James Russell Lowell: a Biography - Vol. 1

James Russell Lowell: a Biography - Vol. 1

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James Russell Lowell: a Biography - Vol. 1

James Russell Lowell: a Biography - Vol. 1

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Excerpt

The existence of the two volumes of Letters of James Russell Lowell, edited by Charles Eliot Norton , has determined the character of this biography. If they had not been published, I might have made a Life and Letters which would have been in the main Lowell's own account of himself, in his voluminous correspondence, annotated only by such further account of him as his letters failed to supply. As it is, though I have had access to a great many letters not contained in Mr. Norton's work, I have thought it desirable not so much to supplement the Letters with other letters, as to complement those volumes with a more formal biography, using such letters or portions of letters as I print for illustration of my subject, rather than as the basis of the narrative.

I have kept the Letters always by my side as my main book of reference; by the courtesy of their editor and by arrangement with their publishers, Messrs. Harper & Brothers, I have now and then drawn upon them where it seemed especially desirable that Lowell should speak for himself, but . . .

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