1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Wister, Owen

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WISTER, OWEN (1860-), American writer, was born in Philadelphia July 14 1860. He was a grandson of Frances Anne Kemble (see 15.724). On graduating from Harvard in 1882 he intended to devote himself to music. He went abroad for study; but ill-health forced him to return to America, and he spent several years in Arizona and New Mexico. He then entered the Hazard law school, graduating in 1888, was admitted to the bar in 1889 and for two years practised law in Philadelphia. Thereafter he gave his time to literary work. As an undergraduate he had contributed a poem, Beethoven, to the Atlantic Monthly in 1882. His subsequent publications include the Modern Swiss Family Robinson (1883); The Dragon of Wantley: His Tail (1892); Lin McLean (1898); The Virginian: a Horseman of the Plains (1902); Philosophy 4: a Story of Harvard University (1903); Lady Baltimore (1906); The Seven Ages of Washington: a Biography (1907); Members of the Family (1911); The Pentecost of Calamity (1915, a condemnation of Germany for the World War), and A Straight Deal: or the Ancient Grudge (1920). His novels, The Virginian and Lady Baltimore in particular, established his position as one of the foremost of contemporary American writers. He became a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters and of the Société des Gens de Lettres de France, and in 1912 was elected a member of the Board of Overseers of Harvard.