Mather Byles


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(1707–88), grandson of Increase Mather, continued the family tradition of pulpit oratory and authorship. His Tory sympathies led to the dissolution of his church, and though he remained a Congregationalist he tended toward Episcopalianism. Poems on Several Occasions (1744) is a collection of his verse, which is of uneven quality, sometimes witty and urbane but more frequently imitative and dull. He wrote many theological works and a long poem, The Conflagration (1755), and was noted among his contemporaries for his repartee.

From The Oxford Companion to American Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.

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