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Underwood

novel, literary and lowell

UNDERWOOD, Francis Henry, Ameri can author: b. Enfield, Mass., 12 Jan. 1825; d. Edinburgh, Scotland, 7 Aug. 1894. He was educated at Amherst College, studied law in Kentucky, and was admitted to the bar in 1847. He returned to Massachusetts in 1849, was ap pointed clerk of the State senate in 1852, and in 1854 became literary adviser of the Boston publishing house of Phillips, Sampson and Com pany. The establishment of The Atlantic Monthly, by that firm. was dne to him and it was he who secured James Russell Lowell as editor-in-chief, Underwood being assistant edi tor. Two years later his connection with the periodical came to an end, and from 1859 to 1870 he was clerk of the Supreme Criminal Court, Boston. He subsequently devoted himself to literary work till 1885, when he was appointed to succeed Bret Harte as consul at Glasgow, and while in Scotland he lectured on American liter ature. His term of office expired in 1889 and he returned to the United States for a time, but in 1893 was appointed consul at Edinburgh.

He was the author of (Handbook of English Literature' (1871) ; (Handbook of American Literature' (1872) ; Pictures' (1873) ; 'Lord of Himself,' a novel of Kentucky life (1874) ; 'Man Proposes,' a novel (1880) ; (The True Story of the Exodus,' an abridgment of the work of Dr. Brugsch-Bey (1880) ; biogra phies of 'Longfellow' (1882), 'Lowell' (1882), and 'Whittier' (1883) ; 'Quabbin' (1890); 'Dr. Gray's Quest' a novel (1896). His best work is seen in 'Quabbin,> a sympathetic study of life in a small New England town two gen erations ago. He was endowed with a strong personality, had a wide acquaintance with books and men, 'possessed a fine critical sense and not a little literary power, but was to some extent lacking in constructive skill and char acter delineation.