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Lowell, James Russell

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Definition: Lowell, James Russell from

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language

, James Russell 1819–1891.


American editor, poet, and diplomat. He edited the Atlantic Monthly (1857–1861) and served as US minister to Spain (1877–1880) and Great Britain (1880–1885).

Summary Article: Lowell, James Russell from The Columbia Encyclopedia
Lowell, James Russell, 1819-91, American poet, critic, and editor, b. Cambridge, Mass. He was influential in revitalizing the intellectual life of New England in the mid-19th cent. Educated at Harvard (B.A., 1838; LL.B., 1840), he abandoned law for literature. In 1843 he started a literary magazine, the Pioneer, which failed after two issues. The next year Lowell married Maria White, an ardent abolitionist and liberal, who encouraged him in his work. Lowell's Poems (1844, 1846), A Fable for Critics (1848), The Vision of Sir Launfal (1848), and The Bigelow Papers (1848; 2d series, 1867) brought him considerable notice as a poet and critic. The best remembered of these are The Bigelow Papers, political and social lampoons written in Yankee dialect, which established his reputation as a satirist and a...    Continue Reading
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