Ars Recte Vivendi; Being Essays Contributed to "The Easy Chair"

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George William Curtis (1824-1892) was an American writer and public speaker, born in Rhode Island, of old New England stock. In 1850 he returned to the US after four years travelling in Europe, attractive, accomplished, and ambitious for literary distinction. He settled on Staten Island and instantly plunged into the whirl of life in New York, obtained a post on the Tribune, became a popular lecturer, started work on Nile Notes of a Howadji (1851), and became a favourite in society. He wrote for Putnam's Magazine, and a number of volumes, composed of essays written for that publication and for Harper's Monthly, came in rapid succession from his pen. The chief of these were The Potiphar Papers (1853), a satire on the fashionable society of the day; and Prue and I (1856), a pleasantly sentimental, fancifully tender and humourous study of life. In 1863 he became the political editor of Harper's Weekly. From month to month he contributed to Harper's Monthly, under the title of "The Easy Chair, " brief essays on topics of social and literary interest.
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