Rufus Wilmot Griswold

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Date of Birth February 13, 1815
Place of Birth Vermont
Date of Death Aug 27, 1857 (42)
Horoscope Aquarius

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Rufus Wilmot Griswold

Rufus Wilmot Griswold was an American anthologist, editor, poet, and critic. Born in Vermont, Griswold left home when he was 15 years old. He worked as a journalist, editor, and critic in Philadelphia, New York City, and elsewhere. He built up a strong literary reputation, in part due to his 1842 collection The Poets and Poetry of America. This anthology, the most comprehensive of its time, included what he deemed the best examples of American poetry. He produced revised versions and similar anthologies for the remainder of his life, although many of the poets he promoted have since faded into obscurity. Many writers hoped to have their work included in one of these editions, although they commented harshly on Griswold's abrasive character. Griswold was married three times: his first wife died young, his second marriage ended in a public and controversial divorce, and his third wife left him after the previous divorce was almost repealed.

Born: February 13, 1815, Benson, Vermont, United States
Died: August 27, 1857, New York City, New York, United States
Pen name: Ludwig
Occupation: Editor, literary critic, writer

About Rufus Wilmot Griswold

An American author, anthologist, and critic, he is most famous for his 1842 anthology, The Poets and Poetry of America. His other anthologies include Curiosities of American Literature and Female Poets of America.

Before Fame

One of fourteen children born to a Vermont farmer, he left home at age fifteen. He published his first anthology, Biographical Annual, in 1841.


His anonymous review of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass harshly critiqued the masterpiece work.

Family Life

He was married three times-- to Caroline Searles, Charlotte Myers, and Harriet McCrillis-- and may have also had a homosexual relationship with journalist and musician George C. Foster.


He had a working relationship and rivalry with Edgar Allan Poe. The two were, at one point, engaged in a jealous competition for the affections of poet Frances Sargent Osgood.

Information related to Rufus Wilmot Griswold

  • New York Tribune personnel
  • Edgar Allan Poe
  • Burials at Green-Wood Cemetery
  • American literary critics
  • 19th-century American journalists
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Latest information about Rufus Wilmot Griswold updated on October 28, 2020.

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