Wagenknecht, Edward (Charles) 1900-2004

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WAGENKNECHT, Edward (Charles) 1900-2004

(Julian Forrest)


See index for CA sketch: Born March 28, 1900, in Chicago, IL; died May 24, 2004, in St. Albans, VT. Educator and author. Wagenknecht was an English professor and prolific literary scholar who also wrote books about the movies and the supernatural. After attending the Oak Park, Illinois, high school where Ernest Hemingway was a classmate, he earned a Th.B. from Union Theological College in 1921, a Ph.B. and M.A. from the University of Chicago in 1923 and 1924 respectively, and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 1932. His academic career was already in full swing by this time; he had taught at the University of Chicago in the mid-1920s and at the University of Washington since 1925. He left Seattle in 1943 to join the Illinois Institute of Technology faculty for several years before moving on to Boston University in 1947. He remained in Boston for the rest of his career, retiring as professor emeritus in 1965. Wagenknecht's writing output was remarkable, and beginning in 1927 he released one or two books per year on average, completing over seventy books in all. The majority of these were studies of the lives and works of literary figures, including The Man Charles Dickens: A Victorian Portrait (1929; revised edition, 1966), Longfellow: A Full-Length Portrait (1955), Edgar Allan Poe: The Man behind the Legend (1963), Henry David Thoreau: What Manner of Man? (1981), and Willa Cather (1994), among many others. A fan of films, he also penned books about Hollywood stars and movies, such as Lillian Gish: An Interpretation (1927), The Movies in the Age of Innocence (1962), and Stars of the Silents (1987), as well as writing two novels under the pen name Julian Forrest, and editing and writing literary surveys. He also published books about the supernatural and compilations of Christmas stories.



Chicago Tribune, May 31, 2004, section 4, p. 9.

Independent (London, England), June 25, 2004, p. 35.

New York Times, May 30, 2004, p. A19.

Washington Post, June 1, 2004, p. B5.