Presentation on theme: "James Russell Lowell 1819-1891. Early Life Lowell’s family was of Scottish descent. Lowell’s father was a minister. By the time he was born, his family."— Presentation transcript:
Early Life Lowell’s family was of Scottish descent. Lowell’s father was a minister. By the time he was born, his family owned a large estate in Cambridge Massachusetts. He was the youngest if 6 children. Lowell’s mother built in him an appreciation for literature. She read and taught him poetry, ballads, and tales from Scotland.
Young Adulthood At the age of 15, Lowell entered Harvard College. He was not a good student and he often got into trouble. He was actually elected as poet of the class of 1838, but could not recite a poem the day before the graduation ceremony because he was suspended.
Young Adulthood Cont. He did graduate from Harvard and eventually graduated from Harvard Law School also. He married his first wife, Maria White, in 1844. She persuaded Lowell to become active in the abolitionist movement. Many of Lowell early works were anti-slavery writings.
Adulthood In 1840 Lowell founded a literary journal, The Pioneer, which published new literature. The first issue of the journal included the first issue of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart.” Lowell gained notoriety in 1848 when he published A Fable for Critics, a book length poem that satirized contemporary critics and poets, including Edgar Allan Poe Also in 1848 he published The Biglow Papers a collection of poems and essays, which increased his fame.
Adulthood James and Maria had four children, but only 1 survived past infancy. The deaths of his children affected Lowell deeply and he contemplated suicide. In 1853, Maria died from tuberculosis. He was also was helping his father, who became deaf, and his sister, who suffered with mental illness. He was very depressed during this period.
Adulthood He gave a series of lectures on poets that were enormously popular, and it led to him gaining a teaching position at Harvard. In 1857, he married Frances Dunlap, who was a friend of his first wife. Also in 1857 he became the editor of The Atlantic Monthly
Later years In 1877, Lowell was named the Minister to the Court of Spain by President Hayes. In 1879, he was named Minister to England. Lowell’s second wife dies in 1885, while they were still in England. Lowell returned to the United States in 1885, and lived occasionally with his only surviving child, Mabel, until his death in 1891.