving his last public lecture in January 1896 on the subject of “One Socialist Party.” In December 1888, the Chiswick Press published Morris’ The House of the Wolfings, a fantasy story set in Iron Age Europe which provides a reconstructed portrait of the lives of Germanic-speaking Gothic tribes. It contained both prose and aspects of poetic verse. A sequel, The Roots of the Mountains, followed in 1890. Over the coming years he would publish a string of other poetic works; The Story of the Glittering Plain (1890), The Wood Beyond the World (1894), The Well at the World’s End (1896), The Water of the Wondrous Isles (1897) and The Sundering Flood (1898). He also embarked on a translation of the Anglo-Saxon tale, Beowulf; because he could not fully understand Old English, his poetic translation was based largely on that already produced by Alfred John Wyatt. On publication, Morris’ Beowulf would be critically panned. Following the death of the sitting Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, in October 1892, Morris was offered the position, but turned it down, disliking its associations with the monarchy and political establishment; instead the position went to Alfred Austin. In January 1891, Morris began renting a cottage near to Kelmscott House, No. 16 Upper Mall in Hammersmith, which would serve as the first premises of the Kelmscott Press, before relocating to the neighbouring No. 14 in May, that same month in which the company was founded. Devoted to the production of books which he deemed beautiful, Morris was artistically influenced by the illustrated manuscripts and early printed books of Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Before publishing its first work, Morris ensured that he had mastered the techniques of printing and secured supplies of hand-made paper and vellum which would be necessary for production. Over the next seven years, they would publish 66 volumes. The first of these would be one of Morris’ own novels, The Story of the Glittering Plain, which was published in May 1891 and soon sold out. The Kelmscott Press would go on to publish 23 of Morris’ books, more than those of any other author. The press also published editions of works by Keats, Shelley, Ruskin, and Swinburne, as well as copies of various Medieval texts. A number of the Press’ books contained illustrations provided by Burne-Jones. The Press’ magnum opus would be the Kelmscott Chaucer, which had taken years to complete and included 87 illustrations from Burne-Jones. Morris still remained firmly in an employer relation with those working at the Press, although organised outings for them and paid them above average wages. By the early 1890s, Morris was increasingly ill and living largely as an invalid; aside from his gout, he also exhibited signs of epilepsy. In August 1891, he took his daughter Jenny on a tour of Northern France to visit the Medieval churches and cathedrals. Back in England, he spent an increasing amount of time at Kelmscott Manor. Seeking treatment from the prominent doctor William Broadbent, he was prescribed a holiday in the coastal town of Folkestone. In December 1894 he was devastated upon learning of his mother’s death; she had been 90 years old. In July 1896, he went on a cruise to Norway with construction engineer John Carruthers, during which he visited Vadsö and Trondheim; during the trip his physical condition deteriorated and he began experiencing hallucinations. Returning to Kelmscott House, he became a complete invalid, being visited by friends and family, before dying of tuberculosis on the morning of 4 October 1896. Obituaries appearing throughout the national press reflected that, at the time, Morris was widely recognised primarily as a poet. Mainstream press obituaries trivialised or dismissed his involvement in socialism, although the socialist press focused largely on this aspect of his career. His funeral was held on 6 October, during which his corpse was carried from Hammersmith to Paddington rail station, where it was transported to Oxford, and from there to Kelmscott, where it was buried in the churchyard of St. George’s Church. Personal life Morris’ biographer E.P. Thompson described him as having a “robust bearing, and a slight roll in his walk”, alongside a “rough beard” and “disordered hair”. The author Henry James described Morris as “short, burly, corpulent, very careless and unfinished in his dress... He has a loud voice and a nervous restless manner and a perfectly unaffected and businesslike address. His talk indeed is wonderfully to the point and remarkable for clear good sense.” Morris’ first biographer Mackail described him as being both “a typical Englishman” and “a typical Londoner of the middle class” albeit one who was transformed into “something quite individual” through the “force of his genius”. MacCarthy described Morris’ lifestyle as being “late Victorian, mildly bohemian, but bourgeois”, with Mackail commenting that he exhibited many of the traits of the bourgeois Victorian class: “industrious, honest, fair-minded up their lights, but unexpansive and unsympathetic”. Although he generally disliked children, Morris also exhibited a strong sense of responsibility toward his family. Mackail nevertheless thought he “was interested in things much more than in people” and that while he did have “lasting friendships” and “deep affections”, he did not allow people to “penetrate to the central part of him.” Politically, Morris was a staunch revolutionary socialist and anti-imperialist, and although raised a Christian he came to identify as a non-religious atheist. He came to reject state socialism and large centralized control, instead emphasising localised administration within a socialist society. Later political activist Derek Wall suggested that Morris could be classified as an ecosocialist. Morris was greatly influenced by Romanticism, with Thompson asserting that Romanticism was “bred into his bones, and formed his early consciousness.” Thompson argued that this “Romantic Revolt” was part of a “passionate protest against an intolerable social reality”, that of the industrial capitalism of Britain’s Victorian era. However, he believed that it led to little more than a “yearning nostalgia or a sweet complaint” and that Morris only became “a realist and a revolutionary” when he adopted socialism in 1882. However, Mackail was of the opinion that Morris had an “innate Socialism” which had “penetrated and dominated all he did” throughout his life. Given the conflict between his personal and professional life and his socio-political views, MacCarthy described Morris as “a conservative radical”. Morris’s behaviour was often erratic. He was of a nervous disposition, and throughout his life relied on networks of male friends to aid him in dealing with this. Morris’ friends nicknamed him “Topsy” after a character in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. He had a wild temper, and when sufficiently enraged could suffer seizures and blackouts. Rossetti was known to taunt Morris with the intention of trying to enrage him for the amusement of himself and their other friends. Biographer Fiona MacCarthy suggests that Morris might have suffered from a form of Tourette’s syndrome as he exhibited some of the symptoms. In later life he suffered from gout, a common complaint among middle-class males in the Victorian period. Morris’s ethos was that one should “have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” He also held to the view that “No work which cannot be done with pleasure in the doing is worth doing”, and adopted as his personal motto “If I can” from the fifteenth-century Flemish painter Jan van Eyck. Work Literature William Morris was a prolific writer of poetry, fiction, essays, and translations of ancient and medieval texts. His first poems were published when he was 24 years old, and he was polishing his final novel, The Sundering Flood, at the time of his death. His daughter May’s edition of Morris’s Collected Works (1910–1915) runs to 24 volumes, and two more were published in 1936. Morris began publishing poetry and short stories in 1856 through the Oxford and Cambridge Magazine which he founded with his friends and financed while at university. His first volume, The Defence of Guenevere and Other Poems (1858), was the first book of Pre-Raphaelite poetry to be published. The dark poems, set in a sombre world of violence, were coolly received by the critics, and he was discouraged from publishing more for a number of years. “The Haystack in the Floods”, one of the poems in that collection, is probably now one of his better-known poems. It is a grimly realistic piece set during the Hundred Years War in which the doomed lovers Jehane and Robert have a last parting in a convincingly portrayed rain-swept countryside. One early minor poem was “Masters in this Hall” (1860), a Christmas carol written to an old French tune. Another Christmas-themed poem is “The Snow in the Street”, adapted from “The Land East of the Sun and West of the Moon” in The Earthly Paradise. Morris met Eiríkr Magnússon in 1868, and began to learn the Icelandic language from him. Morris published translations of The Saga of Gunnlaug Worm-Tongue and Grettis Saga in 1869, and the Story of the Volsungs and Niblungs in 1870. An additional volume was published under the title of Three Northern Love Stories in 1873. In the last nine years of his life, Morris wrote a series of imaginative fictions usually referred to as the “prose romances”. These novels– including The Wood Beyond the World and The Well at the World’s End– have been credited as important milestones in the history of fantasy fiction, because, while other writers wrote of foreign lands, or of dream worlds, or the future (as Morris did in News from Nowhere), Morris’s works were the first to be set in an entirely invented fantasy world. These were attempts to revive the genre of medieval romance, and written in imitation of medieval prose. Morris’s prose style in these novels has been praised by Edward James, who described them as “among the most lyrical and enchanting fantasies in the English language.” On the other hand, L. Sprague de Camp considered Morris’s fantasies to be not wholly successful, partly because Morris eschewed many literary techniques from later eras. In particular, De Camp argued the plots of the novels are heavily driven by coincidence; while many things just happened in the romances, the novels are still weakened by the dependence on it. Nevertheless, large subgenres of the field of fantasy have sprung from the romance genre, but indirectly, through their writers’ imitation of William Morris. Early fantasy writers like Lord Dunsany, E. R. Eddison and James Branch Cabell were familiar with Morris’s romances. The Wood Beyond the World is considered to have heavily influenced C. S. Lewis’ Narnia series, while J. R. R. Tolkien was inspired by Morris’s reconstructions of early Germanic life in The House of the Wolfings and The Roots of the Mountains. The young Tolkien attempted a retelling of the story of Kullervo from the Kalevala in the style of The House of the Wolfings; Tolkien considered much of his literary work to have been inspired by an early reading of Morris, even suggesting that he was unable to better Morris’s work; the names of characters such as “Gandolf” and the horse Silverfax appear in The Well at the World’s End. Sir Henry Newbolt’s medieval allegorical novel, Aladore, was influenced by Morris’s fantasies. James Joyce also drew inspiration from his work. Textile design During his lifetime, Morris produced items in a range of crafts, mainly those to do with furnishing, including over 600 designs for wall-paper, textiles, and embroideries, over 150 for stained glass windows, three typefaces, and around 650 borders and ornamentations for the Kelmscott Press. He emphasised the idea that the design and production of an item should not be divorced from one another, and that where possible those creating items should be designer-craftsmen, thereby both designing and manufacturing their goods. In the field of textile design, Morris revived a number of dead techniques, and insisted on the use of good quality raw materials, almost all natural dyes, and hand processing. He also observed the natural world first hand to gain a basis for his designs, and insisted on learning the techniques of production prior to producing a design. Mackail asserted that Morris became “a manufacturer not because he wished to make money, but because he wished to make the things he manufactured.” Morris & Co.'s designs were fashionable among Britain’s upper and middle-classes, with biographer Fiona MacCarthy asserting that they had become “the safe choice of the intellectual classes, an exercise in political correctitude.” The company’s unique selling point was the range of different items that it produced, as well as the ethos of artistic control over production that it emphasised. It is likely that much of Morris’s preference for medieval textiles was formed– or crystallised– during his brief apprenticeship with G. E. Street. Street had co-written a book on Ecclesiastical Embroidery in 1848, and was a staunch advocate of abandoning faddish woolen work on canvas in favour of more expressive embroidery techniques based on Opus Anglicanum, a surface embroidery technique popular in medieval England. He was also fond of hand knotted Persian carpets and advised the South Kensington Museum in the acquisition of fine Kerman carpets. Morris taught himself embroidery, working with wool on a frame custom-built from an old example. Once he had mastered the technique he trained his wife Jane, her sister Bessie Burden and others to execute designs to his specifications. When “embroideries of all kinds” were offered through Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. catalogues, church embroidery became and remained an important line of business for its successor companies into the twentieth century. By the 1870s, the firm was offering both embroidery patterns and finished works. Following in Street’s footsteps, Morris became active in the growing movement to return originality and mastery of technique to embroidery, and was one of the first designers associated with the Royal School of Art Needlework with its aim to “restore Ornamental Needlework for secular purposes to the high place it once held among decorative arts.” Morris took up the practical art of dyeing as a necessary adjunct of his manufacturing business. He spent much of his time at Staffordshire dye works mastering the processes of that art and making experiments in the revival of old or discovery of new methods. One result of these experiments was to reinstate indigo dyeing as a practical industry and generally to renew the use of those vegetable dyes, such as the red derived from madder, which had been driven almost out of use by the anilines. Dyeing of wools, silks, and cottons was the necessary preliminary to what he had much at heart, the production of woven and printed fabrics of the highest excellence; and the period of incessant work at the dye-vat (1875–76) was followed by a period during which he was absorbed in the production of textiles (1877–78), and more especially in the revival of carpet-weaving as a fine art. Morris’s patterns for woven textiles, some of which were also machine made under ordinary commercial conditions, included intricate double-woven furnishing fabrics in which two sets of warps and wefts are interlinked to create complex gradations of colour and texture. Morris long dreamed of weaving tapestries in the medieval manner, which he called “the noblest of the weaving arts.” In September 1879 he finished his first solo effort, a small piece called “Cabbage and Vine”. Legacy President of the William Morris Society Hans Brill referred to Morris as “one of the outstanding figures of the nineteenth century”, while Linda Parry termed him the “single most important figure in British textile production”. At the time of Morris’ death, his poetry was known internationally and his company’s products were found all over the world. In his lifetime, he was best known as a poet, although by the late twentieth-century he was primarily known as a designer of wallpapers and fabrics. He was a major contributor to the revival of traditional British textile arts and methods of production. Morris’ ethos of production was an influence on Bauhaus. Another aspect of Morris’s preservationism was his desire to protect the natural world from the ravages of pollution and industrialism, causing some historians of the green movement to regard Morris as an important forerunner of modern environmentalism. Aymer Vallance was commissioned to produce the first biography of Morris, published in 1897, after Morris’ death, as per the latter’s wishes. This presented the creation of SPAB as Morris’ greatest achievement. Morris’s next biographer was Burne-Jones’ son-in-law John William Mackail, who authored the two-volume Life of William Morris (1899) in which he provided a sympathetic portrayal of Morris that largely omitted his political activities, treating them as a passing phase that Morris overcame. MacCarthy’s biography, William Morris: A Life for Our Time, was first published in 1994 and a paperback edition was published by Faber & Faber in 2010. For the 2013 Venice Biennale, artist Jeremy Deller selected Morris as the subject of a large-scale mural titled “We Sit Starving Amidst our Gold”, in which Morris returns from the dead to hurl the yacht of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich into the waves of an ocean. MacCarthy curated the "Anarchy & Beauty" exhibition—a commemoration of Morris’ legacy—for the National Portrait Gallery in 2014, for which she recruited around 70 artists who were required to undertake a test regarding Morris’ News from Nowhere to be accepted. Writing for the Guardian prior to the opening of the exhibition on 16 October 2014, MacCarthy asserted: Morris has exerted a powerful influence on thinking about art and design over the past century. He has been the constant niggle in the conscience. How can we combat all this luxury and waste? What drove him into revolutionary activism was his anger and shame at the injustices within society. He burned with guilt at the fact that his “good fortune only” allowed him to live in beautiful surroundings and to pursue the work he adored. “Anarchy & Beauty"'s arts and crafts section featured Morris’ own copy of the French edition of Karl Marx’s Das Kapital handbound in a gold-tooled leather binding that MacCarthy describes as “the ultimate example of Morris’s conviction that perfectionism of design and craftsmanship should be available to everyone.” Notable collections and house museums A number of galleries and museums house important collections of Morris’s work and decorative items commissioned from Morris & Co. The William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, England, is a public museum devoted to Morris’s life, work and influence. The William Morris Society is based at Morris’s final London home, Kelmscott House, Hammersmith, and is an international members society, museum and venue for lectures and other Morris-related events. The Art Gallery of South Australia is "fortunate in holding the most comprehensive collection of Morris & Co. furnishings outside Britain". The collection includes books, embroideries, tapestries, fabrics, wallpapers, drawings & sketches, furniture and stained glass, and forms the focus of two published works (produced to accompany special exhibitions). The former “green dining room” at the Victoria and Albert Museum is now its “Morris Room”. The V&A’s British Galleries house other decorative works by Morris and his associates. One of the meeting rooms in the Oxford Union, decorated with the wallpaper in his style, is named the Morris Room. Wightwick Manor in the West Midlands, England, is a notable example of the Morris & Co. style, with original Morris wallpapers and fabrics, De Morgan tiles, and Pre-Raphaelite works of art, managed by the National Trust. Standen in West Sussex, England, was designed by Webb between 1892 and 1894 and decorated with Morris carpets, fabrics and wallpapers. The illustrator Edward Linley Sambourne chose to decorate his London family home 18 Stafford Terrace with many Morris & Co wallpapers, which have been preserved and can still be seen today. Morris’s homes Red House and Kelmscott Manor have been preserved. Red House was acquired by the National Trust in 2003 and is open to the public. Kelmscott Manor is owned by the Society of Antiquaries of London and is open to the public. The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California acquired the collection of Morris materials amassed by Sanford and Helen Berger in 1999. The collection includes stained glass, wallpaper, textiles, embroidery, drawings, ceramics, more than 2000 books, original woodblocks, and the complete archives of both Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. and Morris & Co. These materials formed the foundation for the 2002 exhibition William Morris: Creating the Useful and the Beautiful and 2003 exhibition The Beauty of Life: William Morris and the Art of Design and accompanying publication. A Greater London Council blue plaque at the Red House commemorates Morris and architect Philip Webb. 7, Hammersmith Terrace is the former home of Sir Emery Walker, a close friend and colleague of Morris. The house is decorated in the Arts & Crafts style, including with extensive collections of Morris wallpaper, furniture, and textiles. 7, Hammersmith Terrace is operated by the Emery Walker Trust, and is open to the public for tours. In 2013, the Cary Graphic Arts Collection at Rochester Institute of Technology bought William Morris’s London-built Hopkinson & Cope Improved Albion press (No. 6551) at auction for $233,000. This printing press was specially reinforced to produce Morris’s Chaucer in 1896. Other owners of Morris’s Albion press include Frederic Goudy and J. Ben Lieberman. Literary works Collected poetry, fiction, and essays The Hollow Land (1856) The Defence of Guenevere, and other Poems (1858) The Life and Death of Jason (1867) The Earthly Paradise (1868–1870) Love is Enough, or The Freeing of Pharamond: A Morality (1872) The Story of Sigurd the Volsung and the Fall of the Niblungs (1877) Hopes and Fears For Art (1882) The Pilgrims of Hope (1885) A Dream of John Ball (1888) Signs of Change (1888) A Tale of the House of the Wolfings, and All the Kindreds of the Mark Written in Prose and in Verse (1889) The Roots of the Mountains (1890) Poems By the Way (1891) News from Nowhere (or, An Epoch of Rest) (1890) The Story of the Glittering Plain (1891) The Wood Beyond the World (1894) Child Christopher and Goldilind the Fair (1895) The Well at the World’s End (1896) The Water of the Wondrous Isles (1897) The Sundering Flood (1897) (published posthumously) A King’s Lesson (1901) The World of Romance (1906) Chants for Socialists (1935) Golden Wings and Other Stories (1976) Translations Grettis Saga: The Story of Grettir the Strong with Eiríkr Magnússon (1869) The Saga of Gunnlaug the Worm-tongue and Rafn the Skald with Eiríkr Magnússon (1869) Völsung Saga: The Story of the Volsungs and Niblungs, with Certain Songs from the Elder Edda with Eiríkr Magnússon (1870) (from the Volsunga saga) Three Northern Love Stories, and Other Tales with Eiríkr Magnússon (1875) The Odyssey of Homer Done into English Verse (1887) The Aeneids of Virgil Done into English (1876) Of King Florus and the Fair Jehane (1893) The Tale of Beowulf Done out of the Old English Tongue (1895) Old French Romances Done into English (1896) Published Lectures and Papers Lectures on Art delivered in support of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (Morris lecture on The Lesser Arts). London, Macmillan, 1882 Architecture and History & Westminster Abbey". Papers read to SPAB in 1884 and 1893. Printed at The Chiswick Press. London, Longmans, 1900 Communism: a lecture London, Fabian Society, 1903 Gallery Morris & Co. stained glass Stained glass Morris & Co. textiles Textiles Kelmscott Press Kelmscott Press References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Morris




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