Allen, Hervey

Allen, Hervey,

1889–1949, American novelist and poet, b. Pittsburgh, grad. Univ. of Pittsburgh, 1915. After service in World War I, he taught English in Charleston, S.C., where, in collaboration with DuBose Heyward, he wrote Carolina Chansons (1922), a volume of verse. He wrote other books of poetry but is best known for his excellent biography of Poe, Israfel (1926), and the picaresque novel Anthony Adverse (1933), which achieved enormous popular success.
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Allen, (William) Hervey (Jr.)

(1889–1949) writer, poet; born in Pittsburgh, Pa. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy but took his B.S. from the University of Pittsburgh (1915). He served briefly on the Mexican border with the National Guard and then with the U.S. Army in France during World War I; his war diary, Toward the Flame (1926), was highly regarded in its day. After some graduate study at Harvard, he taught English at a high school in Charleston, S.C. (1919–25) and then at several colleges. During the 1920s he published many volumes of his poetry and lectured on poetry at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference (Vt.), but his reputation as a poet soon faded. Instead, he is best known for his still-relevant biography of Edgar Allan Poe, Israfel (1926), and for a swashbuckling historical novel, Anthony Adverse (1933). The popularity of the latter freed him to go on writing historical novels set in the Civil War and the Pennsylvania frontier, but nothing ever repeated the success he enjoyed with Anthony Adverse.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.