Hamilton Wright Mabie

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Hamilton Wright Mabie

Hamilton Wright Mabie, A.M., L.H.D., LL.D. (December 13, 1846 – December 31, 1916) was an American essayist, editor, critic, and lecturer.[1]


He was born at Cold Spring, N. Y. in 1846. Mabie was the youngest child of Sarah Colwell Mabie who was from a wealthy Scottish-English family and Levi Jeremiah Mabie, whose ancestors were Scots-Dutch. They were early immigrants to New Amsterdam, New Netherland about 1647. Due to business opportunities with the opening of the Erie Canal his family moved to Buffalo, New York when he was approaching school age. At the young age of 16 he passed his college entrance examination, but waited a year before he attended Williams College (1867) and the Columbia Law School (1869).[2]

While at Williams, Mabie was a member of Alpha Delta Phi fraternity and would serve as the first president of the North American Interfraternity Conference (formally known as the National Interfraternity Conference).

He received honorary degrees from his own alma mater, from Union College, and from Western Reserve and Washington and Lee universities. Although he passed his bar exams in 1869 he hated both the study and practice of law. In 1876 he married Jeanette Trivett. In the summer of 1879 he was hired to work at the weekly magazine, Christian Union (renamed The Outlook in 1893), an association that lasted until his death.[2]

In 1884, Mabie was promoted to associate editor of the Christian Union and then elected to the Author's Club, whose members included such men of established reputation as George Cary Eggleston, Richard Watson Gilder, Brander Matthews, and Edmund Clarence Stedman.[2]

In 1890, a small collection of Mabie's essays which reflected upon life, literature and nature were published as a volume entitled My Study Fire.

Many of Mabie's books are available at Project Gutenberg.[3]

Front Matter from "In Arcady" by Hamilton Wright Mabie and illustrated by Will Hicok Low. 1909 First Edition. Photo by Mr. Sorensen

Mabie was a resident of Summit, New Jersey.[4]


"Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love."

"Don't be afraid of opposition. Remember, a kite rises against, not with the wind."[5]

Selected works[edit]

  • Norse Stories, Retold from the Eddas (1882)
  • Nature in New England (1890)
  • My Study Fire (two series, 1890 and 1894)
  • In the Forest of Arden (1891)
  • Short Studies in Literature (1891)
  • Under the Trees and Elsewhere (1891)
  • Essays in Literary Interpretation (1892)
  • Essays on Nature and Culture (1896)
  • Essays on Books and Culture (1897)
  • Essays on Work and Culture (1898)
  • The Life of the Spirit (1899)
  • William Shakespeare, Poet, Dramatist, and Man (1900)
  • A Child of Nature (1901) Published by Dodd, Mead and Company
  • Works and Days (1902)
  • Parables of Life (1902)
  • In Arcady (1903) Published by Dodd, Mead and Company
  • Backgrounds of Literature (1904)
  • Introduction to Notable Poems (1909)
  • American Ideals, Character, and Life (1913)
  • Japan To-Day and To-Morrow (1914)

Every Child Should Know[edit]

Doubleday, Page & Co. published this anthology series, in which Mabie edited several early volumes:[6][7]

  • Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know (1905)
  • Myths That Every Child Should Know (1905)
  • Heroes Every Child Should Know (1906)
  • Legends That Every Child Should Know (1906)
  • Famous Stories Every Child Should Know (1907)
  • Essays That Every Child Should Know (1908)
  • Heroines That Every Child Should Know (1908), ed. Mabie and Kate Stephens[8]
  • Folk Tales Every Child Should Know (1910)


  1. ^ "MABIE, Hamilton Wright". Who's Who. Vol. 59. 1907. p. 1100.
  2. ^ a b c "Hamilton Wright Mabie Biography". www.bookrags.com.
  3. ^ "Mabie, Hamilton Wright, 1846–1916". "Browse By Author: M – Project Gutenberg". www.gutenberg.org.
  4. ^ CROMWELL CHILDE (May 21, 1898). "Authors at Home.; XXVIII. Hamilton Wright Mabie in Summit N.J." The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-02-18. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Quotations, ThinkExist.com. "Hamilton Wright Mabie quotes". thinkexist.com.
  6. ^ Compiled from WorldCat library records as summarized in search report (au:mabie; ti:"every child should know") generated 2019-09-19, this list may contain a mix of copyright and publication years.
  7. ^ Volume titles vary. For instance, Heroines was originally published with front cover title Heroines Every Child Should Know ("That" omitted) and with a long subtitle on the title page: Heroines That Every Child Should Know: Tales for Young People of the World's Heroines of All Ages. Viewed as Project Gutenberg Ebook #35994 (below).
  8. ^ Heroines That Every Child Should Know, ed. Hamilton Wright Mabie and Kate Stephens, illus. Blanche Ostertag (Doubleday, Page & Co., February 1908). Ebook #35994 at Project Gutenberg (viewed in HTML format) contains images of the full cover and frontispiece, and a transcript of the title leaf that represents the original layout. Spine displays "The ECSK Library". Retrieved 2019-09-19.

External links[edit]