Walter Jackson Bate

Biographer, Author

1918 – 1999

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Who was Walter Jackson Bate?

Walter Jackson Bate was an American literary critic and biographer. He is known for Pulitzer Prize-winning biographies, of John Keats and Samuel Johnson. Samuel Johnson also won the 1978 U.S. National Book Award in Biography.

Bate was born in Mankato, Minnesota. He studied and later taught at Harvard University.

His critical work, especially The Burden of the Past and the English Poet, responds to and anticipates some aspects of the work of Harold Bloom. His biographies of Keats and Johnson have enjoyed extraordinary reputations both as scholarly resources and as works of literature in their own right. Jane Kenyon, one of many writers to be influenced by the Keats biography, paraphrases it in her poem "Reading Late of the Death of Keats":

He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1957. Bate retired from teaching at Harvard in 1986, and died on July 26, 1999 at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, aged 81.

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Born
May 23, 1918
Mankato
Nationality
  • United States of America
Profession
Education
  • Harvard University
Employment
  • Harvard University
Lived in
  • Mankato
Died
Jul 26, 1999
Boston

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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