The American Byron: Homosexuality and the Fall of Fitz-Greene Halleck

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Univ of Wisconsin Press, 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 226 pages
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Hailed in the mid-nineteenth century as the most important American poet of the period, Fitz-Greene Halleck was a close friend of William C. Bryant, an associate of Charles Dickens and Washington Irving, and a celebrity sought out by John Jacob Astor and American presidents. Halleck, an attractive man of wit and charm, was dubbed "the American Byron" because he both employed similar poetic strategies and challenged the most sacred institutions of his day. A large general readership enjoyed his verse, though it was infused with homosexual themes. Indeed, Halleck's love for another man would be fictionalized in Bayard Taylor's novel Joseph and His Friend a century before the Stonewall riots.
In this insightful cultural biography, John W. M. Hallock (a distant relative) portrays Fitz-Greene as a prophet of the literary and sexual revolution of which Walt Whitman would be the messiah. The first biographical study of Halleck in more than fifty years, The American Byron traces the path to glory and eventual radical decanonization of America's earliest homosexual poet.

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THE AMERICAN BYRON: Homosexuality and the Fall of Fitz-Greene Halleck

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In his new study of a 19th-century American poet, Hallock uncovers convincing evidence that homophobic critics forced him into selfcensorship, isolation, and, ultimately, silence. Are we talking about ... Read full review

The American Byron: homosexuality and the fall of Fitz-Greene Halleck

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

More a social than a poetic genius, Halleck, a favorite of such establishment figures as Charles Dickens, William C. Bryant, and Washington Irving, published satirical verses (often co-written with ... Read full review


Shepherds of Sodomy
Love and War
The Widow Halleck
Conquer and Divide
A Return to Ganymede
Halleck and His Friend

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Page 210 - New England's Memorial ; or, A brief relation of the most memorable and remarkable passages of the providence of God, manifested to the planters of New-England in America ; with special reference to the first colony thereof, called NewPlimouth.

About the author (2000)

John W. M. Hallock lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has been a lecturer at Temple University, where he earned his Ph.D. in English, and is the author of several articles on nineteenth-century literature.

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