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Hamilton Wright Mabie

(1846 - 1916)

Hamilton Wright Mabie was an American essayist, editor, critic, and lecturer, renowned for his warm and accessible literary style and for popularizing the study of myths and folklore among a wide audience. Born in Cold Spring, New York, Mabie's early exposure to literature sparked a lifelong pursuit in the humanities. He graduated from Williams College and later studied law at Columbia University, though his true passion lay with literature.

As the editor of the "Christian Union" (which became "The Outlook"), Mabie's influence extended through his editorials and his widespread public lectures. He was a prolific writer, penning numerous volumes of essays on a variety of topics, including mythology, poetry, and the nature of culture. Mabie's approachable narratives and reflective prose endeared him to readers across America during the turn of the 20th century.

One of Mabie's significant contributions to literature is his collection of myths and legends. Works such as "Norse Stories Retold from the Eddas" (1882) and "Myths That Every Child Should Know" (1905) exemplify his endeavor to make such stories accessible to young readers. He believed in the power of myth to convey universal truths and to serve as a foundation for shared cultural values.

In recognition of his dedication to literature and education, Mabie held a professorship at the University of California and was awarded several honorary degrees. His writing and lectures played a part in shaping American thought during his era, and his anthologies of myths and fairy tales continue to ignite imaginations today.

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