James Whitcomb Riley Biography

This Biography consists of approximately 2 pages of information about the life of James Whitcomb Riley.
This section contains 431 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
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Encyclopedia of World Biography on James Whitcomb Riley

American poet James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916), often called the "People's Laureate" or the "Hoosier Poet," established a reputation for dialect poetry designed for recitation and easy reading.

James Whitcomb Riley was born on Oct. 7, 1849, in Greenfield, Ind. His father, a successful small-town lawyer, allowed him to shape his education by instinct rather than formal precedents. Oratory, drama, painting, and music took James's earliest attention. He idolized Charles Dickens. Poets Robert Burns, for dialect verse, and Henry Longfellow, for moral precepts, were his models. Young Riley wrote voluminously and saved every scrap, particularly the local-color sketches, incorporating anecdotes he heard from the country people around the courthouse. His musical ear was good; he played the violin, guitar, and banjo. His verbal ear was even better.

At the age of 16 Riley left school to become a "house, sign, and ornamental painter," wandering around Indiana. He read law for a...

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This section contains 431 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the James Whitcomb Riley Biography
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James Whitcomb Riley from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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