Date of Award

Spring 1957

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Languages & Literature

First Advisor

Sister M. Ambrosia

Abstract

One of the distinguished twentieth-century American essayists was Agnes Repplier. She has been widely acknowledged as being "supreme among American essayists", as one of "the most interesting figures in contemporary life", "a bright and finished ornament of American letters". She was awarded numerous honors by several prominent institutions of learning. She received honorary degrees from Yale, Columbia, Pennsylvania, and Princeton Universities. Notre Dame awarded her "the highest honor within its gifts", the Laetare Medal, for "distinguished achievement in letters and a noble exemplification of Catholic womanhood". She was elected a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and Catholic Poetry Society Of America made here its vice-president at it inception in 1931.

The purpose of this thesis is to trace the development of her literary career from its early beginnings to its full flowering and mature growth as well as to study some of her essays dealing with social and literary criticism in order to indicate their value and interest to the modern world of letters. Agnes Repplier was a versatile as well as a prolific writer and wrote stories, verse, biographies, as well as essays. However, only her essays will be taking into account in this undertaking for her literary reputation rests mainly on them. Simultaneously, an attempt will be made to show her intellectual and social developments.

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