William K. Wimsatt, Jr.

Date of birth: 


Date of death: 



Wimsatt was born in Washington D.C., attended Georgetown University and, later, Yale University, where he received his Ph.D. In 1939, Wimsatt joined the English Department at Yale, where he taught until his death in 1975. In his lifetime, Wimsatt became known for his studies of eighteenth-century literature (Leitch et al. 1372). He wrote many works of literary theory and criticism such as The Prose Style of Samuel Johnson (1941) and Philosophic Words: A Study of Style and Meaning in the "Rambler" and Dictionary of Samuel Johnson (1948; Leitch et al. 1372). His major works include Verbal Icon: Studies in the Meaning of Poetry (1954); Hateful Contraries (1965) and Literary Criticism: A Short History (1957, with Cleanth Brooks). Wimsatt was considered crucial to New Criticism (particularly New Formalist Criticism; 1372).

This short biography above is copied from the entry on Wimsatt on Wikipedia.

Boswellian impact: 

Wimsatt co-edited, with Pottle, the sixth volume in the Yale trade edtion series of Boswell's journals, Boswell for the Defence 1769-1774.

Books by author

The site contains further information about the following books authored or edited by William K. Wimsatt, Jr.: