The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Trent, William Peterfield

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TRENT, William Peterfield, American man of letters: b. Richmond, Va., 10 Nov. 1862. After study at the University of Virginia and at Johns Hopkins University, he was professor of English in the University of the South (1888-1900) and dean of its academic department (1894-1900). From 1892 to 1900 he was editor of the Sewanee Review, and since 1 July 1900 has been professor of English literature at Columbia University. He has published ‘Life of William Gilmore Simms’ (1892); ‘English Culture in Virginia’ (1889); ‘Southern Statesmen of the Old Regime’ (1897); ‘Robert E. Lee’ (1899); ‘John Milton’ (1899); ‘The Authority of Criticism’ (1899); ‘War and Civilization’ (1901); ‘The Progress of the United States in the Century’ (1901); ‘A History of American Literature 1807-1865’ (1903): ‘Greatness in Literature and Other Literary Addresses’ (1905); ‘Longfellow and other Papers’ (1910); ‘Defoe — How to Know Him’ (1916), etc. He has also edited ‘Select Poems of Milton’ (1895); ‘Essays of Macaulay’ (1897); ‘Poems and Tales of Edgar Allan Poe’ (1898); ‘Balzac's Comédie Humaine’ (1900); ‘Southern Writers, Selections in Prose and Verse’ (1905), and has collaborated in numerous literary undertakings, e.g., ‘Colonial Prose and Poetry,’ editions of Shakespeare and Thackeray and the ‘Cambridge History of American Literature.’ Since 1905 his chief work has lain in English history and literature 1680-1730, with special attention to Defoe, of whom he has written a biography and bibliography in 10 volumes still in manuscript.