Stuart Sherman - Literary Standards Correspondence, 1923-24
[Back to Formatted Version]
Brief Description: Stuart Sherman - Literary Standards Correspondence, including four verses of poetry by David Kinley, titled "Christmas 1923," which congratulates Sherman on his criticism of "filthy writing" and Sherman's response, titled "Here lies 1923. 'There let it lie.'  Meditations on a Piece of Marble (For all men past forty)," which denies his intention to impose "marble qualities on flesh and blood."  The series includes Kinley's annotations on his poetry and two typewritten documents by Kinley on Sherman's criticism of contemporary literature.
Held at:
University of Illinois Archives
19 Library
1408 W. Gregory Dr.
Urbana, IL 61820
Phone: (217) 333-0798
Fax: (217) 333-2868
Email: illiarch [at]
Record Series Number: 2/6/22
Created by: Sherman, Stuart Pratt (1881-1926)
Volume: 0.1 cubic feet
Acquired: 1/69
Arrangement: Chronological
Biographical Note for Sherman, Stuart Pratt (1881-1926) :

Stuart Pratt Sherman (1881-1926) was associate professor of English (1907-11); professor of English (1911-24); and chair of the English Department (acting, 1910; 1914-24) at the University of Illinois (UI). He was an educator and one of the leading literary critics of his era.

Sherman was born in Anita, Iowa, on October 1, 1881, to parents Ada Pratt and John Sherman. He spent his childhood in Iowa, California, and Vermont. He graduated from Williams College in 1903 before earning a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1906 with a dissertation on English playwright and poet John Ford (1586-ca. 1639). Sherman served as instructor of English at Northwestern University (1906-07) before he accepted a position at UI in 1907. He was known for his scholarship on Matthew Arnold (1822-1888). As a critic, he was a proponent of what he perceived to be traditional American literature, aligning him with the antimodernist, Nativist literary movement and the new humanism of his Harvard mentor Irving Babbitt (1965-1933) and critic Paul Elmer More (1864-1937). His intellectual position famously put him at odds with his contemporary, H. L. Mencken (1880-1956). Sherman's published works included Matthew Arnold: How to Know Him (1917), On Contemporary Literature (1917), Cambridge History of American Literature (co-editor, 1918) and The Genius of America (1923). He also served as contributor to The Nation. In 1924, he left UI to become editor of Books, a supplement of the New York Herald Tribune, which he helped make a leading journal of literary criticism. One of his final major publications, Critical Woodcuts (1926), is widely viewed as reflecting a later shift in Sherman's critical approach and a softening toward modernist approaches and different literary perspectives.

Sherman married Ruth Bartlet Mears in 1906, and they had one son. He died on August 21, 1926, as a result of a canoe accident on Lake Michigan.


Wikipedia, s.v. "Stuart Sherman," accessed May 20, 2020,

George E. DeMille, "Stuart P. Sherman: The Illinois Arnold," The Sewanee Review 35, no. 1 (January 1927): 78รข??93, accessed online May 20, 2020,

"Stuart Sherman Papers," University Archives, UIUC, accessed May 20, 2020,

MaryJean Gross and Dalton Gross, "Sherman, Stuart Pratt," American National Biography, accessed January 21, 2021,

Subject Index
American Literature
Literary Criticism
Genres/Forms of Material
Languages of Materials
English [eng]