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Hervey Allen (William Hervey Allen) Biography

(1889–1949), (William Hervey Allen), Wampum and Old Gold, Towards the Flame

american pennsylvania pittsburgh war

American historical novelist, poet, and biographer, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, educated at the University of Pittsburgh, the United States Naval Academy, and Harvard. His experiences on active service during the First World War inform a number of the poems in Wampum and Old Gold (1921), his first book, and are recorded in detail in the autobiographical Towards the Flame (1926). With Israfel: The Life and Times of Edgar Allan Poe (1926) he established his reputation. His poetry, essentially of an ornately late Romantic character, appeared in numerous further collections including Earth Moods (1925) and New Legends (1929). Anthony Adverse (1933), a novel of some 1,200 pages recording the adventures of its eponymous protagonist during the Napoleonic era, proved enormously successful throughout the 1930s. Action at Aquila (1938) took the American Civil War for its setting and anticipated the major engagement with American history he proposed in a five-part treatment of prerevolutionary Pennsylvania and New York entitled ‘The Disinherited’; Allen died before completing the work, three sections of which, The Forest and The Fort (1943), Bedford Village (1944), and Toward the Morning (1948), were posthumously collected as The City in the Dawn in 1950.

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