Leland was born in Philadelphia to an old New England family. His father was a descendant of puritans who had arrived in America in the seventeenth century, while his mother’s family came from Rhode Island and later moved to Massachusetts. Schooled in Philadelphia, Charles spent summers in New England. A delicate youth, he was tall and rather weak and had a passion for literature, making him seem eccentric to his peers. He had a self-confessed tendency to idealism and romance, something he later attributed to an inflammation of the brain suffered at a young age. At 14, his father gave him a share in the Philadelphia library, and, around this time, the budding scholar chanced on the works of Carlyle, leading him to discover Spinoza, Schelling, Kant and Fichte.

At 17, he went to Princeton

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Citation: Matthews, Jodie. "Charles Godfrey Leland". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 September 2008 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=2686, accessed 15 June 2024.]

2686 Charles Godfrey Leland 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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