[23] There are many references to Lowell's drinking during his college years, and part of his reputation in school was based on it. [44], His wife Maria, who had been suffering from poor health for many years, became very ill in the spring of 1853 and died on October 27[45] of tuberculosis. As he wrote in his introduction to The Biglow Papers, "few American writers or speakers wield their native language with the directness, precision, and force that are common as the day in the mother country". His essays such as “E Pluribus Unum” and “Washers of the Shroud” (1862) also reflect his thought at this time. James Russell Lowell: Among My Books; Adversity. During this time, he was admittedly depressed and often had suicidal thoughts. [114] For example, Lowell's character Hosea Biglow says in verse: Ef you take a sword an' dror it, M.L. Copy. [31] Lowell was treated for an eye disease in New York shortly after the first issue, and in his absence Carter did a poor job of managing the journal. "[40] These personal troubles as well as the Compromise of 1850 inspired Lowell to accept an offer from William Wetmore Story to spend a winter in Italy. Light is the symbol of truth. [13] During his stay in Concord, he became friends with Ralph Waldo Emerson and got to know the other Transcendentalists. That year, Lowell also became editor of The Atlantic Monthly. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Lowell considered joining the "Anti-Wine" club at Harvard, and he became a teetotaler during the early years of his first marriage. With its first issue in November of that year, he at once gave the magazine the stamp of high literature and of bold speech on public affairs. He wrote a series on "Anti-Slavery in the United States" for the Daily News, though his series was discontinued by the editors after four articles in May 1846. He wrote to a friend that death "is a private tutor. However, in 1857, surprising his friends, he became engaged to Frances Dunlap, whom many described as simple and unattractive. I begin to feel more like my old self than I have these ten years. James Russell Lowell Quotes. The Use of Nature and Emotion in Romantic Literature: Readings from Lowell… Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. "[136], Lowell's poem "The Present Crisis", an early work that addressed the national crisis over slavery leading up to the Civil War, has had an impact in the modern civil rights movement. The couple had several children, though only one survived past childhood. Maria's father Abijah White, a wealthy merchant from Watertown, insisted that their wedding be postponed until Lowell had gainful employment. Here, a fictional version of Lowell says he does not believe that women will ever be equal to men in the arts and "the two sexes cannot be ranked counterparts". "[58], He returned to the United States in the summer of 1856 and began his college duties. Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this James Russell Lowell study guide. Lowell graduated from Harvard College in 1838, despite his reputation as a troublemaker, and went on to earn a law degree from Harvard Law School. His grief over the death of his first daughter in particular was expressed in his poem "The First Snowfall" (1847). However, his commitment to the anti-slavery cause wavered over the years, as did his opinion on African-Americans. His friend Edward Everett Hale denied these allegations. For the Review, he served as a coeditor along with Charles Eliot Norton. In 1844 he was married to the gifted poet Maria White, who had inspired his poems in A Year’s Life (1841) and who would help him channel his energies into fruitful directions. These books, together with the publication that year of the second series of his Poems, made Lowell the most popular new figure in American literature. His poem, "Commemoration Ode", cost him sleep and his appetite, but was delivered on July 21, 1865,[75] after a 48-hour writing binge. [69] Lowell returned to Elmwood by January 1861 but maintained an amicable relationship with the new owners of the journal, continuing to submit his poetry and prose for the rest of his life. [56] Abroad, he visited Le Havre, Paris, and London, spending time with friends including Story, Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Leigh Hunt. The same year, he published The Biglow Papers, which increased his fame. JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (East Highland Park School) HABS No. "[27] Lowell depicted Southerners very unfavorably in his second collection of The Biglow Papers but, by 1865, admitted that Southerners were "guilty only of weakness" and, by 1868, said that he sympathized with Southerners and their viewpoint on slavery. [63], Lowell had intended never to remarry after the death of his wife Maria White. After the American Civil War he expressed his devotion to the Union cause in four memorial odes, the best of which is “Ode Recited at the Harvard Commemoration” (1865). [93] Lowell held this role until the close of Chester A. Arthur's presidency in the spring of 1885, despite his wife's failing health. "[117] Freed slaves, he wrote, were "dirty, lazy & lying". [19] A friend described their relationship as "the very picture of a True Marriage". 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