Barrett Wendell (23 August 1855 – 8 February 1921) was an American academic known for a series of textbooks including English Composition, studies of Cotton Mather and William Shakespeare,A Literary History of America,The France of Today, and The Traditions of European Literature.
He was born in Boston, the son of Jacob and Mary Bertodi Wendell. He graduated from Harvard in the class of 1877 with Abbott Lawrence Lowell who was later a president of Harvard. In 1880 was appointed Instructor in English at Harvard. He later became an Assistant Professor of English from 1888 to 1898, and a Professor of English from 1898 to 1917, after which he was a professor emeritus. He was also elected to the Harvard Board of Overseers.
In 1904 to 1905 he travelled overseas, and lectured at Cambridge University in England, the Sorbonne in Paris, and other French universities. After this visit he wrote "The France of Today".