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John Greenleaf Whittier His Life, Genius, and Writings   By:

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John Greenleaf Whittier His Life, Genius, and Writings by W. Sloane Kennedy is an in-depth exploration of the life and literary works of one of America's greatest poets. This comprehensive biography offers readers an intimate look into the personal and professional life of Whittier, shedding light on his upbringing, influences, and the impact of his writings on American literature.

W. Sloane Kennedy does an exceptional job of capturing the essence of Whittier's incredible journey, from his humble beginnings in rural Massachusetts to his emergence as a prolific writer and influential figure in the 19th-century literary scene. Kennedy's meticulous research is evident throughout the book, as he paints a vivid picture of Whittier's formative years, family background, and the social and political climate that shaped his worldview.

One of the standout features of this biography is Kennedy's analysis of Whittier's writing style and the significant themes that defined his poetry. The book delves into Whittier's commitment to social justice and his active involvement in political movements, particularly the abolitionist cause. Kennedy effectively demonstrates how Whittier's poetry became a powerful tool in his fight against slavery, enlightening readers about the poet's unwavering determination to make a difference through his words.

Additionally, Kennedy offers readers a rare peek into the personal life of Whittier, sharing intimate details about his relationships, friendships, and struggles. Through personal letters, anecdotes, and historical records, the author provides a well-rounded perspective on the poet's personality, passions, and the challenges he faced throughout his life.

While the book is undoubtedly a treasure trove of information for Whittier enthusiasts, it may not appeal to those with a casual interest in his life and works. The dense nature of the content, coupled with the extensive research, may deter some readers looking for a lighter overview of Whittier's contributions.

Overall, John Greenleaf Whittier His Life, Genius, and Writings by W. Sloane Kennedy is an authoritative and well-crafted biography that offers a comprehensive account of the poet's life, shedding light on both the man and his literary legacy. Kennedy's deep knowledge of Whittier's works, coupled with his engaging storytelling, make this book a must-read for anyone seeking to gain a profound understanding of this remarkable poet and social reformer.

First Page:


His Life, Genius, and Writings


Author of a "Life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow," Etc.


INTRODUCTION BY REV. S. F. SMITH, D.D. Author of Hymn "America"

Such music as the woods and streams Sang in his ear, he sang aloud

The Tent on the Beach

For all his quiet life flowed on, As meadow streamlets flow, Where fresher green reveals alo The noiseless ways they go

The Friend's Burial




John Greenleaf Whittier


Who does not admire and love John Greenleaf Whittier? And who does not delight to do him honor? He was a man raised up by Providence to meet an exigency in human history, and an exigency in the experiences of the United States. And he met the exigency with distinguished success. He was a true exponent of New England life and the New England spirit. He drew his inspiration from the soil where he was born, from the necessities of the times, from the demands of human rights, from the love of God and of man... Continue reading book >>

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