Nathaniel Parker Willis

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Nathaniel Parker Willis
Nathaniel Parker Willis
Nathaniel Parker Willis
Born(1806-01-20)January 20, 1806
Portland, Maine, United States
DiedJanuary 20, 1867(1867-01-20) (aged 61)
Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York, United States
Resting placeMount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Literary critic
GenreTravel literature and other genres


Nathaniel Parker Willis (January 20, 1806 – January 20, 1867) was an American writer, poet and magazine editor. For a time, he was paid more money than any other writer in the United States. He worked together with famous authors like Edgar Allan Poe and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. His brother Richard Storrs Willis was a composer of music, and his sister Sara was also a writer. As a writer, Sara used the name Fanny Fern. For many years, Harriet Jacobs was working as a nanny for his children. While she was doing that work, she also wrote a famous book called Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.

Willis studied at Yale College. During that time he started to publish poems. After that, he worked as a journalist for a newspaper, the New York Mirror. In 1846, he started his own magazine, the Home Journal. The Home Journal later became Town and Country and still exists today. He used his money to build a big house near the Hudson River in the state of New York. When he died, most American people had already forgotten him.

Books[change | change source]

  • Auser, Cortland P. Nathaniel P. Willis. New York: Twayne Publishers, Inc., 1969.
  • Baker, Thomas N. Sentiment and Celebrity: Nathaniel Parker Willis and the Trials of Literary Fame. New York, Oxford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-19-512073-6
  • Pattee, Fred Lewis. The First Century of American Literature: 1770–1870. New York: Cooper Square Publishers, 1966.
  • Tomc, Sandra. "An Idle Industry: Nathaniel Parker Willis and the Workings of Literary Leisure", American Quarterly. Vol. 49, Issue 4, December 1997: 780–805.
  • Yellin, Jean Fagan. Harriet Jacobs: A Life. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Basic Civitas Books, 2004. ISBN 0-465-09288-8