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".
He was a trustee of the Boston Athenaeum, a member of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1916. He received honorary degrees from Harvard, Columbia University, and an LL.D. from the University of Strasbourg in France. He died in Boston.
- The Duchess Emilia : a romance, Boston : James R. Osgood and Co., 1885.
- Cotton Mather, the Puritan priest, New York, Dodd, Mead and company, 1891.
- English composition : eight lectures given at the Lowell Institute, New York : Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1891.
- Some neglected characteristics of the New England Puritans, 1892
- William Shakespeare, a study in Elizabethan literature, New York, C. Scribner’s sons, 1894.
- Rankell’s remains : an American novel, New York, C. Scribner’s sons, 1896.
- A literary history of America, New York, C. Scribner’s Sons, 1901.
- Ralegh in Guiana, Rosamond, and A Christmas masque, New York : C. Scribner’s Sons, 1902 (Boston : Merrymount Press)
- The France of today, New York, C. Scribner, 1907.
- The privileged classes, New York, C. Scribner’s sons, 1908.
- The mystery of education, and other academic performances, New York, C. Scribner’s sons, 1909.
- The traditions of European literature, from Homer to Dante, New York, C. Scribner’s Sons, 1920.
- Staff report (Wednesday, February 9, 1921). "BARRETT WENDELL OF HARVARD DEAD; Professor of English Literature for 37 Years Succumbs in His Boston Home at 66. NOTED LECTURER-AUTHOR One of the Most Brilliant Research Men in Letters--Became Professor Emeritus in 1917", New York Times, p. 8
- New York Times, (Wednesday, February 9, 1921). "Barrett Wendell", p. 7
- William Richards Castle, Jr.; Paul Kaufman (1926). Essays in memory of Barrett Wendell. Harvard University Press.
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