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James Russell Lowell
James Russell Lowell (February 22, 1819 – August 12, 1891) was an American Romantic poet, critic, editor, and diplomat. He was the first editor of The Atlantic Monthly and was one of the Fireside Poets, a group of New England writers who wrote poetry suitable for families entertaining at their firesides, with conventional forms and meters. His first collection of poetry was published in 1841. He was involved in the movement to abolish slavery, using poetry to express his anti-slavery views. In 1848 he gained notoriety with the publication of A Fable for Critics, a book-length poem satirizing contemporary critics and poets. The same year, he published The Biglow Papers, in which he tried to emulate the true Yankee accent in the dialogue of his characters. This depiction of the dialect and his satires were an inspiration to writers like Mark Twain and H. L. Mencken. Lowell went on to publish several other poetry and essay collections, and in later years was ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain and the Court of St James's. (Full article...)