Francis Parkman Additional Biography

Biography

ph_0111205218-Parkman.jpg Francis Parkman Published by Salem Press, Inc.

Francis Parkman was born into a wealthy and cultured Boston family; his father was a clergyman, and his mother came from a socially prominent New England family. Even when Parkman later became an invalid, he was able to live comfortably on his grandfather’s fortune. Few writers have so carefully and sensibly prepared themselves for their life’s work. Although he showed moderate aptitude in his studies and some skill at writing, his most pleasurable hours were spent tramping through wooded country. In 1840 he entered Harvard University, where he joined several clubs and was popular with his fellow students. He always did well in courses he liked—he was quite fond of poetry—and he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Even then he...

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Bibliography

Farnham, Charles. A Life of Francis Parkman. 1900. Reprint. New York: AMS Press, 1969. An early biography.

Gale, Robert. Francis Parkman. New York: Twayne, 1973. Discusses Parkman’s life and his importance to American historiography. Includes a bibliography of primary and secondary sources.

Jacobs, Wilbur R. Francis Parkman: Historian as Hero, the Formative Years. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1991. A biography; contains a useful and extensive bibliography.

Schama, Simon. Dead Certainties: Unwarranted Speculations. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991. Noted historian Schama explores the death of General James Wolfe at Quebec in 1759 and the murder of Boston Brahmin George Parkman in 1849; the two deaths are linked by the fact that Francis Parkman was the nephew of the latter and the biographer of the former.

Vitzthun, Richard. The American Compromise: Theme and Method in the Histories of Bancroft, Parkman, and Adams. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1974. Discusses Parkman’s historical philosophy.

Wade, Mason. Francis Parkman: Heroic Historian. 1942. Reprint. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1972. An adulatory biography.