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H. L. Mencken 1880-1956 H. L. (Henry Louis) Mencken was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on September 12, 1880. He considered Maryland to be his home despite his many years in New York. As a child he attended Professor Friedrich Knapp's Institute, a private school for children of German descent. He completed his secondary education at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, from which he graduated at the age of 16. Mencken wanted to be a writer but was obligated to work in his father's cigar factory. When his father died suddenly in 1899, Mencken immediately sought a job at the Baltimore Herald. Through he began with no experience in journalism, he quickly learned every job at the newspaper and at age 25 became its editor. Mencken went on to build himself a reputation as one of America's most brilliant writers and literary critics. His basic approach was to question everything and to accept no limits on personal freedom. He attacked organized religion, American cultural and literary standards, and every aspect of American life that he found shallow, ignorant, or false - which was almost everything. From the 1920's until his death, Mencken's sharp wit and penetrating social commentary made him one of the most highly regarded - and fiercely hated - of American social critics. He was later memorialized in the dramatic portrait of the cynical journalist in the play and film Inherit the Wind. Shortly after World War I, Mencken began a project that was to fascinate him for the rest of his life: a study of American language and how it had evolved from British English. In 1919 he published The American Language: A Preliminary Inquiry into the Development of English in the United States. To this and his publisher's surprise, the book sold out quickly; its wit and nonscholarly approach attracted many readers who would not normally buy a book on such a subject. In 1936, a revised and enlarged edition was published, and in 1945 and 1948, supplements were added. The work shows not only how American English differs from British English but how the 300 year American experience shaped American dialect. Thus the book, still considered a classic in its field, is both a linguistic and social history of the United States. Mencken died in his sleep on January 29, 1956. He was interred in Baltimore's Loudon Park Cemetery. (Bowker Author Biography)
— biography from The American Language: An Inquiry into the Development of English in the United States
… (more)
The Vintage Mencken 607 copies, 9 reviews
In Defense of Women 366 copies, 3 reviews
Prejudices: A Selection 258 copies, 3 reviews
Treatise on the Gods 186 copies, 7 reviews
The Diary of H.L. Mencken 150 copies, 3 reviews
Notes on Democracy 132 copies, 4 reviews
My Life As Author And Editor 123 copies, 1 review
The Impossible H. L. Mencken (Author) 117 copies
The American Scene 110 copies, 1 review
Minority Report 83 copies, 2 reviews
A Carnival of Buncombe 82 copies, 1 review
Newspaper Days: 1899-1906 72 copies, 2 reviews
H.L. Mencken on Religion 71 copies, 2 reviews
Heathen Days: 1890-1936 56 copies, 1 review
Damn! A Book of Calumny 39 copies, 1 review
Prejudices: first series 39 copies, 1 review
A Book of Burlesques 31 copies, 1 review
Selected Prejudices 26 copies, 1 review
Christmas Story 21 copies
Prejudices: Second Series 15 copies, 1 review
The Antichrist 12 copies
Americana 7 copies
Partis pris 3 copies
Ship Ahoy (Contributor) 2 copies
Supplement 1 copy
The Art of the Personal Essay (Contributor) 1,232 copies, 8 reviews
50 Great Short Stories (Contributor) 1,063 copies, 8 reviews
The Best American Essays of the Century (Contributor) 695 copies, 4 reviews
The Assassin's Cloak: An Anthology of the World's Greatest Diarists (Contributor, some editions) 507 copies, 8 reviews
Literary history of the United States (Contributor) 175 copies
Atheism: A Reader (Contributor) 173 copies, 3 reviews
This Is My Best (Contributor) 162 copies
The Norton Book of Personal Essays (Contributor) 132 copies, 1 review
The Line of Love : Dizain des Mariages (Introduction, some editions) 82 copies, 1 review
Tales of Mean Streets (Preface, some editions) 66 copies, 1 review
Desert Island Decameron (Contributor) 54 copies
The Nietzsche-Wagner Correspondence (Introduction, some editions) 37 copies, 1 review
Great Tales of Terror (Contributor) 35 copies
A Round-Table in Poictesme: A Symposium (Contributor) 21 copies, 2 reviews
The Best in the World (Contributor) 11 copies
The Bathroom Reader (Contributor) 3 copies
Eyes of Boyhood (Contributor) 2 copies
Essays by James Huneker (Editor) 1 copy

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