Mark Van Doren, and his older brother Carl, were both literary authors and university professors. Each brother earned the Pulitzer Prize during his respective life time, each brother received his respective Ph. D. from Columbia University, and each brother held a professorial appointment at Columbia University. Their ages differed by nine years.
Van Doren was the son of a country doctor, but he was reared on a family farm, near the town of Hope, in Eastern Illinois. His Dutch American background dated back ten generations to his Dutch forbears. The name of his earliest forbear, eight generations back, was Jacob Van Doorn, who used the original Dutch spelling, later changed to Van Doren.
Mark Van Doren followed in the footsteps of his older brother Carl, and attended Columbia University, from where he received his Ph. D. in English literature. In 1924, he became the literary editor of “The Nation”, and remained there until 1928. He returned to “The Nation” in 1935, to become its literary critic, a position he held until 1938. In 1942, he was appointed to professor of English at Columbia University, a position he retained until 1959, when he retired from Columbia at age 65.
Van Doren was a poet, author and critic. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1940 for “Collected Poems”, published in 1939. Most of his published output consists of poetry or is related to poetry. His first publication in poetry was “The Poetry of John Dryden”, published in 1920. In 1924 he published a book of his own poetry, entitled, “Spring Thunder”, followed in 1931 with “Jonathan Gentry” and in 1935 with “Winter Diary”. Two additional books on poetry followed, “The Mayfield Deer” in 1941, and “The Last Days of Lincoln” in 1959. In 1951, he also wrote “Introduction to Poetry”.
Other publications consist of “The Transients”, a novel published in 1935, “Shakespeare” in 1939, “Windless Cabins” in 1940, “Tilda” in 1943, “The Noble Voice” in 1946, “Nathaniel Hawthorne” in 1949, and “The Happy Critic, and Other Essays” in 1961.
Mark Van Doren was born on June 13, 1894 in Hope, Illinois. He was married to Dorothy Graffe, a novelist, in 1922. Their son, Charles Van Doren, was born on February 12, 1926. Charles became a TV personality and gained some notoriety during the fifties for his participation in a TV Quiz Show. Mark Van Doren passed away in Torrington, Connecticut on December 10, 1972, at the age of 78.
Mark Van Doren, http://www.nndb.com/people/225/000048081/
Mark Van Doren, http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9074771/Mark-Van-Doren (link no longer active)
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THE SECOND WORLD WAR IN THE NETHERLANDS: MEMOIRS, 2017
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