[Daily article] February 22: James Russell Lowell

James Russell Lowell (February 22, 1819 – August 12, 1891) was an
American Romantic poet, critic, editor, and diplomat. He was the first
editor of The Atlantic Monthly and was one of the Fireside Poets, a
group of New England writers who wrote poetry suitable for families
entertaining at their firesides, with conventional forms and meters. His
first collection of poetry was published in 1841. He was involved in the
movement to abolish slavery, using poetry to express his anti-slavery
views. In 1848 he gained notoriety with the publication of A Fable for
Critics, a book-length poem satirizing contemporary critics and poets.
The same year, he published The Biglow Papers, in which he tried to
emulate the true Yankee accent in the dialogue of his characters. This
depiction of the dialect and his satires were an inspiration to writers
like Mark Twain and H. L. Mencken. Lowell went on to publish several
other poetry and essay collections, and in later years was ambassador to
the Kingdom of Spain and the Court of St James’s.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:


Robert II became King of Scots as the first monarch of the
House of Stuart.


Swedish woman Karolina Olsson went to sleep and purportedly
fell into a state of hibernation for the next 32 years.


After Russian forces under Baron Roman von Ungern-Sternberg
drove the Chinese out of Mongolia, the Bogd Khan was reinstalled as


Scientists at the Roslin Institute in Scotland announced the
birth of Dolly, the first mammal to have been successfully cloned from
an adult cell.


A 6.5 ML earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand, killing
185 people and causing around NZ$40 billion damage.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

1. Wet and limp; unkempt.
2. Decaying, decrepit or dilapidated.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  If Men are to be precluded from offering their sentiments on a
matter, which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences,
that can invite the consideration of Mankind; reason is of no use to us
— the freedom of Speech may be taken away — and, dumb & silent we
may be led, like sheep, to the Slaughter.  
–George Washington

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