Marami palang mga manunulat, nobelista at makata na ang pangalan ay William, tulad nina William Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, etc.), William Golding, (Lord of the Flies), poet William Ernest Henley (Invictus), William Wordsworth (poet laureate), at iba pa. Umabot sa 129 ang na-sort out ko. Ibig bang sabihin nito, pang-writer talaga ang pangalang William. Ano sa palagay n'yo? - Greg Bituin Jr.
Narito ang 129 writers na iyon:
Alexander, Sir William, Earl of Stirling
Alexander, Sir William, Earl of Stirling (1567?-1640), Scottish poet and courtier, born probably in Menstrie, and educated probably at the universities of Glasgow and Leiden. He was tutor to the oldest son of James VI of Scotland (later James I of England). Alexander became secretary of state for Scotland in 1626. His principal works include the collection of sonnets Aurora and the tragedies Darius (1603), Croesus (1604), The Alexandrean (1605), and Julius Caesar (1607). The tragedies contain several distinguished soliloquies. His other works include the epic Doomesday, or the Great Day of the Lord's Judgment (1614).
Allingham, William (1824-1889), Irish poet and editor, born in Ballyshannon, Donegal, Ireland. Allingham’s education was slight, consisting of only a few years in a boarding school. He worked in his father's bank until 1845, when he received an appointment in the customs service. His literary interests drew him frequently to London, where his circle of friends included English poet and literary critic Leigh Hunt, as well as the English painter and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti and other Pre-Raphaelites, a group of painters harkening back to the religious paintings of the Middle Ages. Allingham’s first publication, Poems (1850), was followed by Day and Night Songs (1884), a second series of which was illustrated by Rossetti along with contemporary illustrators Arthur Hughes and John Everett Millais. From 1874 to 1879 Allingham was editor of Fraser's magazine.
Alwyn, William (1905–1985), English composer and educator, who wrote film music and composed symphonies and chamber music. Alwyn was born in Northampton, England, and studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London. From 1926 until 1955, he was a professor of composition at the Royal Academy of Music. Motion pictures he wrote music for include A Night to Remember (1958) and The Way Ahead (1944). His other music includes an unperformed opera, The Libertine. He also wrote a book, The Technique of Film Music, published in 1957.
William J. Anderson was born in Virginia in 1811 to a free mother and an enslaved father. After his father died, Anderson’s indigent mother turned him over to a Virginia slaveholder. Despite an agreement that Anderson would be treated kindly, he was whipped and beaten for trying to learn how to read and write. Later Anderson was sold into slavery in the Deep South. After trying to escape in Tennessee, Anderson was caught, undressed, and given 500 lashes with a whip. Anderson was sold several more times, but in 1836 he escaped and gained his freedom. His narrative, titled Life and Narrative of William J. Anderson, 24 Years A Slave, was published in Chicago in 1857.
Archer, William (1856-1924), Scottish playwright and drama critic, born in Perth. Archer went to school in Edinburgh and spent much of his boyhood in Norway. He helped to bring contemporary achievements in Continental drama to the British theater. His translation of The Pillars of Society, by the Norwegian dramatist Henrik Johan Ibsen, was produced in London in 1880, the first of Ibsen's dramas to be staged in England. Subsequently Archer translated and edited Ibsen's Prose Dramas (5 volumes, 1890-1891). Archer also wrote several plays, notably The Green Goddess (1923).
Balfe, Michael William
Balfe, Michael William (1808–1870), Irish composer and singer, best known for his opera The Bohemian Girl (1843). At the age of 16 he was a violinist and baritone at the Drury Lane Theatre in London, England. In 1825 Balfe went to Italy, where he sang in Palermo and at La Scala opera house in Milan. In 1846 he was named conductor at London’s Her Majesty's Theatre.
Barnes, William (1800?-1886), English dialect poet and philologist, born in Sturminster Newton, Dorset, England. Barnes’s poetry as well as his studies of different dialects and languages influenced writers of his day. After local schooling and employment with an attorney in Dorchester, Barnes conducted his own school and was later ordained a priest of the Church of England. He mastered many languages and began writing most of his poems in Dorset dialect, a dialect attractive to him both because it was his childhood speech and also because it was a remnant of the West Saxon branch of Old English. Two of his collections of dialect poetry,Poems of Rural Life in the Dorset Dialect, published in two series in 1844 and 1862, and Poems of Rural Life in Common English, published in 1868, earned Barnes a reputation as an exceptional lyric poet of the 19th century.
Beaverbrook, William Maxwell Aitken, 1st Baron
Beaverbrook, William Maxwell Aitken, 1st Baron (1879-1964), British politician and publisher, whose newspapers achieved unprecedented mass circulation, while emphasizing his strongly conservative philosophy.
Beckford, William (1759-1844), English writer and art collector, born at Fonthill Abbey, Wiltshire. In 1770 he inherited an enormous fortune. He traveled extensively in continental Europe, collecting books and objects of art. In 1782 he wrote his principal work, Vathek: An Arabian Tale, in French. It was published in English in 1786 and in the original French in 1787. The fantastic, grandiose, and exotic elements in this tale are consonant with the style of Gothic novels, which were popular during the latter half of the 18th century. This book, as well as Beckford's extravagant estates, decadent lifestyle, and his aloofness from society, gave him the reputation of being a morose and eccentric genius. Beckford also wrote two burlesques of sentimental novels, and sketches of his travels.
Benét, William Rose
Benét, William Rose (1886-1950), American poet, critic, and editor, born in Brooklyn, New York, and educated at Yale University. In 1924 Benét helped found the magazine The Saturday Review of Literature (later renamed The Saturday Review); he was an editor and columnist there until his death. His poetry, generally in extended narrative form, is romantic and spirited. It includes Merchants from Cathay (1913), Moons of Grandeur (1920), With Wings as Eagles (1940), and The Dust Which Is God (1941), which received the 1942Pulitzer Prize for poetry. Benét also wrote a novel, First Person Singular (1922), and a volume of essays, Wild Goslings (1927), and he edited The Reader's Encyclopedia (1948). He was the brother of the poet and novelist Stephen Vincent Benét and the husband of the American poet Elinor Wylie.
Blake, William (1757-1827), English poet, painter, and engraver, who created a unique form of illustrated verse; his poetry, inspired by mystical vision, is among the most original, lyric, and prophetic in the language.
Bok, Edward William
Bok, Edward William (1863-1930), American editor, writer, and philanthropist, born in Den Helder, Netherlands. Brought to the United States at the age of six, he later worked for publishing firms in New York City. In 1886 he formed the Bok Syndicate Press, which published the sermons of Henry Ward Beecher. From 1889 to 1919 he was editor of the magazine Ladies' Home Journal. In 1923 Bok established the American Peace Award, a prize of $100,000 for the most practicable plan for securing permanent world peace. In 1928 Bok endowed and gave to the U.S. the Iron Mountain Bird Sanctuary and Singing Tower, near Lake Wales in Florida. His writings include The Americanization of Edward Bok (1920; Pulitzer Prize, 1921), and Dollars Only (1926).
Bowles, William Lisle
Bowles, William Lisle (1762-1850), English poet and clergyman, born in King's Sutton, Northamptonshire, and educated at the University of Oxford. He was vicar of Bremhill, Wiltshire, from 1804 to 1850. His Fourteen Sonnets (1789) deeply influenced the romantic poets Robert Southey, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and William Wordsworth. The Spirit of Discovery (1804), The Grave of the Last Saxon (1822), and St. John in Patmos (1833) are among Bowles's longer poems.
Boyce, William (1711-1779), British composer, one of the few to write symphonies. Born in London, he was Master of the King's Music and composer and organist of the Chapel Royal. Increasing deafness compelled Boyce to give up most of his work after 1769. His three-volume Cathedral Music (1760-1778), a collection of church music by English composers such as William Byrd, Henry Purcell, and Thomas Tallis, was used in cathedrals in England for more than a century. His anthems include “O, Where Shall Wisdom Be Found” and “By the Waters of Babylon.” He also wrote songs and music for the theater.
Braithwaite, William Stanley Beaumont
Braithwaite, William Stanley Beaumont (1878-1962), African American poet, anthologist, critic and editor, who championed work by both black and white authors.
Brian, (William) Havergal
Brian, (William) Havergal (1876–1972), English composer, who wrote 32 symphonies in visionary romantic style for large choral and orchestral groups. His works include Gothic (1919–1927).
Brown, William Wells
Brown, William Wells (1814?-1884), African American antislavery lecturer, who was a groundbreaking novelist, playwright, and historian. Scholars have called Brown the first African American to achieve distinction in writing belles lettres, or literature. As a writer Brown's career is made up of “firsts”: he is considered the first African American to publish works in several literary genres. Brown was also known for his political activism, particularly in the antislavery movement, and political themes underscored his writing throughout his career.
Browne, William (1591?-1645?), English poet, born in Tavistock, Devonshire, and educated at the University of Oxford. Browne is most remembered for Britannia's Pastorals (Book I, 1613; Book II, 1616; Book III, which was unfinished and remained in manuscript form until it was published in 1852), admired for their beautiful descriptions of pastoral life. The Shepheards Pipe (1614), written by Browne and other poets, is a collection of eclogues, or conversations among shepherds. Browne's poetry influenced the work of the poets John Milton, John Keats, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Bryant, William Cullen
Bryant, William Cullen (1794-1878), American poet and journalist, born in Cummington, Massachusetts, and trained in law. Bryant wrote his finest poetry in his youth. The first draft of “Thanatopsis,” his most famous poem, was written when he was 16 years of age, and he was only 27 years old when his first published volume, Poems, appeared in 1821. Poems included, in addition to “Thanatopsis,””Inscription for the Entrance to a Wood,””Green River,” and “To a Waterfowl.” From then until his death, Bryant was known as one of the most distinguished poets in the United States.
Buckley, William F(rank), Jr.
Buckley, William F(rank), Jr. (1925- ), American editor, writer, and conservative political thinker. He was born in New York City and educated at Yale University. In 1955 he founded and began his tenure as editor in chief of the weekly journal of opinion National Review. His syndicated daily newspaper column first appeared in 1962, and his weekly television discussion program, “Firing Line,” was syndicated in 1966. Among his books are God and Man at Yale (1951), an indictment of liberal education in the United States; Up from Liberalism (1959); The Unmaking of a Mayor (1966), about Buckley's unsuccessful mayoral campaign in 1965 as the Conservative Party candidate in New York City; and Quotations from Chairman Bill (1970). Many of his novels—Saving the Queen (1976), Stained Glass (1978), Who's on First (1980), Marco Polo, If You Can (1981), and See You Later, Alligator (1985)—were best-selling stories of international intrigue. Buckley's other books include Racing Through Paradise (1987), On the Firing Line (1989), The Culture of Liberty (1993), and Brothers No More (1995).
Burroughs, William S(eward)
Burroughs, William S(eward) (author) (1914-1997), American writer, painter, and experimental artist. Burroughs's literary experimentation is apparent in his novels, which combine visionary intensity, strong social satire, and the use of montage, collage, and improvisation. He was the inventor of the routine (a satirical fantasy the author composes through improvisation), the cutup (a collage technique applied to prose writing in which the writer literally cuts up and recombines text), and pop mythologies (mythologies the writer creates using material from popular culture). His novels include Junky (1953), Naked Lunch (1959), The Soft Machine (1961), The Ticket That Exploded (1962), Nova Express (1964), The Wild Boys (1971), Exterminator! (1973), Port of Saints (1975), Cities of the Red Night (1981), Place of Dead Roads (1984), Queer (1985), and The Western Lands (1987). My Education: A Book of Dreams (1995), although a fictional work, mentions numerous events and people from Burrough's life. Ghost of Chance, also published in 1995, deals with drugs and paranoia.
Byrd, William (composer) (1543-1623), greatest English composer of the Elizabethan age. Born probably at Lincoln, he was organist at the Lincoln Cathedral from 1563 to 1572, when he became organist for the Chapel Royal. In 1575 Queen Elizabeth I granted Byrd and his former teacher Thomas Tallis a monopoly in the printing and selling of music and music paper; it became Byrd's property upon Tallis's death in 1585. Although a Roman Catholic working in England under the Protestant Elizabeth, Byrd was nationally venerated, and his loyalty was never questioned. He died July 4, 1623, in Stondon, Essex. Byrd composed 6 Anglican services and about 60 anthems, but his Latin church music is considered his most glorious work; its breadth and intensity are unmatched in English music. His major Latin works are his three masses, the 1589 and 1591 volumes of Cantiones Sacrae, and the two-volume Gradualia (1605, 1607), a year's cycle of settings of the changeable parts of the mass. Byrd was among the first to compose fantasias for viol consort. His more than 140 virginal (harpsichord) pieces helped establish the English school of virginal composition; they appear in his manuscript My Ladye Nevells Booke (1591) and in anthologies such as the manuscript FitzWilliam Virginal Book (1612?-1619). His secular vocal music includes songs for solo voice and viol consort.
Carman, (William) Bliss
Carman, (William) Bliss (1861-1929), Canadian poet, born in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and educated at the universities of New Brunswick and Edinburgh and at Harvard University. After 1890 he did editorial work in New York City and Boston. Carman was a lyric poet; his poems were in praise of joy, love, and nature. His first book of poetry was Low Tide on Grand Pré (1893) and his last was Wild Garden (1929). His most famous poems were published in Vagabondia (3 volumes, 1894-1901). In 1928 he received the Lorne Pierce Gold Medal of the Royal Society of Canada.
Cayley, Neville William
Cayley, Neville William (1886–1950), Australian ornithological artist, who specialized in Australian birds. His best-selling book What Bird is That? first appeared in 1931 and gives color illustrations and descriptions of all Australian birds.
Chase, W(illiam) Calvin
Chase, W(illiam) Calvin (1854-1921), African American lawyer, Republican politician, and editor and proprietor of the black activist journal the Washington Bee. From 1882 to 1921, Chase was editor and proprietor of the Washington Bee, one of the most significant black journals of the era. Chase used the terms colored and Negro interchangeably, but his predominant usage was colored. As an editor, Chase was known for his talented use of invective. The Bee's motto, Honey for Friends, Stings for Enemies, suggests his inclination for verbal attack and its pragmatic basis. His caustic personality and editorials seriously limited the acclaim that he received in his own time, despite a very active career in journalism, politics, and law that was national in scope. The complete files of the Bee testify to the fact that, week in and week out for 40 years, Chase and the Bee spoke out on issues concerning blacks.
Cobbett, William (1763-1835), English political writer, who wrote under the pseudonym Peter Porcupine, born in Farnham, Surrey. In Philadelphia in 1797 he established a newspaper, Porcupine's Gazette, in which he violently attacked American democracy. Back in England, he founded Cobbett's Weekly Political Register in 1802. In this journal he became an advocate of radical social and parliamentary reform, and until 1817 he fought for the cause of various oppressed classes of British society. Laws passed to suppress radicalism caused him to go back to the United States in 1817. After his return to England two years later, he championed parliamentary reform and became a member of the first Parliament elected under the Reform Bill of 1832. Cobbett was noted for the sarcasm, wit, and violence of his polemic style. He wrote nearly 50 prose works, the most important of which are his collection of American writings, Porcupine's Works (12 volumes, 1801), and a description of rural England, Rural Rides (1830).
Collins, (William) Wilkie
Collins, (William) Wilkie (1824-89), English writer, often regarded as the originator of detective fiction. He was born in London. Unsuccessful at business and law, he preferred to write. In 1851 he began a close association with Charles Dickens, with whom he collaborated on the novel No Thoroughfare (1867). Collins's mystery thriller The Woman in White (1860) and the detective story The Moonstone (1868), which first appeared in periodicals edited by Dickens, are considered masterpieces of their respective genres. In both, although the greatest emphasis is placed on the construction of a plot designed to baffle the reader, characterization is also important. The vivid portrayal of Sergeant Cuff in The Moonstone is the first study in English fiction of a detective actually at work. Among Collins's other works are travel sketches, the historical romance Antonina, or the Fall of Rome (1850), the series of ghost stories After Dark (1856), and the novels No Name (1862) and Armadale (1866). His later fiction deals with social problems, mixed with elements of mystery and melodrama.
Collins, William (1721-59), English poet, one of the finest lyric poets of his age. He was born in Chichester and educated at the University of Oxford. While at Oxford he published a volume of verse, Persian Eclogues (1742). Later, living in London on a small bequest, he published (1746) a volume of odes, but his health began to fail about 1749. He continued to write, without popular success, but winning the acclaim of the critic Samuel Johnson and the poets Oliver Goldsmith and Thomas Gray. Of Collins's relatively few poems, such pieces as “How Sleep the Brave,””Ode to Evening,””Ode to Simplicity,””The Passions” (all pub. between 1746 and 1750), and “Ode on the Popular Superstitions of the Highlands of Scotland” (1750) are outstanding.
Congreve, William (1670-1729), English dramatist and poet, regarded as the ablest writer of comedy of the Restoration period. He was born in Bardsey, near Leeds, and educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He published a prose work, Incognita (1692), and a few poems, but did not achieve success until he turned to playwriting. With the production of his comedy The Old Bachelor in 1693, his talent was established. It was followed by The Double Dealer (1693) and Love for Love (1695). He wrote his only tragedy, The Mourning Bride (1697). When the work of Congreve and his colleagues was attacked by the clergyman Jeremy Collier as licentious, Congreve replied with Amendments of Mr. Collier's False and Imperfect Citations (1698). His last important play, The Way of the World (1700), met with little enthusiasm but is now considered a comic masterpiece. Congreve spent the rest of his life quietly, holding minor civil service posts. He published occasional verse and translations of ancient Roman and Greek poets and enjoyed the friendship of other men of letters, including Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, and Voltaire.
Cowper, William (1731-1800), English poet, who wrote about simple pleasures of country life and expressed a deep concern with human cruelty and suffering. He was born in Great Berkhampstead, Hertfordshire. He suffered periods of acute depression. Upon his release from an asylum, he lived with the evangelical cleric Morley Unwin and his wife, Mary. In 1773 Cowper was again seized by a severe despondency, rooted in religious doubts and fears that plagued him all his life. The care of Mrs. Unwin, who encouraged him to compose poetry, helped him to recover. He collaborated with the curate John Newton in writing Olney Hymns (1779). Cowper is best known for the humorous ballad “The Diverting History of John Gilpin” (1783) and the poem praising rural life, The Task (1785), written in a conversational style of blank verse. After the death of Mrs. Unwin, he wrote “The Castaway” (1779), an expression of his spiritual torment.
Cunningham, William (1849-1919), English economic historian and educator, whose greatest work was a historical survey called The Growth of English Industry and Commerce (1882). Cunningham was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he was educated at Edinburgh Academy and Edinburgh University. Cunningham's Growth of English Industry and Commerce (1882) is his one work that has shown permanent value. It went through seven editions by 1910 and was long the standard work on the subject. The work provided useful information about the Middle Ages (5th century to 15th century) and the 16th century, but it became progressively weaker as its coverage approached modern times. In spite of such shortcomings, Cunningham is given credit as a pioneer in producing an organized survey of English economic history.
Curtis, George William
Curtis, George William (1824-1892), American author, orator, and publicist, who influenced much of the literary, political, and social thought of his time. Curtis was born in Providence, Rhode Island. During his youth he was influenced by a stay at the nearby cooperative community of Brook Farm and by his contacts with author Ralph Waldo Emerson, a leader in the philosophy of transcendentalism. These experiences led Curtis to take part in several 19th-century reform movements, including antislavery, women's rights, and civil service reform. His early travel books, Nile Notes of a Howadji (1851), The Howadji in Syria (1852), and Lotus-Eating (1852), were followed by two volumes, Potiphar Papers (1853) and Prue and I (1856). These two works are similar in style to later works by American author John Irving. Curtis also wrote a mildly satirical novel titled Trumps (1861). Curtis became a figure of national importance through magazine editing and lecturing. He was associate editor of Putnam's Monthly from 1853 to 1857, contributor of the "Easy Chair" section of Harper's Monthly from 1853 to 1892, and editor of Harper's Weekly from 1863 until his death. In these positions, Curtis exerted a wide influence on the literary, political, and social thought of his time. His speech at Wesleyan University in 1856, “The Duty of the American Scholar to Politics and the Times,” was only one of his many notable public addresses; he gave his lecture “Political Infidelity” (written in 1864) more than 50 times in various parts of the country.
Dankworth, John Philip William
Dankworth, John Philip William (1927– ), English jazz musician, composer, and bandleader, a leading figure in the development of British jazz after 1950. His film scores include Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960) and The Servant (1963).
Davenant, Sir William
Davenant, Sir William (1606-1668), English dramatist and poet, born in Oxford. Davenant (or D'Avenant) claimed to be Shakespeare's son and Shakespeare may have been his godfather. His first play, Albovine, a tragedy, was written in 1628, and his best comedy, The Wits, in 1633. In 1638 he succeeded Ben Jonson as poet laureate. Davenant was an active supporter of Charles I against Parliament, and he was knighted by the king in 1643. He led an expedition to colonize Virginia, but was captured by Commonwealth forces in the English Channel and sentenced to death. He spent two years, from 1650 to 1652, in the Tower of London. His epic poem Gondibert was written during his imprisonment. Despite the Puritan ban on dramatic performances, Davenant produced performances in private houses in London in 1656. These included The Siege of Rhodes, reputedly the first English opera. After the Restoration he formed the Duke of York's Players, which performed his own works and adaptations of the works of Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, and John Fletcher.
De Morgan, William Frend
De Morgan, William Frend (1839–1917), English pottery designer and novelist, who set up his own factory in London in 1888, producing tiles and pottery painted with flora and fauna in a style typical of the Arts and Crafts movement. When he retired from the pottery industry, he began writing novels in the style of English novelist Charles Dickens. His Joseph Vance (1906) was a great success. He followed it with six other novels: Alice-for-Short (1907), Somehow Good (1908), It Never Can Happen Again (1909), An Affair of Dishonour (1910), A Likely Story (1911), and When Ghost Meets Ghost (1914).
Drummond, William (1585-1649), Scottish poet, commonly called Drummond of Hawthornden. Drummond was born in Hawthornden, just south of Edinburgh, and attended the University of Edinburgh. He traveled to France where he studied law in Bourges and Paris, but his real interest was literature. Drummond is known primarily for his sonnets, which earned him the title the Scottish Petrarch. His collection of religious verse, Flowres of Sion, was published in 1623. Drummond had a deeply religious philosophy, which sprang from an acute consciousness of death. His prose, as exemplified by Cypresse Grove (1623), is majestic and musical in quality. In 1632 Drummond began his History of Scotland, eventually published in 1655, after his death. In the later years of his life, during the English Revolution (1640-1660), Drummond wrote political pamphlets.
Drummond, William Henry
Drummond, William Henry (1854-1907), Canadian poet, whose verse transcribed the mixture of French and English spoken by French inhabitants of rural Canada. Born in county Leitrim, Ireland, Drummond immigrated to Canada with his family in 1864. He was educated at McGill University. Later he practiced medicine in Québec Province, taught, and superintended his family's silver mines in Ontario. His poetry, the most popular of which is collected in The Habitant (1897), Johnny Courteau (1901), The Voyageur (1905), and The Great Fight (1908), describes the lives of the habitants (French-Canadian farmers) and records their tales and legends in verse.
Dunbar, William (1460?-1520?), Scottish poet, educated at the University of Saint Andrews. Some evidence suggests that he became a Franciscan friar and, after travels in England and France, was attached in 1500 to the court of James IV of Scotland. Dunbar is considered by some scholars one of the finest Scottish poets; his work helped to inspire the early 20th-century Scottish literary revival. The robust humor, lively imagination, sharp satire, and invective of Dunbar's poetry are best shown in The Dance of the Sevin Deidly Synnis (1503-1508) and The Twa Maryit Wemen and the Wedo (The Two Married Women and the Widow), a ribald discussion of the women's experiences in marriage. Among his other poems are The Thrissill and the Rois (The Thistle and the Rose), composed in honor of the marriage of Margaret Tudor and James IV in 1503, and The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedie—”flyting” being a traditional form of scathing debate. The most famous of his poems, however, is Lament for the Makaris, a meditation on his own mortality, the death of poets of the past, and the mortality of fellow poets (“makars”). The poem serves, incidentally, as a source of names and some identification of these poets.
Du Bois, William Edgar Burghardt
Du Bois, W. E. B. (1868-1963), black American historian and sociologist, who conducted the initial research on the black experience in the United States. His work paved the way for the civil rights, Pan-African, and Black Power movements in the United States.
The first prolific writer of melodramas was William Dunlap, who also translated several German plays for production in the United States. Dunlap adapted Revolutionary War history in André (1798), a fictionalized account of the final days of British spy Major John André. In 1803 Dunlap reshaped the play as a musical, Glory of Columbia, in which George Washington is elevated to divine status. It was an early example of spectacle dominating dramatic content. Dunlap took spectacle even further in A Trip to Niagara (1828) by making the play’s purpose the duplication of scenic wonders that the audience would recognize, such as Niagara Falls.
Eagleson, William Lewis
Eagleson, William Lewis (1835-1899), African American pioneer journalist in Kansas and Oklahoma, who established the first black-owned newspapers in two frontier commonwealths and promoted all-black settlements.
Eagleson was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on August 9, 1835. He learned the printer's trade as an apprentice, or devil, on a white newspaper; he was also trained as a barber. On December 2, 1865, he married Elizabeth McKinney. After several years in Illinois, he moved in 1877 to Fort Scott, Kansas. In January 1878 he began to publish the state's first black-owned newspaper, the Colored Citizen, using an antiquated press and secondhand type. Six months later, he moved to Topeka, with its larger black population, and appointed T. W. Henderson as associate editor. Their paper urged greater political participation by blacks. As a reward Henderson was appointed chaplain of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and Eagleson, first assistant doorman. Both were prominent on the Colored State Emigration Board, organized to look after the numerous refugees that had come to Kansas from the South. However, the Colored Citizen suspended publication in January 1880, and although Eagleson almost immediately began to publish the Kansas Herald (January 30), disagreement with a conservative partner brought both the Herald and Eagleson's journalistic career in Kansas to an end on June 11.
Elgar, Sir Edward William
Elgar, Sir Edward William (1857-1934), the first modern English composer to write important choral and orchestral music. Elgar was born June 2, 1857, near Worcester. As a young man he filled several musical posts before succeeding his father as organist at Saint George's Roman Catholic Church, Worcester, in 1885. In 1889 he married and resigned his position to devote himself to composing. Elgar then lived alternately in London and near Worcester. The 1890 performance of his overture Froissart brought Elgar some recognition, but he did not become well known until 1899, when the Hungarian conductor Hans Richter performed Elgar's Variations on an Original Theme in London. That composition, better known as the Enigma Variations because the central theme is suggested but never overtly stated, is one of his most highly regarded and popular works. The Dreams of Gerontius, based on a poem by the British churchman John Henry Newman, and generally considered Elgar's masterpiece, firmly established the reputation of the composer. Elgar's work, a late example of romanticism, is notable for its wit, lyrical beauty, and distinctive form. Elgar also wrote the cantatas The Black Knight (1893) and Caractacus (1898); the oratorios The Apostles (1903) and The Kingdom (1906); a concerto for violin (1910) and one for cello (1919); and the five popular Pomp and Circumstance marches (1901-1907, 1930). His orchestral works include the overture Cockaigne (1902); the symphonic study Falstaff (1913); and two symphonies, in A-flat (1908) and in E-flat (1911). He was at work on a third symphony at the time of his death, February 23, 1934, at Worcester.
Empson, Sir William
Empson, Sir William (1906-1984), English poet and major literary critic of the 20th century. Empson was born in Yorkshire, England, and educated at Magdalene College, Cambridge. Initially a brilliant student of mathematics, he was allowed to pursue English as well with leading semanticist I. A. Richards. In 1929 he received a B.A. degree in mathematics and English literature. In 1930, at 24 years of age, Empson published Seven Types of Ambiguity, an influential text which analyzes in detail the meanings and effects of English poetry. From 1931 to 1934 Empson taught English literature at the University of Tokyo, Japan. He then became a member of the English faculty of Peking National University in China, from which he took leave to work for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) during World War II (1939-1945), as editor in charge of Chinese affairs. He returned to Peking University after the war, remaining there until 1952. Empson's poetry displays the same intellectual rigor as his criticism, as well as a sophisticated wit. Poems was published in 1935; a second volume, The Gathering Storm, followed in 1940. The poems in these collections are complex, and their arguments and metaphors are drawn from disciplines such as physics and mathematics. However, there is a humane element in the questions they pose. Although Empson's poetry was not immediately valued, fellow poets such as T. S. Eliot and Philip Larkin admired its elegance and logic. Collected Poems, which appeared in 1955, marked the end of Empson's career as a poet. His other works of literary criticism include Some Versions of Pastoral (1935), Milton's God (1961), and Using Biography (1984), a collection of essays published posthumously. Empson was knighted in 1979.
Faber, Frederick William
Faber, Frederick William (1814–1863), English hymn writer and Oratorian (a member of a community of Roman Catholic priests). Faber was born in Calverley, in northern England. At the University of Oxford he won the Newdigate prize for poetry. At first a minister of the Church of England, he became a Roman Catholic priest in 1845 under the influence of John Newman, an influential Catholic leader in Britain. As a Catholic, Faber founded a religious community in Birmingham, which later merged with the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in London. Faber became superior of the merged London branch in 1849. Faber’s Collected Hymns were published in 1861, including "O Gift of Gifts, O Grace of Faith," "Paradise, O Paradise," and "Hark, Hark, My Soul."
Faulkner, William (1897-1962), American novelist, known for his epic portrayal, in some 20 novels, of the tragic conflict between the old and the new South. Faulkner's complex plots and narrative style alienated many readers of his early works, but he was recognized later as one of the greatest American writers.
Faulkner's first book, The Marble Faun, a collection of pastoral poems, was privately printed in 1924. The following year he moved to New Orleans, worked as a journalist, and met the American short-story writer Sherwood Anderson, who helped him find a publisher for his first novel, Soldier's Pay (1926), and also convinced him to write about the people and places he knew best. After a brief tour of Europe, Faulkner returned home and began his series of baroque, brooding novels set in the mythical Yoknapatawpha County (based on Lafayette County, Mississippi), peopling it with his own ancestors, Native Americans, blacks, shadowy backwoods hermits, and loutish poor whites. In the first of these novels, Sartoris (1929), he patterned the character Colonel Sartoris after his own great-grandfather, William Cuthbert Falkner, a soldier, politician, railroad builder, and author. (Faulkner restored the “u” that had been removed from the family name.)
The year 1929 was crucial to Faulkner. That year Sartoris was followed by The Sound and the Fury, an account of the tragic downfall of the Compson family. The novel uses four different narrative voices to piece together the story and thus challenges the reader by presenting a fragmented plot told from multiple points of view. The structure of The Sound and the Fury presaged the narrative innovations Faulkner would explore throughout his career. Also in 1929 Faulkner married his childhood sweetheart, Estelle Oldham, and made his home in the small town of Oxford, Mississippi. Most of the books he wrote over the rest of his life received favorable reviews, but only one, Sanctuary (1931), sold well. Despite its sensationalism and brutality, its underlying concerns were with corruption and disillusionment. The book's success led to lucrative work as a scriptwriter for Hollywood, which, for a short time, freed Faulkner to write his novels as his imagination dictated. Faulkner's two most successful screenplays were written for movies that were directed by Howard Hawks: To Have and Have Not (1945, adapted from the novel by the American writer Ernest Hemingway) and The Big Sleep (1946, adapted from the novel by the American writer Raymond Chandler).
Faulkner's works demanded much of his readers. To create a mood, he might let one of his complex, convoluted sentences run on for more than a page. He juggled time, spliced narratives, experimented with multiple narrators, and interrupted simple stories with rambling, stream-of-consciousness soliloquies. Consequently, his readership dwindled. In 1946 the critic Malcolm Cowley, concerned that Faulkner was insufficiently known and appreciated, put together The Portable Faulkner, arranging extracts from Faulkner's novels into a chronological sequence that gave the entire Yoknapatawpha saga a new clarity, thus making Faulkner's genius accessible to a new generation of readers.
Faulkner's works, long out of print, began to be reissued. No longer was he regarded as a regional curiosity, but as a literary giant whose finest writing held meaning far beyond the agonies and conflicts of his own troubled South. His accomplishment was internationally recognized in 1949, when he was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature. His major works include As I Lay Dying (1930), the story of a family's journey to bury a mother; Light in August (1932); Absalom, Absalom! (1936), about Thomas Sutpen's attempt to found a Southern dynasty; The Unvanquished (1938); The Hamlet (1940), the first novel in a trilogy about the rise of the Snopes family; Go Down Moses (1942), a collection of Yoknapatawpha County stories of which the novella The Bear is the best known; Intruder in the Dust (1948); A Fable (1954); The Town (1957) and The Mansion (1959), which completed the Snopes trilogy; and The Reivers (1962). Faulkner especially was interested in multigenerational family chronicles, and many characters appear in more than one book; this gives the Yoknapatawpha County saga a sense of continuity that makes the area and its inhabitants seem real. Faulkner continued to write—both novels and short stories—until his death.
Fitch, (William) Clyde
Fitch, (William) Clyde (1865-1909), American playwright, born in Elmira, New York. Several of his plays were especially written for celebrated stars of his time. Among these are Beau Brummel (1890), for Richard Mansfield; Barbara Frietchie (1899), for Julia Marlowe; and Her Great Match (1905), for Maxine Elliott. His other plays include The Girl with the Green Eyes (1902), regarded by many as his most significant work. Fitch wrote 33 original plays and 22 adaptations, and his versatility was displayed in the wide range of style and subject matter of his works. He was also one of the most successful playwrights of his time; in 1901 four of his plays ran simultaneously in New York City.
French, William P.
French, William P. (b. February 19, 1943, Great Barrington, Mass.; d. January 14, 1997, New York, N.Y.), American book dealer, expert on African American books and bibliography. Self-taught by the books in the store, French became probably the country's most knowledgeable expert on African American books and bibliography. He compiled two biographical pamphlets on black poetry, and in 1979 co-edited Afro-American Poetry and Drama, 1760-1975. Pre-deceased by his wife, the painter Garland Eliason, French died in New York of a stroke on January 14, 1997, survived by his son Will. A book-collecting prize at the Department of Afro-American Studies at Harvard commemorates his memory.
Gibson, William (author) (1948- ), American-born Canadian author, a pioneer in cyberpunk literature. Cyberpunk is a genre of science-fiction writing that portrays worlds of the near future in which decentralized societies are saturated in complex technology and are dominated by large, multinational corporations.
Born William Ford Gibson in Conway, South Carolina, he was educated at the University of British Columbia, Canada. His first science-fiction stories were published in the late 1970s, many of them in the science magazine Omni.
Gibson's first book, Neuromancer (1984), is acknowledged as the first cyberpunk novel and is widely considered to be the most important science-fiction work of the 1980s. The book portrays an impersonal world in which individual rights are constantly threatened by the corporate conglomerates that control society. The heroes of the book, Case and Molly, have bodies that are cybernetically enhanced—that is, altered to include mechanical and electronic elements. They use their abilities to work directly in cyberspace, the world created by the interface between the human mind and computer networks. Case and Molly identify and steal computer data for their bosses but at the same time question their actions.
The language used in Neuromancer contributed strongly to the development of a cyberpunk vocabulary, incorporating words such as cyberspace and virtual reality (a computer-simulated environment resembling the real world). The novel also addresses the possibility of an apocalyptic (involving widespread devastation) future and the issues inherent in the technological alteration of the human body. Neuromancer won the Nebula Award (1984) and the Hugo Award (1985), two of the major prizes for science-fiction literature.
Gibson has also experimented with alternate literary forms. Dream Jumbo (1989) is text intended to accompany performance art. The Difference Engine (1990), coauthored with American writer Bruce Sterling, utilizes elements of the detective story and historical thriller literary forms in its narrative of an alternate Victorian England (mid- and late 19th century), one in which the Industrial Revolution is powered by computers. Agrippa, A Book of the Dead (1992), a poem about Gibson's father, was produced as a set of images and text encoded on computer diskette and designed to erode rapidly once it had been read.
Gibson's other cyberpunk works include Burning Chrome (1986), a short-story collection that includes “Johnny Mnemonic,” which was made into a motion picture in 1995 for which Gibson wrote the script; and the novels Count Zero (1986), Mona Lisa Overdrive (1988), Virtual Light (1993), Idoru (1996), and All Tomorrow’s Parties (1999).
Gilbert, Sir William Schwenck
Gilbert, Sir William Schwenck (1836-1911), English playwright, born in London, and educated principally at the University of London. Although trained as an attorney, Gilbert turned early to writing, producing humorous poetry, later published as the Bab Ballads (1869 and 1873), and several comedies. He is best known for his long collaboration, from 1871 to 1896, with the English composer Sir Arthur Sullivan. Their efforts resulted in the creation of 14 comic operas, which were produced by the noted theatrical manager Richard D'Oyly Carte; they rank among the best and most popular works ever written in this genre. In his librettos Gilbert created fantastically absurd characters and paradoxical stage situations and employed pointed but never bitter social and political satire. Known as the Savoy operas (after the London theater that was built to stage them), they include Thespis (1871), Trial by Jury (1875), The Sorcerer (1877), H.M.S. Pinafore (1878), The Pirates of Penzance (1879), Patience (1881), Iolanthe (1882), Princess Ida (1884), The Mikado (1885), Ruddigore (1887), The Yeomen of the Guard (1888), The Gondoliers (1889), Utopia, Limited (1893), and The Grand Duke (1896). Gilbert also collaborated with other English composers, notably with Sir Edward German on the opera Fallen Fairies, or the Wicked World (1909).
Gillette, William Hooker
Gillette, William Hooker (1853-1937), American actor and playwright, born in Hartford, Connecticut. Gillette spent several years touring the United States with various stock companies and in 1881 produced and starred in his own play, The Professor. He is best known for his dramatization of Sherlock Holmes (1899), which he adapted from the celebrated stories of the English detective-story writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Gillette also appeared in two spy dramas set during the American Civil War (1861-1865), Held by the Enemy (1886) and Secret Service (1895), as well as in The Admirable Crichton (1903), by the British playwright Sir James Matthew Barrie. Gillette's only film role was as the title character in Sherlock Holmes, in 1916.
Gilpin, William (1724–1804), English artist. He is remembered for his essays on the "picturesque," which set out precise rules for the production of this effect.
Godwin, William (1756-1836), English political philosopher and novelist, who, as a person and as a writer, exerted a profound influence on the younger authors of his time.
Godwin was born on March 3, 1756, in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. From 1777 to 1783 Godwin served as a minister of a dissenting religious sect. By 1785, however, he had become an atheist. In 1793 he wrote his best-known work, The Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, and Its Influence on General Virtue and Happiness, which expounded his theories of philosophical anarchism. Convinced of the individual perfection of human beings and their ability to reason, the author found all forms and degrees of control from without intolerable. His contempt for restrictions placed on one person by another or by a government also characterized one of his novels, The Adventures of Caleb Williams (1794).
In 1797 Godwin married the feminist author Mary Wollstonecraft, who died after giving birth to their daughter, also named Mary Wollstonecraft, later the wife of the British poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and an author in her own right. In 1801 Godwin married the widow Mary Jane Clairmont (died 1841). Establishing himself as a bookseller and publisher, he wrote several works for children and published others, notably Tales from Shakespeare (1807) by the British authors Mary Ann Lamb and her brother Charles Lamb. Godwin's business failed in 1822, at which time he devoted himself to writing The History of the Commonwealth of England (1824). His other writings include two series of essays, The Enquirer, Reflections on Education, Manners, and Literature (1797) and Thoughts on Man, His Nature, Productions, and Discoveries (1831). He died in London on April 7, 1836.
Golding, Sir William (Gerald)
Golding, Sir William (Gerald) (1911-1993), British novelist, who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1983. He was born at Saint Columb Minor in Cornwall and educated at Brasenose College at the University of Oxford, where he studied English literature. Golding spent a short time working in the theater as a writer and actor. He then trained to be a teacher, a profession he left during World War II (1939-1945), when he served in the Royal Navy.
After the war Golding returned to writing. His first novel, The Lord of the Flies (1954; motion picture by English director Peter Brook, 1963), was extremely successful and is considered one of the great works of 20th-century literature. Based on Golding's own wartime experiences, it is the story of a group of schoolboys marooned on a desert island after a plane crash. An allegory of the intrinsic corruption of human nature, it chronicles the boys' descent from a state of relative innocence to one of revengeful barbarism. After Lord of the Flies he wrote several novels with similar themes of good and evil in human nature, including The Inheritors (1955) and Pincher Martin (1956). Much of Golding's writing explores moral dilemmas and human reactions in extreme situations. His trilogy—consisting of Rites of Passage (1980), winner of the Booker Prize, an annual award for outstanding literary achievement in the Commonwealth of Nations; Close Quarters (1987); and Fire Down Below (1989)—reflects Golding's interest in the sea and sailing. His other works include two collections of essays, The Hot Gates (1965) and A Moving Target (1982); and one play, The Brass Butterfly (1958). Golding was knighted in 1988 (see Knight). His last novel, The Double Tongue, was published posthumously in 1995.
Gordon, Charles William
Gordon, Charles William (1860-1937), Canadian clergyman and author, who wrote internationally best-selling works of popular fiction under the pseudonym Ralph Connor.
Gordon, the son of a Presbyterian minister, was born in the pioneer area of Glengarry County, Canada West (now Ontario). After earning bachelor’s degrees at the University of Toronto in 1883 and Knox College in Toronto in 1887, he studied theology for a year at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Gordon was ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1890 and served for three years as a missionary in the vicinity of Banff, Alberta. In 1894 he took up a ministry at Saint Stephen’s Church on the outskirts of Winnipeg, Manitoba. His work at Saint Stephen’s was Gordon’s primary vocation for the rest of his life.
However, his church work was interrupted by other jobs. During World War I (1914-1918) he served as a chaplain in the Canadian forces and undertook a lecture tour of the United States in 1917 to encourage the United States to enter the war. From 1920 to 1924 Gordon chaired the Manitoba Council of Industry, a body formed to mediate labor disputes in the wake of the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919. From 1921 to 1922 he served as moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Canada.
Gordon used his experiences as a Presbyterian minister in the Canadian West in his other career as a best-selling author. He wrote his first fictional story in 1896 when James MacDonald, the editor of the Toronto-based Westminster Magazine, challenged Gordon to write about the West in order to encourage support for missions there. The success of his first tale, published under the pseudonym Ralph Connor, led him to extend the story into a serial for the magazine, which was later collected in Black Rock: A Tale of the Selkirks (1898). Black Rock found immediate popular international acclaim, and Gordon followed it with a string of successful novels of missionary adventure. His first three novels, Black Rock, The Sky Pilot (1899), and The Man from Glengarry (1901), sold over 5 million copies worldwide. The novels spread Gordon’s belief in a vigorous Christian evangelism bringing a civilizing influence to the anarchy of the frontier.
Gordon wrote over 20 novels as Ralph Connor. His later, less popular novels drew on sources such as his experience of World War I, as in The Major (1917) and The Sky Pilot in No Man’s Land (1919). His reflections on labor and economics influenced To Him That Hath (1921) and The Arm of Gold (1932). Canadian critics have tended to focus on Gordon’s two novels set in Ontario, The Man from Glengarry and Glengarry School Days (1902), as possessing the greatest literary merit. Historians, on the other hand, have turned to a variety of the novels for insight into Canada’s cultural and religious past. In addition to his many novels, Gordon also authored The Life of James Robertson (1908), a biography of the minister who originally inspired Gordon’s interest in the Western missions, and his own autobiography, Postscript to Adventure (1938).
Gosse, Sir Edmund William
Gosse, Sir Edmund William (1849-1928), English writer, born in London, and educated privately. He was a librarian and a government translator. His most renowned work was the autobiographical Father and Son (1907), in which he described his relationship with his father, the naturalist Philip Henry Gosse.
Gosse introduced Henrik Ibsen and other Scandinavian authors to the English-speaking world. His Collected Poems appeared in 1911, and he was the author of numerous volumes of literary criticism and biography. Gosse was knighted in 1925.
Guthrie, Sir (William) Tyrone
Guthrie, Sir (William) Tyrone (1900-1971), English stage director and dramatist, a pioneer in the writing and staging of expressionist plays. Born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Guthrie was an undergraduate at the University of Oxford when he made his professional debut as an actor and assistant stage manager at the Oxford Playhouse in 1924. Later he worked with the Festival Theatre in Cambridge. Guthrie was particularly noted for his Shakespearean productions (see William Shakespeare), especially those for the Old Vic-Sadler's Wells Company, which he headed from 1939 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1952. In 1953 Guthrie was named the first director of the Shakespeare Festival Theatre in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, where he remained until 1957. In 1963 he became director of the Guthrie Theater Company, which he helped found in Minneapolis. Guthrie helped design theaters in both Canada and Minnesota, working with British stage designer Tanya Moiseiwitsch to develop the thrust stage, a stage surrounded on three sides by steeply sloping seats to minimize the distance between the farthest spectators and the stage. Guthrie also staged productions in Germany and Israel. He returned to the Old Vic Theatre in 1967. Guthrie wrote several plays, including Follow Me (1931) and Top of the Ladder (1950). His other works include his autobiography, A Life in the Theater (1960), and Tyrone Guthrie on Acting (1971). He was knighted in 1961.
Hazlitt, William (1778-1830), English essayist and critic, famous for the lucidity and brilliance, in both style and content, of his many essays.
Hazlitt was born April 10, 1778, the son of a Unitarian minister, in Maidstone, Kent. He spent a short time at the Unitarian theological seminary at Hackney but soon abandoned the ministry to study painting and philosophy. In 1812 he became drama critic for the London Morning Chronicle and a frequent contributor to several periodicals. His first book, The Round Table (1817), was a collection of essays from his articles in the Examiner, owned by his friend the essayist Leigh Hunt. Two of his most famous collections, Table Talk (1821-22) and The Plain Speaker (1826), cover a variety of subjects ranging from art and philosophy to politics and prizefighting. These works helped to establish Hazlitt's reputation as the most versatile critic of his day. He was close friends with several leading literary figures, including Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, and Charles Lamb. The Spirit of the Age (1825), a work that is regarded as his critical masterpiece, contains valuable biographical sketches of these writers and of other contemporary intellectual leaders.
Hazlitt lectured extensively on English drama. He collected his lectures and some of his articles in Characters of Shakespeare's Plays (1817), Lectures on the English Poets (1818), Views of the English Stage (1818), Essays on the English Comic Writers (1819), and Dramatic Literature of the Age of Elizabeth (1821). With these works Hazlitt established himself as one of the foremost literary critics of the romantic period and as a master of the informal essay. His admiration for Napoleon led him to write a Life of Napoleon (4 volumes, 1828-30). Hazlitt is regarded as one of the greatest masters of English prose; his smooth, colorful style greatly influenced both his contemporaries and many subsequent writers. He died September 18, 1830, in London.
Hearst, William Randolph
Hearst, William Randolph (1863-1951), American publisher and political figure, who built up the country's largest chain of newspapers. Beginning with the San Francisco Examiner, which he took over from his father, and the New York Morning Journal, which he bought, he built up a vast newspaper empire whose commercial success was based on popular sensationalism, known as “yellow journalism”. His career inspired Orson Welles’ movie Citizen Kane (1941).
Henley, William Ernest
Henley, William Ernest (1849-1903), English writer and editor, born in Gloucester, and educated at the Crypt School, where the headmaster, the poet Thomas Edward Brown, inspired him. Although crippled early in life by osteomyelitis, he was a remarkably courageous, spirited, and prolific writer. His most famous poems are “England, My England” and “Invictus,” which concludes with the well-known lines, “I am the master of my fate;/I am the captain of my soul.”
Henley's books of poetry include A Book of Verses (1888) and In Hospital (1903). Views and Reviews, essays on art and literature, appeared in 1890. Henley collaborated with his friend Robert Louis Stevenson on four plays, and Stevenson modeled the character Long John Silver in Treasure Island after him. Henley collaborated with J. S. Farmer on the Dictionary of Slang and Its Analogues (1894-1904). He also helped popularize the works of the British writer Rudyard Kipling and the Irish poet W. B. Yeats.
Henry, O. (pseudonym of William Sydney Porter)
Henry, O., pseudonym of William Sydney Porter (1862-1910), American writer of short stories, best known for his ironic plot twists and surprise endings. Born and raised in Greensboro, North Carolina, O. Henry attended school only until age 15, when he dropped out to work in his uncle’s drugstore. During his 20s he moved to Texas, where he worked for more than ten years as a clerk and a bank teller. O. Henry did not write professionally until he reached his mid-30s, when he sold several pieces to the Detroit Free Press and the Houston Daily Post. In 1894 he founded a short-lived weekly humor magazine, The Rolling Stone. During the last ten years of his life, O. Henry became one of the most popular writers in America, publishing over 500 short stories in dozens of widely read periodicals. O. Henry’s most famous stories, such as “The Gift of the Magi,” “The Furnished Room,” and “The Ransom of Red Chief,” make simple yet effective use of paradoxical coincidences to produce ironic endings. For example, in “The Gift of the Magi” a husband sells his watch to buy his wife a Christmas present of a pair of hair combs; unbeknownst to him, she cuts and sells her long hair to buy him a Christmas present of a new chain for his watch. His style of storytelling became a model not only for short fiction, but also for American motion pictures and television programs.
Writing at the rate of more than one story per week, O. Henry published ten collections of stories during a career that barely spanned a decade. They are Cabbages and Kings (1904), The Four Million (1906), Heart of the West (1907), The Trimmed Lamp (1907), The Gentle Grafter (1908), The Voice of the City (1908), Options (1909), Roads of Destiny (1909), Whirligigs (1910), and Strictly Business (1910). The collections Sixes and Sevens (1911), Rolling Stones (1912), and Waifs and Strays (1917) were published after his death. In 1919 the O. Henry Memorial Awards for the best American short stories published each year were founded by the Society of Arts and Sciences. The Complete Works of O. Henry was published in 1953.
Hill, Geoffrey William
Hill, Geoffrey William (1932- ), English poet, whose verse mixes fact, fiction, and grave meditations on history.
Hill was born in Bromsgrove, England. He graduated from Keble College at the University of Oxford in 1953, having already written a pamphlet of poems that attracted the notice of his Oxford contemporaries. From 1954 until 1980 he taught at the University of Leeds and since 1981 at Emmanuel College in Cambridge, England.
Although Hill was strongly influenced by 17th-century metaphysical poets and by English visionary poets such as William Blake, his poetic strategies are distinctly modernist. Like British poet T. S. Eliot, he employs dramatic voices, historical juxtapositions, and fictions that pretend to be fact. For example, Hill’s "Songbook of Sebastian Arrurruz," a poem about sexual passion and despair, poses as a translation of the work of an apocryphal Spanish poet. Typical of Hill’s mature style is "Funeral Music," which broods on the ceremonial brutality of the English Wars of the Roses (1455-1485).
Hill's strangest but richest work is Mercian Hymns, a series of 30 prose poems based on the historical King Offa who ruled the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia in the 8th century. Ancient, modern, and autobiographical details evoke this powerful "creature of legend" who is still, in the poet's view, "the presiding genius of the West Midlands." Collections of Hill's work are For the Unfallen (1959), King Log (1968), Mercian Hymns (1971), Tenebrae (1978), and The Mystery of the Charity of Charles Péguy (1983). A book of his essays, The Lords of Limit, was published in 1984.
Holdsworth, Sir William Searle
Holdsworth, Sir William Searle (1871-1944), English legal historian, who was honored for his work by being knighted in 1929 and receiving the Order of Merit in 1943. Holdsworth was born in London. He was educated at Dulwich College in London before attending New College at the University of Oxford. From 1897 to 1922, Holdsworth was a fellow of Saint John’s College at the University of Cambridge, and he was vice president of the college from 1902 to 1903. From 1903 to 1908, Holdsworth was a professor of constitutional law at University College in London. He was then a reader in English law at the University of Oxford from 1910 to 1922, and a professor of English law at Oxford from 1922 until his death. Also in 1922, Holdsworth was elected a fellow of the British Academy. In 1924 he delivered the Creighton lectures at the University of London, and in 1927 he was awarded the Ames Medal by Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Holdsworth’s greatest work is his monumental History of English Law, written in 12 volumes and published between 1922 and 1938. He also wrote Charles Viner and the Abridgments of English Law (1923), The Influence of the Legal Profession on the Growth of the English Constitution (1924), Sources and Literature of English Law (1925), Historical Introduction to the Land Law (1927), The Historians of Anglo-American Law (1927), and Some Makers of English Law (1938).
Howells, William Dean
Howells, William Dean (1837-1920), eminent American novelist and critic, whose championing of such diverse American writers as Stephen Crane, Frank Norris, Henry James, and Mark Twain made him the most influential literary force of his day.
Howells's works of fiction include more than 30 novels, the first of which were comedies of manners and studies of contrasting character types, including The Lady of the Aroostook (1879) and A Fearful Responsibility (1881). After 1881, when he began serializing his stories in the literary journal Century, Howells wrote novels containing realistic descriptions of American life, including A Modern Instance (1882), the story of a failed marriage, and A Woman's Reason (1883), a study of Boston (Massachusetts) Back Bay society. The Rise of Silas Lapham (1885) is perhaps his most famous book; it is a study of a self-made businessman who is ultimately ruined but never loses his integrity. In the mid-1880s Howells became concerned with social issues of his time. He risked public denunciation in 1887 when he expressed his belief that the Chicago anarchists tried for their involvement in the Haymarket Square Riot were convicted and executed for their political beliefs, not for their crimes. These social concerns were reflected in Howells's fiction. His novel Annie Kilburn (1888) deals with class contrasts in a New England town, and he also explored the problems of industrial America in the novels A Traveler from Altruria (1894) and Through the Eye of the Needle (1907). In the view of many critics, A Hazard of New Fortunes (1890), a dramatic novel about the newly rich, socialism, and labor strife in New York City, is Howells's best work of fiction.
Howells is known as much for his literary criticism as for his fiction. His critical works include the essay “Novel-Writing and Novel-Reading” (1899) and the books Criticism and Fiction (1891), My Literary Passions (1895), and Literature and Life (1902). More important than his own writing was his use of his literary reputation in support of a diverse group of authors. Howells introduced American audiences to many European realist writers (see Realism), including Émile Zola, Benito Pérez Galdós, Henrik Ibsen, and Leo Tolstoy. The American authors whom he encouraged included Stephen Crane, Frank Norris, and Hamlin Garland, all of whom participated in the realism movement in the United States. Howells also played an important role in promoting women writers; the Americans whose talent he recognized early include Sarah Orne Jewett, Edith Wharton, and Emily Dickinson. Howells's most important literary relationships were with Henry James and Mark Twain. He was one of the first to recognize their abilities, and he was an editor and friend to both of them throughout their careers. As his own career ended, Howells's critical influence diminished under the attacks of such American critics as H. L. Mencken and Sinclair Lewis. Howells's reputation was revived in later years, however, and he is generally regarded as the most important American literary critic of his time.
Hudson, W(illiam) H(enry)
Hudson, W(illiam) H(enry) (1841-1922), English writer and naturalist, born in Quilmes, Argentina, of American parents. Hudson spent his early years on the Argentine Pampas as a naturalist specializing in ornithology. In 1874 he settled in England, and in 1900 became a British subject. His life was passed in poverty and obscurity until 1904, when his best-known work, the novel Green Mansions, was published. This romance of the South American wilderness, regarded as a modern classic, is especially notable for its vivid descriptions of nature, symbolic figure of Rima the bird girl, and sensitive, poetic style. Hudson also wrote The Purple Land that England Lost (1885), Argentine Ornithology (1889), British Birds (1895), Far Away and Long Ago (1918), and The Book of a Naturalist (1919).
Inge, William Motter
Inge, William Motter (1913-1973), American playwright, born in Independence, Kansas, and educated at the University of Kansas. He wrote four Broadway hits: Come Back, Little Sheba (1950); Picnic (1953), which won both the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1953; Bus Stop (1955); and The Dark at the Top of the Stairs (1957). All were later adapted as films. He received an Academy Award in 1961 for best original screenplay for Splendor in the Grass (1961). His later Broadway productions—A Loss of Roses (1959), Natural Affection (1963), and Where's Daddy (1966)—were less successful. He also wrote a number of one-act plays and two novels, Good Luck, Miss Wychoff (1970) and My Son Is a Splendid Driver (1971). Inge's work offers a probing but tender look into the depths of emotion beneath the surface of the unfulfilled lives of the people in the small towns of his native Midwest.
Isherwood, Christopher William Bradshaw
Isherwood, Christopher William Bradshaw (1904-1986), Anglo-American writer, born in Disley, Cheshire, England, and educated at the University of Cambridge. His experience as a tutor in Berlin from 1928 to 1933 provided the background for two volumes of short stories, The Last of Mr. Norris (1935) and Goodbye to Berlin (1939). The two collections describe the seedy lives of a group of Berliners and expatriates who fail to foresee the dramatic impact the Nazis eventually have on German society. The books were reissued together in 1946 as The Berlin Stories and were later adapted as a play, I Am a Camera (1951; film, 1955) and as a musical, Cabaret (1966; film, 1972). In collaboration with the poet W. H. Auden, Isherwood wrote three experimental plays: The Dog Beneath the Skin (1935), The Ascent of F6 (1936), and On the Frontier (1938). Isherwood settled in the United States in 1939. Several of his subsequent novels—such as Prater Violet (1945), Down There on a Visit (1962), and A Meeting by the River (1967)—are concerned with the experience of sensitive individuals in incongruous settings and circumstances. The Essentials of the Vedanta (1969) expresses his deep interest in Hindu philosophy (see Hinduism). His biographical works include Lions and Shadows (1938), an account of his early life and his experiences at the University of Cambridge, and Kathleen and Frank (1972), a joint biography of his parents. With Christopher and His Kind (1976), a witty and utterly frank account of his life from 1929 to 1939, Isherwood revealed his homosexuality and its overriding importance in his work.
Jacobs, W(illiam) W(ymark)
Jacobs, W(illiam) W(ymark) (1863-1943), well-known British writer of sea stories. Born in London, Jacobs held a civil-service position in the post office before becoming a professional writer, although even then he practiced writing as a hobby. He finally resigned from the post office to give his full attention to literature. Making the most of his father's position as overseer of the South Devon Wharf, Jacobs collected materials for the sea stories that were to make him famous. He also drew upon the lore of the sea that he had acquired during various long walks along the coast. His first volume, Many Cargoes, appeared in 1896. Jacobs's tales are usually filled with humor, but his best-known story, “The Monkey's Paw” (1902), is a widely anthologized tale of horror. His last volume, Snug Harbor, a collection of short stories, appeared in 1931.
Kennedy, William (1928- ), American writer, whose novels, many of which feature the interaction of members of the fictional Phelan family, are based in his hometown of Albany, New York. His 1983 book, Ironweed, the story of Francis Phelan, a one-time major league pitcher, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1984.
Born and raised in Albany, Kennedy got his start as a journalist on his high school newspaper. He later became executive editor of his college newspaper at Siena College in Albany. After graduating in 1949, he took a position as sports writer and columnist on the Post Star in Glens Falls, New York. The following year he was drafted into the United States Army, serving in Europe as sports editor of the Fourth Division newspaper, Ivy Leaves.
In 1956 Kennedy moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he worked at the Puerto Rico World Journal, eventually becoming founding managing editor of the San Juan Star in 1959. In 1960 Kennedy took a creative writing workshop from American writer Saul Bellow at the University of Puerto Rico. This provided the impetus for Kennedy to quit his newspaper job in 1961 and devote his time to writing fiction. In 1963 he moved back to Albany, where he focused on writing novels while working part-time for the Albany Times Union.
Kennedy's first three novels—The Ink Truck (1969), about a newspaper-printers strike; Legs (1977), based on the career and downfall of the famous American criminal Legs Diamond; and Billy Phelan's Greatest Game (1984), about a pool hustler drawn into a political intrigue—were neither commercial nor critical successes. Kennedy's career gained momentum, however, after he won a 1983 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for Ironweed. Kennedy wrote the screenplay for the motion-picture version of Ironweed, starring American actors Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson, which was released in 1987. He also collaborated with American director Francis Ford Coppola on the screenplay for The Cotton Club (1986). Kennedy's fifth novel, Quinn's Book, was published in 1988. In 1996 The Flaming Corsage, a story about a love that crosses class divisions, and The Albany Trilogy, a one-volume collection of his novels set in that city, appeared.
Langland, William (1330?-1400?), English poet, who was supposedly the author of the religious allegory The Vision of William Concerning Piers the Plowman (written 1360?-1400?), better known as Piers Plowman. His birthplace is uncertain, but was probably in Shropshire, and he was probably educated at the monastery of Great Malvern. Little is actually known of Langland; even the authorship of the various works usually attributed to him is in doubt. Three manuscript versions of Piers Plowman are in existence. Considered one of the greatest English poems of medieval times, this work bitterly satirizes corruption among the clergy and the secular authorities, and upholds the dignity and value of labor, personified by Piers Plowman. It was written in accented alliterative verse and takes the form of a dream vision—a favorite device of medieval poetry—describing a panorama of medieval society. Within the dream are woven recountings of a series of journeys in the search for truth—that is, the love of God. Some scholars maintain that Piers Plowman was the work of five poets; others claim it was written by one person, whose name may have been Langland.
Lecky, William Edward Hartpole
Lecky, William Edward Hartpole (1838-1903), Irish historian, born near Dublin, and educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He won recognition with History of the Rise and Influence of Rationalism in Europe (1865) and History of European Morals from Augustus to Charlemagne (1869), in which he considered the development, dissemination, and decline of the moral and theological tenets of the Christian religion, and he later wrote History of England in the Eighteenth Century (8 volumes, 1878-90). In 1895 he was elected to Parliament as a Liberal Unionist serving until 1897, when he was made a privy councillor. Lecky actively advocated liberal reforms in Ireland but opposed home rule. In 1902 he was named one of the first members of the British Academy, founded that year, and received the Order of Merit. Among Lecky's others works is Poems (1891).
Leonard, William Ellery Channing
Leonard, William Ellery Channing (1876-1944), American poet, essayist, teacher, and scholar, known especially for his work in the sonnet form of poetry. Born in Plainfield, New Jersey, Leonard attended Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts; Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts; the University of Göttingen in Germany; and Columbia University in New York City. From 1906 to 1944 he taught at the University of Wisconsin. A writer of vigorous poetic wit and sonority, Leonard restored the sonnet as an instrument for revealing intense subjective experience. His most notable poetry is collected in Two Lives (1925) and A Son of Earth (1928). His outstanding contributions to scholarship are his translation in 1923 of the Old English epic poem Beowulf and his translation in 1916 and critical edition in 1942 of the Roman poet Lucretius.
Lily, William (1468?-1522), English grammarian, best known as the author of an authorized Latin grammar that remained in use for four centuries. Born in Odiham, Hampshire, Lily studied at the University of Oxford and then went abroad. He made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem (in present-day Israel); visited Rhodes, Greece; and studied classical literature in Rome. In about 1495 he returned to England, where he studied Greek with his friend, the writer and future statesman Sir Thomas More. In 1518 he and More published Progymnasmata, a group of Latin verse translations from the collection of Greek poetry and prose compiled in the 10th and 14th centuries known as the Greek Anthology. Lily was the first headmaster of Saint Paul's School, London, holding this position from 1512 until his death. Among his friends were the English theologian John Colet and the English classical scholars William Grocyn and Thomas Linacre. Lily had 15 children; his son John was the father of John Lyly, the dramatist, and his son George was chaplain to the English Roman Catholic prelate Reginald Pole.
Lily is considered one of the greatest scholars of the early English Renaissance. His various grammatical writings were brought together after his death and issued with additions in about 1540 as the authorized Latin grammar. It became known as Lily's Grammar and remained in use until after the middle of the 19th century. Among the works in it were Rudimenta grammatices, a Latin syntax in English, and Monita paedogogica, a series of precepts for young scholars written in elegiac couplets. Other works by Lily include Antibossicon, a collaborative polemic written in answer to the attacks of another scholar, Robert Whittington; a translation from Il Sorte, an Italian book on fortune for use in parlor games; and Latin verses on various occasions and subjects.
Lindsay, Norman Alfred William
Lindsay, Norman Alfred William (1879-1969), Australian artist and writer, the most illustrious and controversial member of a large family of artists, all of whom were major figures in Australian art and art criticism. He was best known for his line drawings, oils, and watercolors, but he also distinguished himself as an illustrator.
Born in Creswick, Victoria, Lindsay showed early skill as an illustrator and cartoonist, and in 1901 he became a cartoonist on the staff of the Sydney Bulletin, a position he continued to hold even as he developed his abilities in other artistic media. Lindsay developed a romantic and original style of painting and line drawing with its own edge of satire. This style was most visible in his illustrations for modern editions of the Satyricon, a satirical romance in prose and verse allegedly written by Roman writer Petronius Arbiter, and of the tales of Italian writer Giovanni Boccaccio. Many of Lindsay's pieces in this genre are already considered to be collectors’ items. He also painted nude portraits that created a great commotion in the relatively conventional art world of Sydney.
Lindsay wrote and illustrated a highly popular children's book, The Magic Pudding (1919), as well as a series of satirical novels, most notably Redheap (1930) and Saturdee (1936). These comic works, which portray with compassion the life of small Australian country towns, were for a time banned in Australia because of the indignation they aroused among small-town citizens.
Maugham, W(illiam) Somerset
Maugham, W(illiam) Somerset (1874-1965), English author, whose novels and short stories are characterized by great narrative facility, simplicity of style, and a disillusioned and ironic point of view. Maugham was born in Paris and studied medicine at the University of Heidelberg and at Saint Thomas's Hospital, London. His partially autobiographical novel Of Human Bondage (1915) is generally acknowledged as his masterpiece and is one of the best realistic English novels of the early 20th century. The Moon and Sixpence (1919) is a story of the conflict between the artist and conventional society, based on the life of the French painter Paul Gauguin; other novels are The Painted Veil (1925), Cakes and Ale (1930), Christmas Holiday (1939), The Hour Before the Dawn (1942), The Razor's Edge (1944), and Cataline: A Romance (1948). Among the collections of his short stories are The Trembling of a Leaf (1921), which includes “Miss Thompson,” later dramatized as Rain; Ashenden: or The British Agent (1928); First Person Singular (1931); Ah King (1933); and Quartet (1948). He also wrote satiric comedies— The Circle (1921) and Our Betters (1923)—the melodrama East of Suez (1922), essays, and two autobiographies.
Merwin, W(illiam) S(tanley)
Merwin, W(illiam) S(tanley) (1927- ), American poet, essayist, and literary translator. Merwin’s antiestablishment political views, along with the radical stylistic shifts in his poetry, have invited controversy throughout his career. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1971.
Merwin was born in New York City, the son of a Presbyterian minister. His earliest poems, unpublished works written during his studies at Princeton University, New Jersey, were bleak reflections on the deaths of classmates during World War II. Merwin graduated from Princeton in 1948 and worked in Europe as a literary translator from 1949 to 1951. His first published books of poems, A Mask for Janus and The Dancing Bears (1954), were formally elegant, influenced by his work translating medieval poetry.
During the late 1950s, Merwin began to write about ecological issues. He advocated disarmament and opposed the Vietnam War during the 1960s. In 1963 Merwin abruptly changed the style of his poetry, simplifying his verse, abandoning punctuation, and focusing on post-apocalyptic imagery and themes. He developed this controversial, stripped-down style in several collections of poetry, including The Moving Target (1963), The Lice (1967), The Carrier of Ladders (1970), and Writings to an Unfinished Accompaniment (1973).
Merwin’s poetry became more optimistic during the 1970s, expressing faith in nature’s apparent indifference to humanity. Merwin devoted more time to prose, writing collections of mythic parables such as The Miner's Pale Children (1970) and Houses and Travellers (1977). He also wrote autobiographical stories in Unframed Originals (1982) and Regions of Memory (1987). In the 1980s Merwin attempted to block land development and advocated the rights of indigenous people in Hawaii. He settled on the island of Maui, planting a miniature forest of endangered trees and growing most of his food himself.
In 1994 the Academy of American Poets named Merwin the first winner of the Tanning Prize, an annual prize to honor poets "of outstanding and proven mastery." His other awards include the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Bollingen Prize, and a Ford Foundation Governor’s Award for Literature. Merwin's recent works include The Rain in the Trees (1988), Travels (1993), The Vixen (1996), The Folding Cliffs (1998), and The River Sound (1999).
Morris, William (1834-96), English poet, artist, and socialist reformer, who urged a return to medieval traditions of design, craftsmanship, and community.
Morris was born in Walthamstow, Essex, on March 24, 1834. He was educated at the University of Oxford and briefly apprenticed to an architect. He was one of the founders of the Oxford and Cambridge Magazine in 1857. The magazine endured for only one year, but through it Morris became friendly with the English poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti. In 1858 his Defence of Guenevere and Other Poems was published, and although it attracted almost no attention at the time, it has since become regarded as a minor classic of Victorian poetry. Except for these literary endeavors, Morris devoted most of his time to architecture and painting. In 1861 he formed a decorating firm in partnership with Rossetti, the painter Sir Edward Burne-Jones and other Pre-Raphaelite painters. The firm designed and manufactured decorations such as carvings, metalwork, stained glass, and carpeting. These products were noted for their fine workmanship and natural beauty, and directly inspired the Arts and Crafts movement, which sought to reinvest everyday objects with these qualities. The influence of this movement extended throughout Europe and the United States for generations, and fathered the art nouveau style.
In his numerous and varied writings, Morris excelled in verse translations from classic and medieval sources. Among these were The Earthly Paradise (1868-70), much in the manner of the great Middle English poet Geoffrey Chaucer; The Aeneid of Virgil (1875); and The Odyssey (1887), in the metrical style of the English dramatist and classical translator George Chapman. From materials gathered during two trips to Iceland, Morris wrote Three Northern Love Songs (1875) and the epic Sigurd the Volsung (1875).
Morris became increasingly active in politics but without losing interest in art and letters. In 1884 he helped to establish the Socialist League, editing and contributing to its organ the Commonweal. He described a fictitious socialist commonwealth in England in A Dream of John Ball (1888) and News from Nowhere (1891). He established the Kelmscott Press in 1890, and, using his own designs for the type and ornamental letters, he issued editions of the classics and of his own works, notably The Kelmscott Chaucer (1896). Morris died in London on October 3, 1896.
The work of Morris, both in poetry and in the applied arts, is characterized by an emphasis on decorative elements, especially on those that he thought to be characteristic of the art of the Middle Ages. His designs for books and wallpaper recall the precision and elegance of illuminated manuscripts, and his poems and epics treat medieval themes with a rich imagery and a simplicity of diction derived from the ancient epics and sagas. In his political writings, he attempted to correct the dehumanizing effects of the Industrial Revolution by proposing a form of society in which people could enjoy craftsmanship and simplicity of expression.
Painter, William (1540?-1595), English author and translator. In 1557 Painter was appointed a gunner in the Tower of London and from 1560 until his death he was clerk of the queen's ordnance. His principal work was The Palace of Pleasure (1566), a collection of stories translated from Italian, French, and classical authors, especially Matteo Bandello, Giovanni Boccaccio, and Margaret of Navarre. It was the most popular of Elizabethan collections and was one of the sources of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (1595?) and All's Well that Ends Well (1602?), and of John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi (1613?).
Parker, Horatio William
Parker, Horatio William (1863-1919), American composer and music teacher, born in Auburndale, Massachusetts, and educated privately and at the Conservatory in Munich. He was organist and choirmaster at Saint Andrew's Church, New York City, and at Trinity Church, Boston. In 1894 Parker became professor of music at Yale University and from 1904 until his death he served as dean of the Yale Music School. His students included the American composer Charles Ives. Parker's oratorio Hora Novissima (1893) is considered his masterpiece. It exemplifies the German musical style popular in New England at the time.
Poole, William Frederick
Poole, William Frederick (1821-1894), American librarian and author, born in Salem, Massachusetts. Poole graduated from Yale in 1849. While a student at Yale he became assistant to John Edmands, the student librarian of the Brothers in Unity Library. In 1847 Poole succeeded Edmands as student librarian. In that position he expanded Edmands's research index. In 1848 Poole published the index, which was later known as Poole's Index to Periodical Literature. Since the index was extremely popular, Poole began work on an enlarged edition, which was published in 1853. He started library work in Boston in 1852 and was appointed head librarian of the Boston Athenaeum in 1856. He resigned in 1869 and spent the following two years helping to organize new libraries, including the library of the United States Naval Academy. He was named head of the Public Library in Cincinnati in 1871 and became the first librarian of the new Public Library in Chicago in 1874. He organized the Walter Loomis Newberry Library in Chicago in 1877 and served as its librarian until his death in 1894. Poole contributed to the theory and method of library administration, popularized librarianship as a profession, and also influenced the architecture and construction of library buildings. Poole was a keen student of U.S. history and at one time served as president of the American Historical Association. His historical writings include many monographs and books; among them are Cotton Mather and Salem Witchcraft (1869), Anti-slavery Before 1800 (1887), and Columbus and the Founding of the New World (1892).
Prescott, William Hickling
Prescott, William Hickling (1796-1859), American historian, born in Salem, Massachusetts, and educated at Harvard University. He was the grandson of Colonel William Prescott, who led the American troops in the Battle of Bunker Hill. Nearly blind during his adult life, he devoted himself to research and writing on Spanish, Mexican, and Peruvian history. His works, with their skillful narrative and lucid style, became very popular; some have been published in more than ten languages, and many are still in print. Although some of the information he included about Native American civilizations, which he obtained entirely from Spanish sources, was successfully challenged by later historians, Prescott's historical narrative still appears to be basically sound.
His writings include History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella the Catholic (3 volumes, 1838), History of the Conquest of Mexico (3 volumes, 1843), History of the Conquest of Peru (2 volumes, 1847), and an unfinished History of the Reign of Philip the Second (3 volumes, 1855-58).
Reeves, William Pember
Reeves, William Pember (1857-1932), New Zealand politician, historian, and poet, whose advocacy of social reform help set the country on a course of progressive liberalism. Born in Lyttelton, Reeves was educated in New Zealand and Britain, worked as a law clerk, and in 1880 qualified to be a lawyer. He soon gave up law for journalism, progressing from reporter to editor in a short time. In 1887 he was elected to parliament. In 1891, when John Ballance became prime minister of the first Liberal Party administration, Reeves became minister of education and justice. The Ballance government passed much of the legislation that would earn New Zealand a reputation for social reform, and much of that legislation could be traced directly to Reeves. Ballance and Reeves strengthened the rights and wages of workers and made employers more accountable for the safety of their factories and mines. Reeves conceived the Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act, the first act in the world to require workers and employers to resolve disputes through arbitration. Once passed, the act ended almost all strikes in New Zealand for more than a decade and promoted the growth of unions by allowing only recognized unions to participate in arbitration. Ballance died in 1893 and was replaced by Richard Seddon. Seddon did not favor Reeve’s social ideas, and Reeves left the cabinet in 1896 to become agent-general (a representative in Britain) for New Zealand.
Although he spent much of the rest of his life in England, Reeves continued to influence the development of New Zealand through his writings. His books included The Long White Cloud (1898), a historical analysis of New Zealand for which he was widely praised, and State Experiments in Australia and New Zealand (1902), a study of experimental legislation in the two countries. From 1908 to 1919 he was director of the London School of Economics, and from 1917 to 1931 he was chairman of the board of New Zealand’s national bank.
Rolfe, Frederick William
Rolfe, Frederick William (1860-1913), English author, writing under the pseudonym Baron Corvo. Rolfe's life was one of frustration and critical neglect. He converted to Roman Catholicism, but his independent spirit and homosexuality prevented him from becoming a priest. He wandered through Europe for nearly a decade before deciding, in 1898, to become a writer. His most important works—besides a historical account of the Borgias and a series of saints' lives—include the fantastical autobiography Hadrian the Seventh (1904), on which a 1967 play was based. His last years were spent trying to complete his masterpiece, The Desire and Pursuit of the Whole (pub. 1934), an account of his life in Venice.
Rothenstein, Sir William
Rothenstein, Sir William (1872–1945), English painter and writer on art. Rothenstein was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, and trained at the Slade School of Fine Art in London. He also studied in Paris, where he was encouraged by painters Edgar Degas and James McNeill Whistler. At the age of 19 he began a series of portrait drawings, which included many literary personalities. In World War I (1914-1918) he served as an official artist in France with the British and Canadian forces. Rothenstein was principal of the Royal College of Art in London from 1920 to 1935, where he encouraged the sculptors Jacob Epstein and Henry Moore, and the painter Paul Nash. Rothenstein was knighted in 1931.
Rothenstein’s best-known painting is A Doll's House (1899). His other work includes lithographs and etchings, as well as landscapes, portraits, and interiors in oils. A visit to India had a marked influence on his ideas, and in 1910 he took an active part in the formation of the India Society to promote an appreciation of Indian art.
Rothenstein’s publications include English Portraits (1898), Manchester Portraits (1899), Life of Goya (1900), A Plea for Wider Use of Artists and Craftsmen (1917), Ancient India (1926), and three volumes of memoirs: Men and Memories (1931–1939).
Saroyan, William (1908-1981), American writer, born in Fresno, California. His early writings frequently deal with his beloved Armenian family and its capacity for joy in the face of adversity. Notable among these works are the collection of short stories My Name Is Aram (1940) and the novel The Human Comedy (1943). Saroyan's many plays, lyrical and loosely constructed, include My Heart's in the Highlands, which was produced to much acclaim in 1939, and The Time of Your Life, for which he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1940. Saroyan refused to accept the award for a work he deemed no more laudable than any of his others.
Service, Robert W(illiam)
Service, Robert W(illiam) (1874-1958), Canadian poet, born in Preston, England, and educated at the University of Glasgow. He immigrated to Canada in 1894.
Service is known primarily for his poems describing the elemental and adventurous life of gold prospectors and others in the subarctic regions of northwestern North America, where he worked for a number of years as a bank employee. (The cabin in which he lived from 1909 to 1912 is preserved as a museum in Dawson, Yukon Territory.) The works of the British writer Rudyard Kipling influenced his poems. Two of Service's best-known poems, “The Shooting of Dan McGrew” and “The Cremation of Sam McGee,” appeared in the volume of poetry Songs of a Sourdough (1907). Service also wrote Ballads of a Cheechako (1909), Rhymes of a Rolling Stone (1912), Rhymes of a Red Cross Man (1916), and Ballads of a Bohemian (1920); the novels The Roughneck (1923) and The House of Fear (1927); and the autobiographies Ploughman of the Moon (1945) and Harper of Heaven (1948). He moved to Europe in 1912 and spent most of the rest of his life on the French Riviera.
Shakespeare, William (1564-1616), English playwright and poet, recognized in much of the world as the greatest of all dramatists. Hundreds of editions of his plays have been published, including translations in all major languages. Scholars have written thousands of books and articles about his plots, characters, themes, and language. He is the most widely quoted author in history, and his plays have probably been performed more times than those of any other dramatist.
There is no simple explanation for Shakespeare’s unrivaled popularity, but he remains our greatest entertainer and perhaps our most profound thinker. He had a remarkable knowledge of human behavior, which he was able to communicate through his portrayal of a wide variety of characters. He was able to enter fully into the point of view of each of his characters and to create vivid dramatic situations in which to explore human motivations and behavior. His mastery of poetic language and of the techniques of drama enabled him to combine these multiple viewpoints, human motives, and actions to produce a uniquely compelling theatrical experience.
Shenstone, William (1714-1763), English writer and gardener. Shenstone was born at Halesowen in the county of Shropshire. He attended the village school, the mistress of which he celebrated later in his most famous poem. In 1732 he entered Pembroke College, Cambridge University, but within a few years retired to his country estate, The Leasowes, where he remained until his death. Strongly sentimental, he found expression in poetry, in landscape gardening, and in essays and letters.
The Schoolmistress (1737-1748) began as a whimsical imitation of the diction and stanza of The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser but in successive editions the author became increasingly concerned with simplicity and tenderness of sentiment. Shenstone’s Pastoral Ballad (1755) was influential in reviving the ballad form. He assisted Bishop Thomas Percy in compiling Percy’s Reliques of Ancient English Poetry (3 volumes, 1765), a collection of English and Scottish ballads. In his gardening, similarly, Shenstone preferred the simplicity of natural patterns.
Skeat, Walter William
Skeat, Walter William (1835-1912), English linguist, known for popularizing philology (the study of literature). Skeat was born in London and received his bachelor's degree from Christ's College, Cambridge University, in 1858. He served briefly as a curate until illness made him unable to carry out his duties.
Returning to Cambridge around 1864, Skeat became one of the most productive editors for the Early English Text Society and assisted in the production of the New English Dictionary by editing important documents of early English literature. One of his greatest works for the Society was his edition of Piers Plowman (1886). In 1873 he founded the English Dialect Society, and from 1878 to 1912 he was Ellington and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Cambridge. His celebrated seven-volume edition of Geoffrey Chaucer’s works, published between 1894 and 1897, is one of enduring value. Particularly after 1900, Skeat pioneered in the study of English place names, and his Etymological Dictionary of the English Language (1879-1882) is still highly regarded.
Smith, William Gardner
Smith, William Gardner (b. February 6, 1927, Philadelphia, Pa.; d. November 6, 1974, France), American novelist whose work posits a uniquely black artistry as part of the larger community.
William Gardner Smith spent much of his adult life as an exile, living in Paris and, for a time, Ghana. While writing for black periodicals in the U.S. and France, he wrote four novels, Last of the Conquerors (1948), Anger at Innocence (1950); South Street (1954); The Stone Face (1963); and one African American work, Return to Black America (1970), all of which attempt to resolve African Americans tensions with the hostile larger society. Smith's project for himself and other black writers was twofold: to harness deep empathy for suffering in the service of expressing profound truth; but to resist a persistent artistic victimization of blacks which ended only in artistic ineffectiveness. Smith's work resembles that of other black writers of the 1940s and 1950s, including Richard Wright, James Baldwin, and Ann Petry, who depicted the conflicts between the artist and his society, and specifically between the black artist trying to establish a name in a largely white society hostile to recognizing black artistic achievements. Although his own work found only a relatively small audience, Smith's concerns anticipate more recent developments in African American literature.
Snodgrass, W(illiam) D(eWitt)
Snodgrass, W(illiam) D(eWitt) (1926- ), American poet, known for his skillful use of traditional forms, including rhymed stanzas, and his exploration of human emotions, often through personal revelations. His first collection, Heart's Needle (1959), won the Pulitzer Prize. After Experience (1968) incorporates translations of the Austro-German writer Rainer Maria Rilke. Another collection, Six Troubadour Songs (1977), includes translations from Hungarian. The Führer Bunker (1977) contains poems in the voices of Eva Braun and major figures in the Nazi Party. A major collection of Snodgrass's work, Selected Poems, 1957-1987, was published in 1987.
Still, William (b. 1821, Burlington County, N.J.; d. July 14, 1902, Philadelphia, Pa.), American abolitionist and author who documented the experience of fugitive slaves in the book The Underground Railroad.
The last of 18 children born to former slaves Levin and Charity Still, William Still spent the majority of his life in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he had moved in 1844. By 1847 Still began his involvement in the antislavery movement while working for the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery. Until the Civil War, he headed the Society's Philadelphia Vigilance Committee harboring fugitive slaves and directing them to Canada. Still would later compile the first detailed account of the Underground Railroad, as told by its participants. Published in 1872, The Underground Railroad remains a groundbreaking text.
Leaving the Society in 1861, Still advocated for the economic development of the Philadelphia African American community, exemplified by the founding of his own coal business during the Civil War. Still remained attached to civil rights organizations as a researcher, writer, and activist until his death in 1902.
See the Library of Black America for the full text of Still's The Underground Rail Road.
Styron, William Clark, Jr.
Styron, William Clark, Jr. (1925- ), American novelist, winner of a Pulitzer Prize for his book The Confessions of Nat Turner (1967). Born in Newport News, Virginia, Styron was educated at Duke University. He grew up in the South, and his powerful rhetoric and treatment of Southern themes, such as sin and decadence in the wake of disintegrating social and family structures, suggest the influence of such Southern writers as William Faulkner. Styron's first novel, Lie Down in Darkness (1951), concerns the disintegration of a middle-class Southern family. His major work is The Confessions of Nat Turner, a fictionalized account of a famed 1831 slave revolt in Virginia, which Styron conceived for many years before he began writing. The work, which examines the motivations of Nat Turner for turning to violence, aroused considerable controversy and won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1968. Styron also wrote The Long March (1953), a novel set in a military training camp; Set This House on Fire (1960), a story of post-World War II (1939-1945) Americans in Italy; and Sophie's Choice (1979), a best-selling story of a Polish survivor of Auschwitz (see Concentration Camp). In 1990 Styron's book Darkness Visible, an account of his own struggle against severe depression, was published. His book A Tidewater Morning: Three Tales From Youth (1993) focuses on painful moments from his childhood.
Symons, Arthur William
Symons, Arthur William (1865-1945), English literary critic and poet, born in Wales, and educated privately. He was an admirer of the French symbolist poets, and he expounded their ideas in critical works such as The Symbolist Movement in Literature (1899) and in biographies, including Charles Baudelaire (1920). In his own poetry, which included the volumes Days and Nights (1889) and Silhouettes (1892), he emulated the subjective, emotional symbolist style. Among his other works are The Romantic Movement in English Poetry (1909), Studies in the Elizabethan Drama (1920), and the autobiographical Confessions (1930).
Thackeray, William Makepeace
Thackeray, William Makepeace (1811-63), English novelist and humorist, one of the foremost exponents of the 19th-century realistic novel, exemplified by his two most famous works, Vanity Fair and Henry Esmond.
Thackeray was born July 18, 1811, in Calcutta (now Kolkata), India, into a wealthy English merchant family. In 1829 Thackeray entered the University of Cambridge. Leaving the university without taking his degree, he attempted to develop his literary and artistic abilities, first as the editor of a short-lived journal and subsequently as an art student in Paris. In 1840, despite a series of financial reverses and the mental illness of his wife, Thackeray produced The Paris Sketchbook, a series of reprints of his contributions to various literary journals. Comic Tales and Sketches (1841) contained the Yellowplush Papers, Major Gahagan, and the Bedford Row Conspiracy. After joining the staff of the humorous journal Punch in 1842, he published the Irish Sketchbook in 1843 and Cornhill to Cairo in 1847.
Thackeray began the serial publication of his great satirical novel Vanity Fair early in 1847, quickly establishing a reputation as one of the major literary figures of his time. In such subsequent novels as Pendennis (1848), Henry Esmond (1852), The Newcomes (1853), and The Virginians (1857), he broadened his observation of social situations to various eras and locales. These widely acclaimed works brought Thackeray new recognition. He became a principal competitor of his great contemporary, Charles Dickens, with whom he frequently disagreed on the nature of the novel as a vehicle for social commentary.
After lecturing in the U.S., Thackeray edited the Cornhill Magazine (1860-62). He contributed two of his lesser novels, Lovel the Widower and The Adventures of Philip, to the journal, and his work with the magazine suggested ideas for his humorous essays, The Roundabout Papers. In 1862 he gave up his editorship because he was unwilling to refuse manuscripts, but he continued to work for the magazine, beginning his last novel, Denis Duval, shortly before his death on December 24, 1863, in London.
Thackeray is particularly noted for his exquisitely humorous and ironic portrayals of the middle and upper classes of his time. His narrative skill and vivid characterizations are strikingly evident in his masterpiece Vanity Fair, an elaborate study of social relationships in early 19th-century England. The character of Becky Sharp, a scheming adventuress, is drawn with consummate skill, serving as a model for the heroines of many later novels. Thackeray's keen awareness of social eccentricity is seen also in his short works, especially in The Rose and the Ring (1855), in which his own clever drawings accent the text.
Trevor, William (1928- ), Irish writer, best known for his novels and short stories. Trevor’s achievement is to capture the unhappiness, tragedies, disappointments, and cruelties of everyday life in new and affecting ways. Rendered in an unadorned prose style, his subject matter, generally set in either Ireland or England, is largely domestic, although it reflects the civil struggle and changing social conditions in Ireland.
Born William Trevor Cox in Mitchelstown, County Cork, he was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, graduating in 1950. He worked as a sculptor, a teacher of history and art, and at other jobs before becoming a full-time writer. His first novel, A Standard of Behavior (1958), was followed by The Old Boys (1964), a novel about the idiosyncratic friendships and grudges among eight old men, which established Trevor’s distinctive style and subject matter. His other novels include Mrs. Echdorff in O’Neill’s Hotel (1969), Elizabeth Alone (1973), The Children of Dynmouth (1976), Fools of Fortune (1983), The Silence in the Garden (1988), Felicia’s Journey (1994), and Death in Summer (1998). The Children of Dynmouth, Fools of Fortune, and Felicia’s Journey all won the Whitbread Award for best novel.
The title story in Trevor’s 1981 collection Beyond the Pale demonstrates his ability to take a relatively contained incident and comment more broadly on a political situation and on human nature in general. While the four middle-aged English characters, two men and two women, are in Ireland on their annual holiday, one of the women witnesses the suicide of an Irish man. She is subsequently forced to confront her own and her companions’ hypocrisies and failings in their personal as well as political lives.
Trevor’s other collections of short stories include The Day We Got Drunk on Cake (1969), The Ballroom of Romance (1972), Angels at the Ritz (1975), Lovers of Their Time (1978), The News from Ireland (1986), Family Sins (1989), Two Lives (1991), and After Rain (1996). Trevor also edited the Oxford Book of Irish Short Stories (1989). His nonfiction includes A Writer’s Ireland: Landscapes in Literature (1984) and the memoir Excursions in the Real World (1993).
Van Druten, John William
Van Druten, John William (1901-1957), American dramatist and novelist, born in London. He studied law at London University and became a United States citizen in 1944. He is known chiefly as a writer of sophisticated comedy. His greatest stage successes, most of which he also directed, were The Voice of the Turtle (1943) and Bell, Book and Candle (1950), and his dramatic adaptations I Remember Mama (1944), from sketches about a Norwegian-American family by Kathryn Forbes, and I Am a Camera (1951), from a collection of Berlin stories by Christopher Isherwood. Van Druten attempted serious drama in The Druid Circle (1947). His other plays include There's Always Juliet (1931), The Distaff Side (1933), Gertie Maude (1937), Old Acquaintance (1940), and The Damask Cheek (1942).
White, William Allen
White, William Allen (1868-1944), American journalist, known as the Sage of Emporia. White was born in Emporia, Kansas, and educated at the University of Kansas. He bought the Emporia Gazette in 1895 and edited it until his death. Under his guidance, the small-town newspaper became known throughout the country, and he himself came to be regarded as the authentic voice of so-called grassroots sentiment in the Midwest. White exerted considerable political influence as a progressive Republican, acting as the spokesman both for small-town interests and for a broad and generous internationalism. In addition to his collected editorials, notably Forty Years on Main Street (1937), White published novels, including A Certain Rich Man (1909), and biographies of United States presidents Woodrow Wilson and Calvin Coolidge. His son, William Lindsay White, completed The Autobiography of William Allen White (1946; Pulitzer Prize, 1947).
White, William Hale
White, William Hale (1831-1913), English religious novelist and essayist who wrote under the pseudonym of Mark Rutherford. Born in the village of Bedford, England, White studied for the Independent (Congregational) ministry but was expelled from his college in 1852 for questioning the dogma that every word in the Bible was divinely inspired. In 1858 he began to work for the British admiralty, where he rose to assistant director of naval contracts by 1879. He supplemented his income by working as a journalist.
His chief writings are a trilogy: The Autobiography of Mark Rutherford (1881), Mark Rutherford's Deliverance (1885), and The Revolution in Tanner's Lane (1887). These were issued as the posthumous works of the nonconformist minister Mark Rutherford. The first two books are slightly fictionalized accounts of the author's own transition from rural England to industrialized London and from Calvinist fundamentalism to a view of religion as a symbolic language for secular truth. White also wrote the novels Miriam's Schooling (1890), Catherine Furze (1893), and Clara Hopgood (1896).
White’s main subject was English Puritanism—its greatness as the expression of valid insights and its decay when the dogmas no longer represented sincere thought and feeling. He explored the problems of the Puritan's moral conscientiousness. Never popular, his work has been highly regarded nonetheless by such authors as Arnold Bennett, D. H. Lawrence, and André Gide for the vividness of White’s picture of English nonconformity, the psychological acuteness, the general wisdom, and the style.
Other works by White include An Examination of the Charge of Apostacy Against Wordsworth (1898) and a translation of Spinoza's Ethics (1898). An undisguised autobiographical sketch, The Early Life of Mark Rutherford by Himself (1913), appeared after his death.
Whitehead, William (1715-1785), English dramatist and poet laureate. Whitehead was born in the city of Cambridge and educated at Cambridge University. Whitehead published his first important poetic work while still a student. He wrote two dramatic tragedies, The Roman Father (1750), based on Corneille's Horace, and Creusa (1754), based on Euripides' Medea, for the Drury Lane Theatre, a popular playhouse in London.
A conventional poet, Whitehead succeeded playwright and poet Colley Cibber as poet laureate in 1757 after Thomas Gray declined the honor. Whitehead wrote his most successful play, The School for Lovers, in 1762. That same year he wrote a reply to critics of his productions with A Charge to the Poets. A farce, A Trip to Scotland (1770), was also a considerable success, with its satiric thrusts at the reigning style of sentimental comedy.
William of Malmesbury
William of Malmesbury (1090?-1143), English chronicler, librarian, and monk at Malmesbury Abbey in Wiltshire. Nothing is known about William’s origins except that he was of Norman and English heritage. His principal works are the Gesta Regum Anglorum (1125?), Gesta Pontificum Anglorum (1126?), and Historia Novella, which recorded events that occurred in his lifetime to 1142. Modeled on the historical accounts of English history written by Bede the Venerable in the 8th century, the Gesta Regum Anglorum, in five books, gives an account of the English kings from the time of the Romans to 1127. It shows considerable learning and literary skill and is enlivened by many entertaining anecdotes. The Gesta Pontificum Anglorum is similarly concerned with the English bishops.
William's most important work, however, from a strictly historical point of view, is the Historia Novella, a continuation of the Gesta Regum Anglorum, in three books. Here he deals with events that occurred in his own maturity, writing them down year by year, evidently from reliable sources of information. The main theme of the Historia Novella is the long and devastating civil war between Stephen of Blois, who was elected king after the death of Henry I in 1135, and Matilda, Henry’s daughter, who claimed the throne for herself. William favors Matilda (Robert, Earl of Gloucester, her illegitimate brother and chief general, was his patron). But he shows a creditable honesty and fair-mindedness in his account of the conflict. His chronicle finishes at the end of 1142, with the unfulfilled promise of a fourth book. William is regarded as a reliable authority on the early years of an obscure and troubled reign and ranks high among the English chroniclers. See also History and Historiography.
William of Newburgh
William of Newburgh (1136?-1198?), English monk and chronicler. He was brought up, lived, and died at the Augustinian priory of Newburgh (in present-day North Yorkshire). He was the author of Historia Rerum Anglicarum (History of English Affairs), written from about 1196 to about 1198. It covers the period from 1066 to 1198, especially the reigns of the English kings Stephen of Blois and Henry II. As a historical work, it is valuable chiefly because of William's keen insight into the people and events of his day.
William Wordsworth (1770-1850), British poet, credited with ushering in the English Romantic Movement with the publication of Lyrical Ballads(1798) in collaboration with Samuel Taylor Coleridge. William Wordsworth was born on April 17, 1770 in Cockermouth, Cumberland, in the Lake District. His father was John Wordsworth, Sir James Lowther's attorney. The magnificent landscape deeply affected Wordsworth's imagination and gave him a love of nature. He lost his mother when he was eight and five years later his father. The domestic problems separated Wordsworth from his beloved and neurotic sister Dorothy, who was a very important person in his life. With the help of his two uncles, Wordsworth entered a local school and continued his studies at Cambridge University. Wordsworth made his debut as a writer in 1787, when he published a sonnet in The European Magazine . In that same year he entered St. John's College, Cambridge, from where he took his B.A. in 1791. During a summer vacation in 1790 Wordsworth went on a walking tour through revolutionary France and also traveled in Switzerland. On his second journey in France, Wordsworth had an affair with a French girl, Annette Vallon, a daughter of a barber-surgeon, by whom he had a illegitimate daughter Anne Caroline. The affair was basis of the poem "Vaudracour and Julia", but otherwise Wordsworth did his best to hide the affair from posterity.
In 1795 he met Coleridge. Wordsworth's financial situation became better in 1795 when he received a legacy and was able to settle at Racedown, Dorset, with his sister Dorothy. Encouraged by Coleridge and stimulated by the close contact with nature, Wordsworth composed his first masterwork, Lyrical Ballads, which opened with Coleridge's "Ancient Mariner." About 1798 he started to write a large and philosophical autobiographical poem, completed in 1805, and published posthumously in 1850 under the title The Prelude. Wordsworth's second verse collection, Poems, In Two Volumes, appeared in 1807. Wordsworth's central works were produced between 1797 and 1808. His poems written during middle and late years have not gained similar critical approval. Wordsworth's Grasmere period ended in 1813. He was appointed official distributor of stamps for Westmoreland. He moved to Rydal Mount, Ambleside, where he spent the rest of his life. In later life Wordsworth abandoned his radical ideas and became a patriotic, conservative public man. In 1843 he succeeded Robert Southey (1774-1843) as England's poet laureate. Wordsworth died on April 23, 1850.
Yeats, William Butler
Yeats, William Butler (1865-1939), Irish poet and dramatist, and Nobel laureate, who was a leader of the Irish Renaissance and one of the foremost writers of the 20th century. He also accomplished the feat, rare among poets, of deepening and perfecting his complex styles as the years advanced. His later writings are generally acknowledged to be his best. They were influenced by Georgie Hyde-Lees, his wife since 1917, who had a medium's gift for automated writing. A Vision (1925) is an elaborate attempt in prose to explain the mythology, symbolism, and philosophy that Yeats used in much of his work. It discusses the eternal opposites of objectivity and subjectivity, art and life, soul and body that are the basis of his philosophy. Other poetic works in this vein are The Wild Swans at Coole (1917), The Tower (1928), and The Winding Stair (1933).
Yeats also wrote short plays on the Celtic legendary hero Cuchulain, combined as Four Plays for Dancers (1921). They were strongly influenced by the nō drama of the Japanese court (see Japanese Drama), which was being translated in 1913 by the American poet Ezra Pound. Yeats's plays were designed more for small, appreciative audiences in aristocratic drawing rooms than for the middle-class public in commercial Dublin theaters. He derived much of his innovative technique, such as the use of ritual, masks, chorus, and dance, from the nō drama. In these plays Yeats brought poetry back to theater, from which it had long been absent, and fused strict realism with mythic vision to create poetic dramas as spare and pregnant with mysterious meaning as the images of a dream.
Continually revising his work, Yeats recounted episodes from his life in his Autobiographies (1927) and Dramatis Personae (1936). Two later collections are A Full Moon in March (1935) and Last Poems and Two Plays (1939). He received the Nobel Prize in 1923. Yeats died in Roquebrune, France, on January 18, 1939, and was buried in Sligo, Ireland.
OTHER WILLIAMS WITH LIMITED DATA
George William Russell – playwrights of the Irish Renaissance (from Irish literature)
William Boyle – playwrights of the Irish Renaissance (from Irish literature)
William Hill Brown, American fictionist, writer of tragic love story The Power of Sympathy (1789) and is generally considered the first American novel. (from American literature: Prose)
William Crary Brownell, writer in American Prose Masters (1909), a literary crtic in the 20th century, also a neohumanists, who upheld classical traditions and called for a firmer ethical basis for art. (from American literature: Prose)
William Carleton, Irish writer, whose collection, Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry (1830), captured Irish rural life shortly before the famine, while his novels The Black Prophet (1847), The Emigrants of Ahadarra (1848), and The Tithe Proctor (1849), depicted the suffering it produced. (from Irish Literature)
William L. DeAndrea, one of the American writers who used the Old West as background for more traditional detective stories, wrote the Written in Fire (1995). (from Detective Story)
Edward William Thomson, one of the writers who sought to publish in American and British periodicals, produced polished if not enduring stories about amorality (the absence of moral standards) in society and city life. (from Canadian literature)
William Gaddis, American writer, experimented with plot in one of his best-known novels, JR (1975), by telling the story of an 11-year-old business mogul solely through dialogue. (from Novel)
William Gass, American essayist. His most ambitious and controversial book, The Tunnel, awaited for more than 30 years. Widely known as an essayist, Gass consistently whips his prose into a rich, creamy confection: elaborate sentences, startling metaphors, words chosen to be toothsome or tangy as well as apt and apposite. Gass's first novel, Omensetter's Luck, was long ago acclaimed a modern masterpiece; his novella Willie Master's Lonesome Wife played brilliantly with sexual infidelity and textual experiment; and his early short stories, gathered together as In the Heart of the Heart of the Country, remain a staple of short-story writing seminars. Inevitably, as the years passed, rumors began to circulate that The Tunnel would never appear. When it did, the critical response was loud, discordant, and confused. (from 1995 American Literature - archive article)
William Least Heat-Moon, American essayist who wrote Blue Highways (1982) and Prairyerth (1991), writes in the growing tradition of environmental literature, such as personal essays, reflections, and travelogues (from American Literature: Prose)
William Kirby, Canadian writer, wrote The Golden Dog (1877) which romanticize the refinement and charm of French society in Québec. They also criticize the excesses of French society by equipping it with darkly mysterious and melodramatic trappings, such as cryptic messages, underground passages, and villainous behavior. Both historical adventure tales take place at the time of the Seven Years’ War, which ended with France ceding most of its Canadian territories to Britain in 1763.
- from Canadian Literature
William Dwight Whitney, American linguist and editor of the great American work, the Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia (revised edition, 12 volumes, 1911)
I've wandered east, I've wandered west,
Through many a weary way;
But never, never can forget
The love of life's young day.
William Motherwell (1797 - 1835)
Scottish poet and journalist.
- from Quotations
And for bonnie Annie Laurie
I'll lay me doune and dee.
William Douglas (1672 - 1748)
Busy, curious, thirsty fly,
Drink with me, and drink as I.
William Oldys (1696 - 1761)
English poet, antiquarian, and bibiographer.
Emily Brontë remains the sphinx of literature.
William Robertson Nicoll (1851 - 1923), Scottish writer.
I can endure my own despair, But not another's hope.
William Walsh (1663 - 1708), English poet. His Poetical Works is "Song: Of All the Torments"