Francis Parkman

Biografie şi Bibliografie

 -
Francis Parkman (September 16, 1823 – November 8, 1893) was an American historian, best known as author of The Oregon Trail: Sketches of Prairie and Rocky-Mountain Life and his monumental seven volume France and England in North America. These works are still valued as history and especially as literature, although the biases of his work have met with criticism. He was also a leading horticulturist, briefly a Professor of Horticulture at Harvard University and the first leader of the Arnold Arboretum, and author of several books on the topic.

Biography

Parkman was born in Boston, Massachusetts to the Reverend Francis Parkman Sr. (1788-1852) and Caroline (Hall) Parkman. As a young boy, 'Frank' Parkman was found to be of poor health, and was sent to live with his maternal grandfather, who owned a 3000 acre (12 km²) tract of wilderness in nearby Medford, Massachusetts, in the hopes that a more rustic lifestyle would make him more sturdy. In the four years he stayed there, Parkman developed his love of the forests, which would animate his historical research. Indeed, he would later summarize his books as "the history of the American forest." He learned how to sleep and hunt, and could survive in the wilderness like a true pioneer. He later even learned to ride bareback, a skill that would come in handy when he found himself living with the Sioux.
Francis Parkman House, a National Historic Landmark on Beacon Hill

Parkman enrolled at Harvard College at age 16. In his second year he conceived the plan that would become his life's work. In 1843, at the age of 20, he traveled to Europe for eight months in the fashion of the Grand Tour. Parkman made expeditions through the Alps and the Apennine mountains, climbed Vesuvius, and even lived for a time in Rome, where he befriended Passionist monks who tried, unsuccessfully, to convert him to Catholicism.

Upon graduation in 1845, he was persuaded to get a law degree, his father hoping such study would rid Parkman of his desire to write his history of the forests. It did no such thing, and after finishing law school Parkman proceeded to fulfill his great plan. His family was somewhat appalled at Parkman's choice of life work, since at the time writing histories of the American wilderness was considered ungentlemanly. Serious historians would study ancient history, or after the fashion of the time, the Spanish Empire. Parkman's works became so well-received that by the end of his lifetime histories of early America had become the fashion. Theodore Roosevelt dedicated his four-volume history of the frontier, The Winning of the West (1889-1896), to Parkman.

In 1846, Parkman travelled west on a hunting expedition, where he spent a number of weeks living with the Sioux tribe, at a time when they were struggling with some of the effects of contact with Europeans, such as epidemic disease and alcoholism. This experience led Parkman to write about American Indians with a much different tone from earlier, more sympathetic portrayals represented by the "noble savage" stereotype. Writing in the era of Manifest Destiny, Parkman believed that the conquest and displacement of American Indians represented progress, a triumph of "civilization" over "savagery", a common view at the time.[1]

A scion of a wealthy Boston family, Parkman had enough money to pursue his research without having to worry too much about finances. His financial stability was enhanced by his modest lifestyle, and later, by the royalties from his book sales. He was thus able to commit much of his time to research, as well as to travel. He travelled across North America, visiting most of the historical locations he wrote about, and made frequent trips to Europe seeking original documents with which to further his research.

Parkman's accomplishments are all the more impressive in light of the fact that he suffered from a debilitating neurological illness, which plagued him his entire life, and which was never properly diagnosed. He was often unable to walk, and for long periods he was effectively blind, being unable to stand but the slightest amount of light. Much of his research involved having people read documents to him, and much of his writing was written in the dark, or dictated to others.
Grave of Francis Parkman

Parkman married Catherine Scollay Bigelow on May 13, 1850; they had three children. A son died in childhood, and shortly afterwards, his wife died. He successfully raised two daughters, introducing them in to Boston society and seeing them both wed, with families of their own. Parkman died at age 70 in Jamaica Plain. He is buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Selected works

    * The Oregon Trail (1847)
    * The Conspiracy of Pontiac (1851)
    * Vassall Morton (1856), a novel
    * The Pioneers of France in the New World (1865)
    * The Book of Roses (1866)
    * The Jesuits in North America in the Seventeenth Century (1867)
    * La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West (1869)
    * The Old Régime in Canada (1874)
    * Count Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV (1877)
    * Montcalm and Wolfe (1884)
    * A Half Century of Conflict (1892)
    * The Journals of Francis Parkman. Two Volumes. Edited by Mason Wade. New York: Harper, 1947.
    * The Letters of Francis Parkman. Two Volumes. Edited by Wilbur R. Jacobs. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1960.
    * The Battle for North America. A single-volume abridgement of France and England in North America, edited by John Tebbel. Doubleday 1948.

Cărti de Francis Parkman


Cum Cumpăr Cum plătesc Livrare
0 cărţi in coş
Total : 0 RON