Richard Grant White, one of the most distinguished scholars and critics of his time, the pride of his son and the despair (as you shall see) of his father, became at twenty-five a personage of some importance and was never thereafter unimportant. Always active and industrious, he was fearless in stating and pushing his opinions. He looked—they said in England where he was much admired—like a guardsman, and spoke (according to Alexander Ellis, president of the Philological Society) with all the distinction of an Oxford graduate. “Altogether,” in the opinion of the London Spectator, “the most accomplished and the best bred man that America has sent to England within the present generation … not at all our idea of a Yankee.”
KeywordsPhilological Society Chicago Tribune Grand Piano General Fancy Pale Lilac
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- 1.During his college career he astonished his fellow students—and the faculty— by an oration on “Government,” in which he stated that the structure of the government of the United States was faulty, and that the end must be corruption and disintegration. He was returned to his seat in a bedlam of hisses and applause.Google Scholar
- 2.The Fall of Man is the title of one of his pamphlets—“The Fall of Man: or The Loves of the Gorillas, a popular scientific lecture upon the Darwinian theory of the development of sexual selection. By a learned gorilla.”Google Scholar
- 3.His daughter, Mrs. Jeanette Thurber, first introduced English opera at the old Academy of Music.Google Scholar
- 4.While in England he visited Julian Hawthorne at Twickenham on the Thames, the site of Pope’s villa. Having his violoncello with him, he used to go into the nursery to play for the children—Nathaniel Hawthorne’s grandchildren—to their great delight. After he had gone away, one of them asked if he would ever come again. “I hope so,” said Mrs. Hawthorne. “I hope so too,” said the little girl, “cause he’s better than the organ man. You don’t have to give him a penny.”Google Scholar