Gamaliel Bradford (biographer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Gamaliel Bradford

Gamaliel Bradford (October 9, 1863 – April 11, 1932)[1] was an American biographer, critic, poet, and dramatist. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, the sixth of seven men called Gamaliel Bradford in unbroken succession, of whom the first, Gamaliel Bradford, was a great-grandson of Governor William Bradford of the Plymouth Colony. His grandfather, Dr. Gamaliel Bradford of Boston, was a noted abolitionist.[2]

Bradford attended Harvard University briefly with the class of 1886, then continued his education with a private tutor, but is said to have been educated "mainly by ill-health and a vagrant imagination."[3] As an adult, Bradford lived in Wellesley, Massachusetts. The building and student newspaper[4] for the Wellesley High School (where Sylvia Plath received her secondary school education[5]) were named after Gamaliel Bradford. The town changed the name of the building to Wellesley High School, but the newspaper maintains Bradford's name.

In his day Bradford was regarded as the "Dean of American Biographers."[6] He is acknowledged as the American pioneer of the psychographic form of written biographies, after the style developed by Lytton Strachey.[7] Despite suffering poor health during most of his life, Bradford wrote 114 biographies over a period of 20 years.


  • A Pageant of Life (poetry)
  • A Prophet of Joy (poetry)
  • Shadow Verses (poetry)
  • Unmade in Heaven (drama)
  • Lee, the American
  • American Portraits, 1875-1900
  • Union Portraits
  • Confederate Portraits, 1914.
  • Portraits of Women
  • Portraits of American Women
  • Saints and Sinners
  • A Naturalist of Souls: Studies in Psychography
  • Life and I (autobiography)
  • Elizabethan Women, 1936.



  1. ^ "Gamaliel Bradford" Encyclopædia Britannica: History & Society:
  2. ^ Mathews, James W. (1991). "Dr. Gamaliel Bradford (1795-1839), Early Abolitionist" (PDF). Historical Journal of Massachusetts. 19 (1).
  3. ^ Braithwaite, William Stanley, ed.. Anthology of Magazine Verse for 1919: and Year Book of American Poetry. Small, Maynard & Company. 1919. p.301.
  4. ^ The Bradford
  5. ^ Alexander, Paul. Rough Magic: A Biography of Sylvia Plath.
  6. ^ "Bradford, Gamaliel". (2009). In Student Encyclopædia. Retrieved November 24, 2009, from Britannica Online for Kids. [1]
  7. ^ Colby, Frank Moore; Sandeman, George. Nelson's Encyclopaedia. p.341.

External links[edit]