The Letters of William Cullen Bryant: 1836-1849

William Cullen Bryant, Thomas G. Voss
Fordham Univ Press, 1975 - 568 頁

The second volume of William Cullen Bryant's letters opens in 1836 as he has just returned to New York from an extended visit to Europe to resume charge of the New York Evening Post, brought near to failure during his absence by his partner William Leggett's mismanagement. At the period's close, Bryant has found in John Bigelow an able editorial associate and astute partner, with whose help he has brought the paper close to its greatest financial prosperity and to national political and cultural influence.

Bryant's letters show the versatility of his concern with the crucial political, social, artistic, and literary movements of his time, and the varied friendships he enjoyed despite his preoccupation with a controversial daily paper, and with the sustenance of a poetic reputation yet unequaled among Americans. As president of the New York Homeopathic Society, in letters and editorials urging widespread public parks, and in his presidency of the New York Society for the Abolition of the Punishment of Death, he gave attention to public health, recreation, and order. He urged the rights of labor, foreign and religious minorities, and free African Americans; his most powerful political effort of the period was in opposition to the spread of slavery through the conquest of Mexico. An early commitment to free trade in material goods was maintained in letters and editorials, and to that in ideas by his presidency of the American Copyright Club and his support of the efforts of Charles Dickens and Harriet Martineau to secure from the United States Congress and international copyright agreement.

Bryant's first visit to Great Britain came at the height of his poetic and journalistic fame in 1845, bringing him into cordial intimacy with members of Parliament, scientists, journalists, artists, and writers. In detailed letters to his wife, published here for the first time, he describes the pleasures he took in breakfasting with the literary patron Samuel Rogers and the American minister Edward Everett, boating on the Thames with artists and with diarist Henry Crabb Robinson, spending an evening in the home of Leigh Hunt, and calling on the Wordsworths at Rydal Mount as well as in the distinctions paid him at a rally of the Anti-Corn-Law League in Covent Garden Theatre, and at the annual meeting in Cambridge of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.

Equally fresh are most of the letters to prominent Americans, many of them his close friends, such as the two Danas, Bancroft, Cole, Cooper, Dewey, Dix, Downing, Durand, Forrest, Greenough, Irving, Longfellow, Simms, Tilden, Van Buren, and Weir. His letters to the Evening Post recounting his observations and experiences during travels abroad and in the South, West, and Northeast of the United States, which were copied widely in other newspapers and praised highly by many of their subscribers, are here made available to the present-day reader.


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The Harder Strife 18361838 LETTERS 315 TO 370
First of American Poets 18391842 LETTERS 371 to 445
A Place in the Country 18431844 LETTERS 446 to 517
Europe Revisited 1845 LETTERS 518 to 566
New York and Elsewhere 18461847 LETTERS 567 to 633
Kindred Spirits 18481849 LETTERS 634 to 666

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第 7 頁 - A friendless warfare! lingering long Through weary day and weary year, A wild and many-weaponed throng Hang on thy front, and flank, and rear. Yet nerve thy spirit to the proof And blench not at thy chosen lot, The timid good may stand aloof, The sage may frown — yet faint thou not...
第 411 頁 - Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird! No hungry generations tread thee down; The voice I hear this passing night was heard In ancient days by emperor and clown: Perhaps the self-same song that found a path Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home She stood in tears amid the alien corn; The same that oft-times hath Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.
第 356 頁 - At once there rose so wild a yell Within that dark and narrow dell, As all the fiends from heaven that fell Had...
第 350 頁 - Such dusky grandeur clothed the height, Where the huge castle holds its state, And all the steep slope down, Whose ridgy back heaves to the sky, Piled deep and massy, close and high, Mine own romantic town...
第 29 頁 - The rhythmical flow here is even voluptuous- nothing could be more melodious. The poem has always affected me in a remarkable manner. The intense melancholy which seems to well up, perforce, to the surface of all the poet's cheerful sayings about his grave, we find thrilling us to the soul- while there is the truest poetic elevation in the thrill. The impression left is one of a pleasurable sadness.
第 200 頁 - Verse sweetens toil, however rude the sound. All at her work the village maiden sings; Nor, while she turns the giddy wheel around, Revolves the sad vicissitude of things.
第 184 頁 - Methinks I see in my mind a noble and puissant nation rousing herself like a strong man after sleep, and shaking her invincible locks : methinks I see her as an eagle, mewing her mighty youth, and kindling her undazzled eyes at the full mid-day beam...
第 141 頁 - THE fresh savannas of the Sangamon Here rise in gentle swells, and the long grass Is mixed with rustling hazels. Scarlet tufts Are glowing in the green, like flakes of fire ; The wanderers of the prairie know them well, And call that brilliant flower the Painted Cup.
第 219 頁 - ... higher latitudes of the American continent. The climate of Florida is in fact an insular climate; the Atlantic on the east and the Gulf of Mexico on the west temper the airs that blow over it, making them cooler in summer and warmer in winter. I do not wonder, therefore, that it is so much the resort of invalids; it would be more so if the softness of its atmosphere and the beauty and serenity of its seasons were generally known. Nor should it be supposed that accommodations for persons in delicate...
第 518 頁 - Yet let no empty gust Of passion find an utterance in thy lay, A blast that whirls the dust Along the howling street and dies away; But feelings of calm power and mighty sweep, Like currents journeying through the windless deep.

關於作者 (1975)

William Cullen Bryant (Edited By)
William Cullen Bryant II, a collateral descendant, earned his Ph.D. at Columbia University. He taught at his alma mater and at the University of Iowa, Fordham University, and the City University of New York. He widely traveled as a naval officer, teacher, and educational advisor. He lived in Garrison, NY.

Thomas G. Voss (Edited By)
Thomas G. Voss earned his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin. He has taught at the Catholic University of America, and he was a Fulbright Professor in Norway. He was President of Tusculum College and the University of Charleston.