Edward Rowland Sill


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(1841–87), born in Connecticut, graduated from Yale (1861) and attempted to fortify his frail health by following Dana's example in making a sea voyage around the Horn to California. During the ensuing years he held various odd jobs, read law, and studied medicine, returning east to study at the Harvard Divinity School and try his hand at New York journalism. In 1868 he published The Hermitage and Other Poems, the only volume of his verse issued publicly during his lifetime. After teaching school in Ohio and California, he became a professor of English at the University of California (1874–82), where he showed that, though not a great scholar, he was a man of wide culture, brilliant insight, and high spiritual quality. His last years were spent in Ohio, where he contributed essays and poems to magazines under the pseudonym Andrew Hedbrooke, and in 1883 privately issued The Venus of Milo and Other Poems. His collected Poems (1902) are marked by a classic finish and a stoic idealistic spirit in face of the problems of religious skepticism which racked his mind. His collected Prose (1900) contains charming treatments of slight literary subjects.

From The Oxford Companion to American Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.

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