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The International Monthly, Volume 3, No. 3, June, 1851   By:

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Of Literature, Art, and Science.

Vol. III. NEW YORK, JUNE 1, 1851. No. III.



We doubt whether the wood engravers of this country have ever produced a finer portrait than the above of the author of "The Brothers," "Cromwell," "Marmaduke Wyvil," "The Roman Traitor," "The Warwick Woodlands," "Field Sports," "Fish and Fishing," &c., &c. It is from one of the most successful daguerreotypes of Brady.

HENRY WILLIAM HERBERT is the eldest son of the late Hon. and Rev. William Herbert, Dean of Manchester, and of the Hon. Letitia Allen. His father was the second son of the second Earl of Carnarvon, who was of the nearest younger branch of the house of Pembroke. He was a member of Parliament in the earlier part of his life, and being a lawyer in Doctors' Commons was largely employed on the part of American shipmasters previous to the war of 1812. At a later period he took orders, became Dean of Manchester, was distinguished as a botanist, and as the author of many eminent works, especially "Attila," an epic poem of great power and learning. He died about three years ago. His mother was the second daughter of Joshua, second Viscount Allen, of Kildare, Ireland, closely connected with the house of Leinster.

Mr. Herbert was born in London on the seventh of April, 1807; he was educated at home under a private tutor till 1819, and then sent to a private school near Brighton, kept by the Rev. Dr. Hooker, at which he remained one year he was then transferred to Eton, and was at that school from April, 1820, till the summer of 1825, when he left for the university, and entered Caius College, Cambridge, in October. Here he obtained two scholarships and several prizes, though not a hard reading man, and spending much of his time in field sports and he graduated in the winter of 1829 30, with a distinguished reputation for talents and scholarship. In November, 1831, he sailed from Liverpool for New York, and for the last twenty years he has resided nearly all the time in this city and at his place near Newark in New Jersey, called the Cedars.


In 1832, in connection with the late A. D. Patterson, he started The American Monthly Magazine , nearly one half the matter of which was composed by him. After the first year Mr. Patterson retired from it, and during twelve months it was conducted by Mr. Herbert alone. On the conclusion of the second year it was sold to Charles F. Hoffman, Mr. Herbert continuing to act as a joint editor. At the commencement of the fourth year Park Benjamin being associated in the editorship, it was contemplated to introduce party politics into the work, and Mr. Herbert in consequence declined further connection with it.


By this time Mr. Herbert had made a brilliant reputation as a scholar and as an author. In the American Monthly he had printed the first chapters of The Brothers, a Tale of the Fronde , and the entire novel was published by the Harpers in 1834, and so well received that the whole edition was sold in a few weeks. In 1836 and 1837 he edited The Magnolia , the first annual ever printed in America on the system of entire originality both of the literary matter, and of the embellishments, which were all executed by American engravers from American designs. A considerable portion of the matter for both years was furnished by Mr. Herbert. In 1837 the Harpers published his second novel, Cromwell , which did not sell so rapidly as The Brothers , though generally praised by the reviewers. It 1840 it was reprinted by Colburn in London, and was eminently successful. In 1843 he published in New York and London his third novel, Marmaduke Wyvil, or the Maid's Revenge , a story of the English civil wars, and in 1848 the most splendid of his romances, The Roman Traitor , founded on the history of Cataline, a work which must be classed with the most remarkable of those specimens of literary art in which it has been attempted to illustrate classical scenes, characters, and manners... Continue reading book >>

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