Howard Pyle Biography

Biography (Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

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 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 Harpers, 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 remarkable outpouring of illustrations, articles, and books. His works in prose and pictures concerning colonial America helped a nation torn apart by civil war to rediscover its common roots, and his illustrations for the historical works of Woodrow Wilson and Henry Cabot Lodge provided a vision of early American costume, character, and events. 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 realistic novel, Rejected of Men (1903).

Pyle's reputation as a writer now rests, however, on his illustrated works for young...

(The entire section is 606 words.)

Howard Pyle Biography (Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

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,...

(The entire section is 528 words.)

Howard Pyle Biography (Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Howard Pyle was born on March 5, 1853, in Wilmington, Delaware. He attended high school at Taylor Academy and then studied art in Philadelphia for three years before returning home to work as a clerk in his father's business. In October 1876, Pyle moved to New York City, where he worked for two years as an illustrator and writer. Pyle then returned to Wilmington, where he wrote and illustrated books for young adults. Born a Quaker, Pyle later adopted the Swedenborg religion, and many of his stories, such as Otto of the Silver Hand and The Garden Behind the Moon, reflect his religious beliefs. He died on November 9, 1911, in Florence, Italy.

Pyle's first published stories appeared in St. Nicholas magazine. Thirteen of his fables were published while he was in New York, but he soon found writing for children's magazines unprofitable. Deciding to attempt bigger projects, he began planning a book about Robin Hood. The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood met with extreme popularity. Pyle's second book, Pepper & Salt, containing stories that had been published in St. Nicholas, proved equally popular. Pyle's greatest contribution to literature for young people was his four-volume Arthurian series. The first Arthurian series written for a youthful audience, it established the pattern for all subsequent fantasy series based on the derives from his illustrations as well as from his writing. He illustrated adult books by...

(The entire section is 314 words.)