John Neal – novelist, poet, critic, editor, reformer, proponent of women's rights, historian, lawyer, architect, and much more – was one of the most flamboyant men in nineteenth century America and, in many ways, a pioneer of American culture.
Neal was born in Falmouth, now Portland, Maine on August 25, 1793 into a Quaker community. His father died the year Neal was born, leaving the rearing of the twins John and Rachel to their mother. After quitting school at the age of twelve, Neal earned his living by working as a retail clerk, and as an itinerant teacher of writing and portraiture in Maine's Kennebec River region. In 1815, after a failed business venture with poet John Pierpont in Baltimore, Neal turned to the study of …
Fischer, Katrin, Fritz Fleischmann. "John Neal". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 September 2007; last revised 24 September 2007.
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