All the King's Men

Warren, Robert Penn

Robert Penn Warren, 1905–89, American novelist, poet, and critic, b. Guthrie, Ky., grad. Vanderbilt Univ. 1925; M.A., Univ. of California 1927; B.Litt., Oxford 1930. At Vanderbilt he became associated with John Crowe Ransom and the group of Southern agrarian poets who made the Fugitive (1922–25) an important literary magazine. He was managing editor with Cleanth Brooks of the Southern Review. Warren first gained recognition as a poet. His early verse was much influenced by the metaphysical poets, but his later poetry is simpler and more regional. Among his volumes of poetry are Thirty-six Poems (1935); Brother to Dragons (1953; Pulitzer), a long, dramatic poem; Promises (1957; Pulitzer), Selected Poems: New and Old (1966), Incarnations (1968), Audubon: A Vision (1969), Or Else (1974), and New and Selected Poems 1923–1985 (1985). Warren's most famous novel is All the King's Men (1946; Pulitzer), which concerns the rise to power of a political demagogue resembling Huey Long. Among his other novels are World Enough and Time (1950), The Cave (1959), Wilderness (1961), Flood (1964), Meet Me in the Green Glen (1971), and A Place to Come To (1977). His other works include a collection of short stories, The Circus in the Attic (1948), and Selected Essays (1958). In 1986 he became the first poet laureate of the United States.

See biography by J. Blotner (1997); correspondence with C. Brooks (1998), ed. by J. A. Grimshaw, Jr.; studies by C. Bohner (1964, rev. ed. 1981), J. Justus (1981), and K. Snipes (1984).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men
Harold Bloom.
Chelsea House, 1987
Librarian’s tip: This is a book of literary criticism
"The Lie We Must Learn to Live By": Honor and Tradition in 'All the King's Men.'
Blair, John.
Studies in the Novel, Vol. 25, No. 4, Winter 1993
From 'Jack Burden' to 'I': The Narrator's Transformation in 'All the Kings Men.'
Cullick, Jonathan S.
Studies in American Fiction, Vol. 25, No. 2, Autumn 1997
The Faraway Country: Writers of the Modern South
Louis Decimus Rubin.
University of Washington Press, 1963
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Burden's Landing: All the King's Men and the Modern South"
Literature and Film as Modern Mythology
William K. Ferrell.
Praeger, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 9 "A 'Good' Politician Is Hard to Find: All the King's Men"
'All the King's Men,' Spiritual Aesthetics, and the Reader
Koppelman, Robert.
The Mississippi Quarterly, Vol. 48, No. 1, Winter 1994
Faith in Good Works: The Salvation of Robert Penn Warren
Miller, Mark D.
The Mississippi Quarterly, Vol. 48, No. 1, Winter 1994
Human Genetics and All the King's Men: The Case of Jack Burden's Paternity
Perkins, James A.; McCarthy, Patrick C.; Allen, Frank D., Jr.
The Mississippi Quarterly, Vol. 56, No. 1, Winter 2002
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