Howard Pyle was born in Wilmington, Delaware, on March 5, 1853. Showing considerable artistic ability at a young age, he was allowed to leave school at sixteen to pursue private art studies in Philadelphia. He placed his first illustrated article in Scribner's Magazine in 1876, and, encouraged by this early success, moved to New York City in October to study and work. There Pyle vacillated between careers in art and in literature, eventually solving his dilemma by becoming both an illustrator and a writer.
After establishing himself with Harper's, Scribner's, and other major publishing houses during his three years in New York, Pyle returned to Wilmington in 1879, where he lived—a devoted family man and industrious artist, teacher, and writer—until the year before his death in 1911. These thirty years saw a prodigious outpouring of illustrations, articles, and books.
His works in prose and pictures concerning colonial America helped a nation torn apart by the Civil War to rediscover its common roots. In his illustrations for the historical works of Woodrow Wilson and Henry Cabot Lodge, he provided a vision of early American costume, character, and event. Pyle's keen interest in history also manifested itself in works on piracy and on medieval life. In addition, he wrote several adult romances, thrillers, and tales of adventure, as well as a realist novel, Rejected of Men (1903).
Pyle's reputation as a writer now rests,...
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