Bayard Taylor

Bayard Taylor bigraphy, stories - United States poet, novelist and travel writer

Bayard Taylor : biography

January 11, 1825 – December 19, 1878

Bayard Taylor (January 11, 1825 – December 19, 1878) was an American poet, literary critic, translator, and travel author.

Published works

  • Ximena, or the Battle of the Sierra Morena, and other Poems (1844)
  • Views Afoot, or Europe seen with Knapsack and Staff (1846) –
  • El Dorado; or, Adventures in the Path of Empire (1850)
  • A Journey to Central Africa; or, Life and Landscapes from Egypt to the Negro Kingdoms of the White Nile (1854)
  • The Lands of the Saracen; or, Pictures of Palestine, Asia Minor, Sicily and Spain (1854)
  • (1855) – digitized by University of Hong Kong Libraries,
  • Poems of the Orient (Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1855)
  • Northern Travel: Summer and Winter Pictures (1857)
  • Hanna Thurston (1863)
  • The Story of Kennett (1866)
  • Joseph and His Friend: A Story of Pennsylvania (1870)
  • Faust: A Tragedy translated in the Original Metres (1890)


Collected editions of his Poetical Works and his Dramatic Works were published at Boston in 1888; his Life and Letters (Boston, 2 vols, 1884) were edited by his wife and Horace Scudder.

Marie Hansen Taylor translated into German Bayard’s Greece (Leipzig, 1858), Hannah Thurston (Hamburg, 1863), Story of Kennett (Gotha, 1868), Tales of Home (Berlin, 1879), Studies in German Literature (Leipzig, 1880), and notes to Faust, both parts (Leipzig, 1881). After her husband’s death, she edited, with notes, his Dramatic Works (1880), and in the same year his Poems in a “Household Edition,” and brought together his Critical Essays and Literary Notes. In 1885 she prepared a school edition of Lars, with notes and a sketch of its author’s life.

Life and work

Taylor was born on January 11, 1825,Nelson, Randy F. The Almanac of American Letters. Los Altos, California: William Kaufmann, Inc., 1981: 38. ISBN 0-86576-008-X in Kennett Square in Chester County, Pennsylvania. He was the fourth son, the first to live to maturity, of the Quaker couple, Joseph and Rebecca (née Way) Taylor.Wermuth, Paul Charles. Bayard Taylor. Twayne Publishers, 1973: 13. ISBN 0-8057-0718-2 His father was a well-to-do farmer. Young Bayard received his early instruction in an academy at West Chester, and later at Unionville. At the age of seventeen, he was apprenticed to a printer in West Chester. His interest in poetry was coached by the influential critic and editor Rufus Wilmot Griswold, who encouraged him to write a volume of poetry. Published at Philadelphia in 1844, Ximena, or the Battle of the Sierra Morena, and other Poems was dedicated to Griswold.Bayless, Joy. Rufus Wilmot Griswold: Poe’s Literary Executor. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 1943. p. 128 It made little income, but indirectly was a means of his introduction to The New York Tribune.

With the money from his poetry and an advance for some journalistic work to be done in Europe, Taylor set sail for Europe. The young poet spent a happy time in roaming on foot through certain districts of England, France, Germany and Italy; this tour of almost two years cost him only £100. The accounts which he sent from Europe to The New York Tribune, The Saturday Evening Post, and The United States Gazette were so highly appreciated that on Taylor’s return to America, he was advised to compile his articles into book form.

In 1846, he published Views Afoot, or Europe seen with Knapsack and Staff (2 vols, New York). This book’s success brought Taylor recognition as an author. He was asked to serve as an editorial assistant for Graham’s Magazine for a few months in 1848.Oberholtzer, Ellis Paxson. The Literary History of Philadelphia. Philadelphia: George W. Jacobs & Co., 1906: 273. ISBN 1-932109-45-5. That same year, Horace Greeley, then editor of the Tribune, placed Taylor on his staff, thus securing Taylor a certain if moderate income. His next journey, made when the gold-fever was at its height, was to California as correspondent for the Tribune. From this expedition he returned by way of Mexico, and, seeing his opportunity, published a highly successful book of travels, entitled El Dorado; or, Adventures in the Path of Empire (2 vols, New York, 1850). Within two weeks of release, the book sold 10,000 copies in the US and 30,000 in Great Britain.