Maxwell Anderson

Maxwell Anderson, 1888–1959, American dramatist, b. Atlantic, Pa., grad. Univ. of North Dakota, 1911. His plays, many of which are written in verse, usually concern social and moral problems. Anderson was a journalist until the successful production in 1924 of What Price Glory?, a war drama written with Laurence Stallings. Winterset (1935), based on the Sacco-Vanzetti case, is probably Anderson's most successful verse tragedy. He wrote many historical dramas including Elizabeth the Queen (1930), Mary of Scotland (1933), Valley Forge (1934), Joan of Lorraine (1947), Anne of the Thousand Days (1948), and Barefoot in Athens (1951). Among his other plays are Both Your Houses (1933), High Tor (1937), The Star Wagon (1937), Key Largo (1939), and The Eve of St. Mark (1942). He also wrote the librettos for Kurt Weill's Knickerbocker Holiday (1938) and Lost in the Stars (1940). A collection of his poetry, Notes on a Dream, was published in 1972.

His eldest son, Quentin Anderson, 1914–2003, b. Minnewauken, N.Dak., was a literary critic, cultural historian, and Columbia Univ. professor (1939–81). Educated at Columbia (B.A., 1937; Ph. D., 1953) and Harvard (M.A., 1945), he was an expert on 19th-century American literature and wrote such books as The American Henry James (1957), The Imperial Self (1971), and Making Americans (1992).

See biography by A. S. Shivers (1982); bibliography by M. Cox (1958, repr. 1974).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Maxwell Anderson: Selected full-text books and articles

Dramatist in America: Letters of Maxwell Anderson, 1912-1958 By Maxwell Anderson; Laurence G. Avery University of North Carolina Press, 1977
Anne of the Thousand Days By Maxwell Anderson William Sloane, 1948
The Eve of St. Mark: A Play in Two Acts By Maxwell Anderson Anderson House, 1942
Candle in the Wind: A Play in Three Acts By Maxwell Anderson Anderson House, 1941
Knickerbocker Holiday: A Musical Comedy in Two Acts ; Book and Lyrics By Maxwell Anderson; Kurt Weill; Robert H. Mutrux Anderson House, 1938
High Tor, a Play in Three Acts By Maxwell Anderson Anderson House, 1937
The Star-Wagon: A Play in Three Acts By Maxwell Anderson Anderson House, 1937
The Wingless Victory: A Play in Three Acts By Maxwell Anderson Anderson House, 1936
Winterset: A Play in Three Acts By Maxwell Anderson Anderson House, 1935
Mary of Scotland, a Play in Three Acts By Maxwell Anderson Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc., 1934
Valley Forge: A Play in Three Acts By Maxwell Anderson Anderson House, 1934
Elizabeth the Queen: A Play in Three Acts By Maxwell Anderson Longmans, Green and Co., 1930
105 Greatest Living Authors Present the World's Best Stories, Humor, Drama, Biography, History, Essays, Poetry By Whit Burnett Dial Press, 1950
Librarian’s tip: "Maxwell Anderson" begins on p. 173
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