Home  »  Volume XVII: American LATER NATIONAL LITERATURE: PART II  »  § 10. Moncure D. Conway

The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21). rn VOLUME XVII. Later National Literature, Part II.

XIII. Later Essayists

§ 10. Moncure D. Conway

The ministry, whose record in our annals is so frequently interwoven with that of American literature, had its greatest literary figures in New England. A distinguised exception was Moncure D. Conway (1832–1907), who, like Higginson, gave up his pulpit because of his anti-slavery pronouncements. A Virginian by birth, he did his most important work as an editor in Boston, where he conducted The Dial and The Commonwealth; and as a lecturer in England, especially in his illuminating discourses during the Civil War. In later life, again in America, he wrote many papers of sterling worth, essays notable because of their high ethical plane; yet, lacking the authentic fire of genius, the light of his writings has now merely become mingled in the wide effulgence emanating from that group of great citizen-writers in whose ranks he marched with so firm a tread.