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Wilson Follett (1887–1963)

Author of Modern American Usage: A Guide

Includes the names: Wilson Follet, Wilson Follett

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Wilson Follett was born Roy Wilson Follett on March 21, 1887, in North Attleboro, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard College in 1909. After graduation, Follett taught English at a variety of colleges including Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College (1909-1912), Dartmouth College (1912-1914) and Brown University (1914-1918). He left teaching in 1918, and joined Yale University Press as an editor and later Alfred A. Knopf. In the early 1930s, Follett moved to Los Angeles where he worked as a freelance writer for motion picture studios. In 1932, he returned to the East Coast and settled with his third wife in Vermont. At the beginning of World War II, Follett returned to Knopf where he stayed until 1953. From 1953-1958, he worked for the New York University Press and from 1958-1963 for Hill & Wang. It was during his time at Hill & Wang that he wrote "Modern American Usage: A Guide," which was published posthumously in 1966. Follett's other publications include "Joseph Conrad: A Short Study of His Intellectual and Emotional Attitude toward His Work and the Chief Characteristics of His Novels" (1915), "The Modern Novel: A Study of the Purpose and the Meaning of Fiction" (written jointly with his wife Helen Thomas Follett, 1918) and "No More Sea" (1933). He also contributed numerous articles for such publications as the "Atlantic Monthly," Harper's Magazine," "New York Times Book Review" and the "Saturday Review." In addition Follett edited and translated books from German and French. He died on January 7, 1963.
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