A Scholar’s Letters to a Young Lady: Passages from the Later Correspondence of Francis James Child

by Francis James Child

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On February 1, 1825, Francis James Child was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Although his family lived in poverty, Child benefited from the public school system in Boston. His dedication and intelligence while in school was recognized with a scholarship to attend Harvard. Child was a bit shy because of his working class background, but he became popular because of his excellent work, speech and character. In 1848, he was again recognized by a benefactor, who encouraged and paid for Child to move to Germany where he could attend graduate school. The fledgling United States did not have postgraduate institutions at the time. Child had many interests, and it was his passion for mathematics and literature that moved him to focus on speech and writing. He served for 25 years as a Professor of Rhetoric, and then Professor of English, at Harvard University. He wrote a great deal on ballads, class consciousness and composition. He also was the President of the American Folklore Society for two terms, built an incredible folklore collection at Harvard University Library.

This new edition is dedicated to Professor Guillermo De Los Reyes.