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Chapter 1 Origin of the Browning Family—Robert Browning's Grandfather—His position and Character—His first and second Marriage—Unkindness towards his eldest Son, Robert Browning's Father—Alleged Infusion of West Indian Blood through Robert Browning's Grandmother—Existing Evidence against it—The Grandmother's Portrait. A belief was current in Mr. Browning's... more...

PRIOR. Matthew Prior is one of those that have burst out from an obscure original to great eminence. He was born July 21, 1664, according to some, at Winburn, in Dorsetshire, of I know not what parents; others say, that he was the son of a joiner of London: he was, perhaps, willing enough to leave his birth unsettled, in hope, like Don Quixote, that the historian of his actions might find him some... more...

—I— To My New Readers In the summer of 1893, after nine years of hard but happy literary life in Boston and New York, I decided to surrender my residence in the East and reëstablish my home in the West, a decision which seemed to be—as it was—a most important event in my career. This change of headquarters was due not to a diminishing love for New England, but to a deepening desire to be near... more...

GEOFFRY CHAUCER. It has been observed that men of eminence in all ages, and distinguished for the same excellence, have generally had something in their lives similar to each other. The place of Homer's nativity, has not been more variously conjectured, or his parents more differently assigned than our author's. Leland, who lived nearest to Chaucer's time of all those who have wrote his... more...

LETTER 508. TO MR. MOORE. "Genoa, February 20. 1823. "My Dear Tom, "I must again refer you to those two letters addressed to you at Passy before I read your speech in Galignani, &c., and which you do not seem to have received.[1] [Footnote 1: I was never lucky enough to recover these two letters, though frequent enquiries were made about them at the French post-office.] "Of Hunt... more...

PREFACE It may be well that I should put a short preface to this book. In the summer of 1878 my father told me that he had written a memoir of his own life. He did not speak about it at length, but said that he had written me a letter, not to be opened until after his death, containing instructions for publication. This letter was dated 30th April, 1876. I will give here as much of it as concerns the... more...

CHAPTER I. Introductory Remarks—Birth of Jane Austen—Her Family Connections—Their Influence on her Writings. More than half a century has passed away since I, the youngest of the mourners, attended the funeral of my dear aunt Jane in Winchester Cathedral; and now, in my old age, I am asked whether my memory will serve to rescue from oblivion any events of her life or any traits of her character... more...

PUBLISHERS' NOTE Lockhart's Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Bart., which divides with Boswell's Life of Johnson the honor of leading all lives of English men of letters, was first published in seven volumes in 1837-1838. A second edition, with some corrections, some slight revisions, and a few additions, mostly in the form of notes, was published in 1839, and this has remained... more...

CHAPTER I EARLY DAYS—MEETS JOHNSON. 1740-1763'Behind yon hills, where Lugar flows.'—Burns. 'Every Scotchman,' says Sir Walter Scott, 'has a pedigree. It is a national prerogative, as inalienable as his pride and his poverty. My birth was neither distinguished nor sordid.' What, however, was but a foible with Scott was a passion in James Boswell, who has on numerous... more...

by: Various
He was almost too good to be true. In addition, the gods loved him, and so he had to die young. Some people think that a man of fifty-two is middle-aged. But if R. H. D. had lived to be a hundred, he would never have grown old. It is not generally known that the name of his other brother was Peter Pan. Within the year we have played at pirates together, at the taking of sperm whales; and we have... more...