RALPH WALDO EMERSON SEEMS TO BE THE ONLY U.S. CITIZEN WHO HASN’T FALLEN UNDER THE CITY’S SPELL.
How to know the unknowable man
In 1905, on a visit to Richmond, the noted man of letters Henry James was struck by the sight of the equestrian statue of Robert E. Lee high atop its pedestal overlooking Monument Avenue.
Fewer than half of O. Henry’s short stories actually take place in New York, but we still see the city through his eyes
For most of this century, and often against the starkest evidence, New York City has persisted in seeing itself as “Baghdad on the Subway,” an Arabian Nights swirl of color, motion, tough characters with soft hearts, soft chara
The author walks us through literary Boston at its zenith. But Boston being what it is, we also come across the Revolution, ward politics, and the great fire.
Like three Bostonians out of four, I live on a site that was originally underwater. My house is on River Street, an alleyway that was built for stables at the bottom of Beacon Hill in the middle of the nineteenth century.
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner for 150 Years
SINCE NEW YORK CITY IS WHERE, AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER, MOST OF THE MONEY IN THE COUNTRY tends to migrate, it is not surprising that it seems to have almost as many jewelry stores as it does restaurants.
From Fort Ticonderoga to the Plaza Hotel, from Appomattox Courthouse to Bugsy Siegel’s weird rose garden in Las Vegas, the present-day scene is enriched by knowledge of the American past
It took half a century for his critics to see his subjects as clearly as he did; but today he stands as America’s preeminent portraitist
John Singer Sargent, in common with Holbein and Van Dyck, was an international painter of portraits who did his major work in England.
The years the famous writer spent in their town were magic to a young boy and his sister.
A year after our arrival in Redding, Connecticut, Mark Twain came there to live.
One of America s truly great men—scientist, philosopher, and literary genius—forged his character in the throes of adversity
THE YEAR IS 1890 and the place Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The city has been a lure for millions, but most of the great American minds have been appalled by its excesses. Here an eminent observer, who knows firsthand the city’s threat, surveys the subject.
EVERY THURSDAY , when I leave my apartment in a vast housing complex on Columbus Avenue to conduct a university seminar on the American city, I reflect on a double life—mine.
Our most popular practitioner of the art speaks of the challenges and rewards of writing
Georg Brandes, Denmark’s leading literary critic, had a low opinion of historical novels.
To Owen Wister, the unlikely inventor of the cowboy legend, the trail rider was a survivor from the Middle Ages – “the last cavalier,” savior of the Anglo-Saxon race
The Literary Lights Were Always Bright at
Everyone wanted to be invited to 148 Charles Street, where Charles Dickens mixed the punch and taught the guests parlor games, John Greenleaf Whittier and Harriet Beecher Stowe vied in telling ghost stories, and Nathaniel Hawthorne paced the bedroom floor one unhappy night in t
To Henry James, as to his fellow expatriates Whistler and Sargent, the culture of the Old World was “vast, vague and dazzling,” yet they could never quite forget or abandon the New