Open main menu

A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Taylor, Bayard

Taylor, Bayard (1825-1878). -- Poet, b. in Pennsylvania of Quaker descent, began to write by the time he was 12. Apprenticed to a printer, he found the work uncongenial and, purchasing his indentures, went to Europe on a walking tour, and thereafter he was a constant and enterprising traveller. After his return from Europe he ed. a paper, got on the staff of the New York Tribune, and pub. several books of travel and poetry, among which are Views Afoot (1846), an account of his travels in Europe, and El Dorado (1850), which described the Californian gold-fields. After some experience and some disappointments in the diplomatic sphere, he settled down to novel-writing, his first venture in which, Hannah Thurston (1863), was very successful, and was followed by John Godfrey's Fortunes (1864), partly autobiographical, and The Story of Kenneth (1866). His poetic works include Poems of the Orient (1854), Poet's Journal (1862), Masque of the Gods (1872), Lars (1873), The Prophet (1874), a tragedy, Prince Deucalion, and Home Pastorals (1875). In 1878 he was appointed to the German Embassy, and d. in Berlin in the following year. His translation of Goethe's Faust is perhaps his best work. He was a man of untiring energy and great ability and versatility, but tried too many avenues to fame to advance very far in any of thempage 372.