The Robinson Library >> Linguistics, Languages, and Literatures >> American Literature
Br'er Rabbit and Br'er B'ar, from stories by Joel Chandler Harris

19th Century


Louisa May AlcottLouisa May Alcott
began writing poetry and short stories for popular magazines at an early age, the income from which she used to help support her family. Her first successful book, Hospital Sketches, was published in 1863, but she is best known for her novel Little Women, which was published in two parts in 1868 and 1869.
Washington IrvingWashington Irving
first gained fame as the author of Knickerbocker's History of New York, a boisterous, satirical account of the state of New York from its earliest colonial days. He is best known today, however, for two short stories he published as part of a larger work, "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow."
Katharine Lee BatesKatharine Lee Bates
is best known as the author of "America the Beautiful," a poem inspired by her travels across the country. The poem was first published in 1895, revised in 1904 and 1913, and set to music in the 1920's.
Sidney LanierSidney Lanier
enjoyed a brief period of fame as a flautist before earning acclaim as a poet. That acclaim began with "Corn" in 1875, and lasted until his death just six years later.
Ambrose Gwinnett BierceAmbrose Gwinnett Bierce
was the author of Nuggets and Dust Panned Out in California, The Fiend's Delight, Cobwebs from an Empty Skull, and several other stories. As a journalist, he wrote a series of columns that prevented the railroad interests of California from gaining special treatment from the federal government.
Henry Wadsworth LongfellowHenry Wadsworth Longfellow
wrote poems that covered a variety of styles and contents, including "Paul Revere's Ride," Evangeline, The Song of Hiawatha, and The Courtship of Miles Standish.
Charles Brockden BrownCharles Brockden Brown
decided to become an author at a time when such an occupation was considered little more than a hobby or pasttime. He became the first American novelist to win an international reputation. His best known works include Wieland; or the Transformation; Arthur Mervyn; Ormond; and Edgar Huntly.
James Russell LowellJames Russell Lowell
was a noted poet, editor, literary critic, lecturer, teacher, scholar, social reformer, and diplomat. His best-known works are A Fable for Critics, The Biglow Papers, and The Vision of Sir Launfal.
George Washington CableGeorge Washington Cable
established the genre of southern local-color fiction with the publication of Old Creole Days in 1879. Although his works earned him critical acclaim, they also earned him nasty criticism from those who disliked his advocating full civil rights for African-Americans.
Herman MelvilleHerman Melville
became one of the most popular authors of his day thanks to three novels loosley based on his experiences at sea. Ironically, the novel for which he is today best known, Moby Dick, was not well received by his contemporaries.
Samuel Langhorne ClemensSamuel Langhorne Clemens
better known as Mark Twain, began his writing career with humorous sketches, letters, and newspaper accounts, including "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County." His novels include The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.
Edgar Allan PoeEdgar Allan Poe
first earned fame as a literary critic, but is best known today for his many short stories and poems with dark, often macabre, themes. He was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story, and is generally considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre.
James Fenimore CooperJames Fenimore Cooper
was the first author to seriously portray American scenes and characters. He is best known for The Leatherstocking Tales, five novels about frontiersman Natty Bumppo and his constant retreat from the advancing settlement of the frontier.
James Whitcomb RileyJames Whitcomb Riley
was known as the "Hoosier Poet" because many of his poems were written in the dialect of his home state, Indiana. Although he authored approximately 1,000 poems in his lifetime, he gained most of his fame on the speaking circuit.
Richard Harding DavisRichard Harding Davis
filed some of the most enthralling news stories during the Spanish-American War, many of which were based on the exploits of Theodore Roosevelt and the "Rough Riders." He also gained fame as a novelist and playwright.
Harriet Beecher StoweHarriet Beecher Stowe
was inspired to write her most famous novel by talking and listening to runaway slaves. Uncle Tom's Cabin began as a serial that eventually grew into a 40-chapter book. Published in 1852, it was the first major American novel to feature a black hero and sold over half a million copies in the United States within five years.
Paul Laurence DunbarPaul Laurence Dunbar
became the first African-American to gain national eminence as a poet, as well as the first to be popular with both black and white readers, with Majors and Minors, which was published in 1895. In 1896, his Lyrics of Lowly Life became the first work by an African-American to be published by a major publishing house.
Bayard TaylorBayard Taylor
was a very popular journalist, traveler, lecturer, poet, and translator. His trips to Europe resulted in several well-received books, including Views Afoot; or, Europe seen with a Knapsack and Staff. A series of reports on the California Gold Rush resulted in Tribune; Eldorado, or, Adventures in the Path of Empire, which was an immediate best-seller.
Ralph Waldo EmersonRalph Waldo Emerson
trained for the ministry but a crisis of faith led him to become a lecturer and writer instead. Many of his lectures and writings expounded on a new philosophical movement called transcendentalism, of which he became the leader.
Ernest Lawrence ThayerErnest Lawrence Thayer
was a part-time humor columnist for the San Francisco Examiner who gained fame after revealing that he was the author of Casey at the Bat, which was published by the Examiner in 1888. Now an icon of the baseball world, the poem did not become famous until after it was turned into a stage performance.
Joel Chandler HarrisJoel Chandler Harris
is best known for his Uncle Remus stories, which first began appearing in serial form in the Atlanta Constitution about 1876.
Walt WhitmanWalt Whitman
published the first edition of Leaves of Grass, containing just 12 poems and a preface, in 1855. By the time of his death in 1892 he had published seven subsequent revised and enlarged editions of the collection.
Julia Ward HoweJulia Ward Howe
is best known for being the author of The Battle Hymn of the Republic, which was published in 1861, but she was also openly involved in a number of causes, including women's suffrage and world peace.
John Greenleaf WhittierJohn Greenleaf Whittier
had more than 80 of his poems published in various newspapers and magazines by the time he was twenty. A devout abolitionist, most of his early works reflected his his anti-slavery views, including Justice and Expediency. After the Civil War his works focused on religion, nature, and rural life, including Snow-Bound.
William Dean HowellsWilliam Dean Howells
helped introduce European writers to American readers, and challenged American writers to choose American subjects. Many of his novels deal with various issues of his day in an increasingly realistic manner, including: The Rise of Silas Lapham, A Hazard of New Fortunes, Annie Kilburn, and The Coast of Bohemia.

The Robinson Library >> Linguistics, Languages, and Literatures >> American Literature