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American poetry

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Ms. Coll. 251: Literary Models, Religion, And Romantic Science In John Syng Dorsey’S Poems, 1805-1818, Samantha Destefano May 2019

Ms. Coll. 251: Literary Models, Religion, And Romantic Science In John Syng Dorsey’S Poems, 1805-1818, Samantha Destefano

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John Syng Dorsey (1783-1818) was a Philadelphia surgeon and the author of The Elements of Surgery (1813), the first American textbook of surgery. He was also the author of Poems, 1805-1818 (UPenn Ms. Coll. 251), a forty-page collection that reveals his interests in spirituality, the history of science and medicine, and classical and eighteenth-century British poetry. Decades after Dorsey’s death, his son Robert Ralston Dorsey (1808-1869) revised his father’s poems, identified classical sources with Latin and Italian quotations, and completed Dorsey’s final, unfinished poem. This project analyzes Dorsey’s literary, scientific, and biblical allusions and contextualizes his ...


“Send Me A Nice Little Letter All To Myself”: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’S Fan Mail And Antebellum Poetic Culture, Jill E. Anderson Jan 2007

“Send Me A Nice Little Letter All To Myself”: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’S Fan Mail And Antebellum Poetic Culture, Jill E. Anderson

University Library Faculty Publications

This paper examines fan mail written to poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow during the 1840s and 1850s, as he made the transition from emerging poet to being one of the best-known and most influential American poets of his time. Longfellow’s admirers wrote him letters praising his poetry, but also making requests for tokens of his presence and esteem: handwritten lines of his poetry, pencils, portraits, locks of hair, and in one case, his daughter’s hand in marriage. Claiming to “know” Longfellow through his poetry, admirers often also identified themselves as being in “debt” to Longfellow for his beautiful poetry ...