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E. B. White (1899–1985)

Author of Charlotte's Web

100+ Works 94,542 Members 1,606 Reviews 91 Favorited
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About the Author

Born in Mount Vernon, New York, E. B. White was educated at Cornell University and served as a private in World War I. After several years as a journalist, he joined the staff of the New Yorker, then in its infancy. For 11 years he wrote most of the "Talk of the Town" columns, and it was White and show more James Thurber who can be credited with setting the style and attitude of the magazine. In 1938 he retired to a saltwater farm in Maine, where he wrote essays regularly for Harper's Magazine under the title "One Man's Meat." Like Thoreau, White preferred the woods; he also resembled Thoreau in his impatience and indignation. White received several prizes: in 1960, the gold medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters; in 1963, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award (he was honored along with Thornton Wilder and Edmund Wilson); and in 1978, a special Pulitzer Prize. His verse is original and witty but with serious undertones. His friend James Thurber described him as "a poet who loves to live half-hidden from the eye." Three of his books have become children's classics: Stuart Little (1945), about a mouse born into a human family, Charlotte's Web (1952), about a spider who befriends a lonely pig, and The Trumpet of the Swan (1970). Among his best-known and most widely used books is The Elements of Style (1959), a guide to grammar and rhetoric based on a text written by one of his professors at Cornell, William Strunk, which White revised and expanded. White was married to Katherine Angell, the first fiction editor of the New Yorker. (Bowker Author Biography) Elwyn Brooks White was born on July 11, 1899, in Mt. Vernon, New York. After graduating from Cornell University, he worked briefly for an advertising agency and as a newspaper reporter before joining the staff of The New Yorker magazine in 1927. As a columnist for The New Yorker and a contributor to Harper's Magazine, White established a reputation as a prose stylist of exceptional elegance, clarity and wit. His interests, as reflected in his writing, were numerous and varied; his essays touched on such wide-ranging subjects as politics, farm animals, and life in New York City. White married Katharine S. Angell in 1929. They had one son, and in 1957 the family left New York for a farm in North Brookline, Maine. Writings from The New Yorker, 1927-1976 is a compilation of columns and essays produced during White's long relationship with the magazine. One Man's Meat, published in 1942, is a collection of his writings for Harper's. White adapted a short guide to English grammar and usage, The Elements of Style, from a college text written by one of his professors at Cornell, William Strunk Jr. It has sold millions of copies since it was first published in 1959 and has become a cherished resource for guidance in writing. White also co-authored Is Sex Necessary? with the humorist James Thurber, a fellow staff member at The New Yorker. E.B. White died on October 1, 1985 after succumbing to Alzheimer's. His diverse legacy also includes three children's books: Stuart Little, Charlotte's Web, and The Trumpet of the Swan. In 1970 the American Library Association presented White the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award in recognition of his "substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children." He was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963 and received a special Pulitzer Prize citation for his body of work in 1970. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by E. B. White

Charlotte's Web (1952) 36,280 copies
The Elements of Style (1959) 19,985 copies
Stuart Little (1945) 15,025 copies
The Trumpet of the Swan (1970) 11,736 copies
Essays of E.B. White (1977) 1,518 copies
Here is New York (1949) 1,048 copies
One Man's Meat (1942) 833 copies
Letters of E. B. White (1976) 494 copies
Onward and Upward in the Garden (1979) — Editor; Introduction — 483 copies
A Subtreasury of American Humor (1941) — Editor — 277 copies
On Democracy (2019) 83 copies
Charlotte's Web / Stuart Little (1957) — Author — 43 copies
An E. B. White Reader (1966) 28 copies
Notes on Our Times (2007) 15 copies
On Kawara (2018) 11 copies
Charlotte's Web 10 copies
The Moon 1968-1972 (2016) 9 copies
The Door 8 copies
Death of a Pig 6 copies
Every Day is Saturday (1934) 4 copies
Once More to the Lake (2011) 4 copies
Stuart Little 3 copies
Reading room 3 copies
ORUMCEK AGI 1 copy
No Dummy 1 copy
La trompeta del cigne (2016) 1 copy
No title 1 copy
Charlotte koob võrku (2023) 1 copy
Irtnog 1 copy
The geese 1 copy
Qui New York 1 copy
Charlottes tryllevev (2006) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Best American Short Stories of the Century (2000) — Contributor — 1,565 copies
The Art of the Personal Essay (1994) — Contributor — 1,383 copies
50 Great Short Stories (1952) — Contributor — 1,259 copies
The Best American Essays of the Century (2000) — Contributor — 782 copies
Charlotte's Web [1973 film] (1973) — Original book — 474 copies
The World of the Short Story: A 20th Century Collection (1986) — Contributor — 464 copies
American Gothic Tales (1996) — Contributor — 462 copies
Timeless Stories for Today and Tomorrow (1952) — Contributor — 440 copies
Fifty Great American Short Stories (1965) — Contributor — 436 copies
Charlotte's Web [2006 film] (2006) — Original Story — 419 copies
American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau (2008) — Contributor — 416 copies
The Lives and Times of Archy and Mehitabel (1916) — Introduction, some editions — 372 copies
Wonderful Town: New York Stories from The New Yorker (2000) — Contributor — 356 copies
A Treasury of Great Science Fiction, Volume 2 (1959) — Contributor — 317 copies
75 Short Masterpieces: Stories from the World's Literature (1961) — Contributor — 298 copies
A Treasury of Great Science Fiction [2-volume set] (1959) — Contributor — 295 copies
The Best of Modern Humor (1983) — Contributor — 291 copies
Writing New York: A Literary Anthology (1998) — Contributor — 281 copies
The 40s: The Story of a Decade (2014) — Contributor — 277 copies
It's Great To Be Eight (1997) — Contributor — 271 copies
Stuart Little [1999 film] (1999) — Original book — 266 copies
Russell Baker's Book of American Humor (1993) — Contributor — 208 copies
Short Stories from The New Yorker, 1925 to 1940 (1940) — Contributor — 202 copies
This Is My Best (1942) — Contributor — 188 copies
Eight Modern Essayists (1980) — some editions — 178 copies
Black Water 2: More Tales of the Fantastic (1990) — Contributor — 153 copies
The Fireside Book of Dog Stories (1943) — Contributor — 146 copies
The Norton Book of Personal Essays (1997) — Contributor — 142 copies
American Wits: An Anthology of Light Verse (2003) — Contributor — 135 copies
The Big New Yorker Book of Cats (2013) — Contributor — 134 copies
The Owl in the Attic and Other Perplexities (1931) — Introduction, some editions — 107 copies
Winter: A Spiritual Biography of the Season (1986) — Contributor — 104 copies
The Trumpet of the Swan [2001 film] (2000) — Original book — 98 copies
55 Short Stories from The New Yorker, 1940 to 1950 (1949) — Contributor — 60 copies
Autumn: A Spiritual Biography of the Season (2004) — Contributor — 58 copies
Reading for Pleasure (1957) — Contributor — 51 copies
Charlotte's Web: A Full-Length Play (1983) — Original book — 50 copies
The Bedside Tales: A Gay Collection (1945) — Contributor — 46 copies
Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure [2003 film] (2003) — Original Story — 44 copies
A Quarto of Modern Literature (1935) — Contributor — 40 copies
Stories for Men (1938) — Contributor — 34 copies
The War: Stories of Life and Death from World War II (1999) — Contributor — 31 copies
A Book of Essays (1963) — Contributor — 26 copies
The Looking Glass Book of Stories (1960) — Contributor — 21 copies
The Complete Stuart Little (3 Disc Box Set) (1999) — Writer — 15 copies
The Panorama of Modern Literature (1934) — Contributor — 14 copies
Favorite Animal Stories (1987) — Contributor — 13 copies
Tales for Males (1945) — Contributor — 11 copies
Wide-Angle Lens: Stories of Time and Space (1980) — Contributor — 8 copies
British and American Essays, 1905-1956 (1959) — Contributor — 7 copies
The bear went over the mountain (1964) — Contributor — 6 copies
The Fireside Treasury of Modern Humor (1963) — Contributor — 5 copies
Contos Dramáticos — Contributor — 1 copy

Tagged

20th century (284) adventure (331) American (332) American literature (389) animals (1,829) anthology (1,245) chapter book (974) children (1,042) children's (1,810) children's books (352) children's fiction (471) children's literature (964) classic (1,263) classics (992) E.B. White (367) English (488) essays (1,724) fantasy (1,320) farm (682) fiction (4,911) friendship (1,068) grammar (965) humor (806) juvenile (318) language (657) literature (839) Newbery Honor (354) non-fiction (2,089) novel (388) own (393) pigs (849) read (705) reference (2,475) short stories (1,087) spider (334) spiders (482) style (383) to-read (1,379) writing (3,152) young adult (324)

Common Knowledge

Members

Discussions

Thornwillow Charlotte’s Web in Fine Press Forum (October 2023)
October 2015: E.B. White in Monthly Author Reads (December 2017)

Reviews

Writing: 4.5; Theme: 5.0; Content: 5.0; Language: 5.0; Overall: 4.5

When Wilbur (a pig) is told that his owner will end up turning him into bacon, a spider (Charlotte) helps build up the pig's name and reputation in order to change the perception of his owner. Highly recommend.

***May 25, 2024***
½
 
Flagged
jntjesussaves | 1,025 other reviews | May 25, 2024 |
A passionate, engaging book about gardening. Katharine S White writes about gardening in Maine and other gardening topics with an exquisite sensibility and a compelling voice. I was very surprised by how engaging this book was, all due to the author and her skills.
 
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TomMcGreevy | 7 other reviews | May 15, 2024 |
Pleasant, marginally subversive story about a little girl and a spider who save a pig. Some nice, mild jokes, and a charming storyline. However, seventy years on the cute farm setting and the stereotypical roles of the human characters are maybe getting a bit long in the tooth. Very much the rose-tinted childhood that Americans in the 1950s were already getting nostalgic about, a world where all the little boys were noisy and destructive and all the little girls thoughtful and sensitive.
 
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thorold | 1,025 other reviews | May 2, 2024 |
Many years after I first read this essay my GR friend Left Coast Justin offered up a compelling review for White's Writings From the New Yorker and I was inspired to revisit. Some books that were life-changing for me when I was young do not appeal to me at all now. I travelled for two years of my life inspired in part by On the Road. When I tried rereading On the Road in my 40's I hated it, finding Kerouac both a bad writer and a flaming narcissist, but at 16 he planted in me a thirst to see the world riding alongside the person I loved with no money and no plans. and I am forever grateful to that bad boy.

White did not inspire me to want to move to NYC, visiting here did that. My mother says that after my first visit at the age of 3 I told anyone who asked that when I grew up I was going to be a New Yorker. That desire grew with every visit from forays to FAO Schwarz and Serendipity when I was 5, to Broadway shows and tea at the Plaza when I was 10, to dancing at Area and Danceteria with a fake ID and crashing in Avenue C squats when I was 17, to pretending to be cool at parties in Tribeca lofts and knowing the name of every bartender at Beirut when I was 23, to dinners at Daniel and Le Bernardin and arguments with writers that were featured in well-known publications at 30. But this book did have an impact. I first read this in a Norton's Anthology for a lit class my sophomore year of college, and it moved my filmy dreams of moving to the city to firm intent and then to positive action. And all these years later, after several readings, it is still the best explanation I have read of what makes New York New York and for why I love it with such passion. To be sure many of the particulars of this essay are dated, but it still explains why New York is the only place for some people, and as one of those people, one who has lived many other places but has never felt at home anywhere else, I find such joy in these pages. I reread this yesterday in part on an unpleasantly fragrant F-train, in part as I waited for a friend to meet me to see a gorgeous chamber music performance, in part as I sat on the 6-train full from too much Malaysian food and on my way to meet other friends at a jazz club uptown and it was perfect -- this is the only big warm hug I ever want to feel at midnight on the 6.
… (more)
 
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Narshkite | 18 other reviews | May 1, 2024 |

Lists

Read (1)
1940s (1)
1970s (4)
1950s (1)
Robin (1)

Awards

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Lawrence Yep Contributor
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Rosemary Wells Illustrator
Maggie Kneen Illustrator
Ring Lardner Contributor
James T. Fields Contributor
James M. Cain Contributor
Anita Loos Contributor
St. Clair McKelway Contributor
Leonard Q. Ross Contributor
Orpheus C. Kerr Contributor
John Mosher Contributor
Petroleum V. Nasby Contributor
George Ade Contributor
Sinclair Lewis Contributor
Arthur Kober Contributor
Max Adeler Contributor
Donald Moffat Contributor
Frank Moore Colby Contributor
Finley Peter Dunne Contributor
Eugene Field Contributor
Robert C. Benchley Contributor
Franklin P. Adams Contributor
Ambrose Bierce Contributor
Frank R. Stockton Contributor
Milt Gross Contributor
James Thurber Contributor
Mark Twain Contributor
Frank Sullivan Contributor
Edward Streeter Contributor
Dorothy Parker Contributor
Don Marquis Contributor
Heywood Broun Contributor
Washington Irving Contributor
Louise Fitzhugh Contributor
Joan Aiken Contributor
Ruth Sawyer Contributor
John Updike Foreword
Maira Kalman Illustrator
Roger Angell Foreword, Introduction
Lincoln Hoppe Narrator
Tjalling Bos Translator
January LaVoy Narrator
Kimberly Farr Narrator
Tavia Gilbert Narrator
Emily Rankin Narrator
Hazel Douglas Narrator
Meryl Streep Narrator
Melissa Sweet Introduction
Mark Deakins Narrator
Robin Miles Narrator
Godfried Bomans Translator
Julie Harris Narrator
Hans Heesen Translator
Edward Frascino Illustrator
Fred Marcellino Illustrator
Jenny Merling Translator
Edward Francino Illustrator
Peter F. Neumeyer Annotator, Introduction
Jamaica Kincaid Afterword
Christina Malman Cover artist
Bernice L. Fox Translator

Statistics

Works
100
Also by
72
Members
94,542
Popularity
#97
Rating
4.1
Reviews
1,606
ISBNs
663
Languages
22
Favorited
91

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