EDITH HAMILTON: An Intimate Portrait by Doris Fielding Reid

EDITH HAMILTON: An Intimate Portrait

Email this review


A portrait of the distinguished writer, educator, Philhellene, by the woman who shared her life for many years. Edith Hamilton had an Indiana childhood in a family that had ""a breadth of culture beyond that of any other family I have known (the author)."" Greece made a deep impression early. Then came Miss Porter's School, Bryn Mawr, a year in Germany on fellowship, and twenty-six years as headmistress of the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore, where she spoke of ""the pleasure of becoming an educated person"" and was spoken of as an ""educational comet."" At fifty-five, she resigned and, after a time of distress and indecision, embarked on the vocation that made her famous. The Greek Way appeared in 1930, The Roman Way, Witness to the Truth, translations followed. She received the laurel crown in the form of a citizenship to Athens when at ninety she was honored and her translation of Prometheus Bound performed in the city she loved. Her own quote of Aristotle on happiness seems a fitting commentary on her life: ""The exercise of vital powers along lines of excellence, in a life affording them scope."" Miss Reid mixes minutiae (how she wrote, physically) with major themes (what she wrote), gives a sense of household and higher occupation. Special.

Pub Date: April 28th, 1967
Publisher: Norton