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 Francis Otto Matthiessen

Francis Otto Matthiessen

Birth
Pasadena, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Death 1 Apr 1950 (aged 48)
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts, USA
Memorial ID 7024168 · View Source
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The noted American writer and critic Francis Otto Matthiessen, was a Californian by birth but grew up in Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New York. He was a grandson of industrialist F.W. Matthiessen of LaSalle, Illinois.
A Rhodes scholar and a graduate of Yale and Harvard (PhD), Matthiessen later taught literature at both universities.
In the 1940s he became a tragic victim of the right-wing persecutions of McCarthyism; after his investigation for un-Americanism he took his own life at the age of 48.
He was an important force in the shaping of scholarly criticism of American literature. Matthiessen's American Renaissance: The Age of Emerson and Whitman (1941) is an important survey of American letters. During his brilliant career he produced books on Sarah Jewett (1929), Henry James (1944), and Theodore Dreiser (1951) and edited The Oxford Book of American Verse (1950).
He is buried with his mother, Lucy Orne Pratt.


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  • Created by: John M Blow
  • Added: 20 Dec 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7024168
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Francis Otto Matthiessen (19 Feb 1902–1 Apr 1950), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7024168, citing Springfield Cemetery, Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by John M Blow (contributor 46478707) .