Date of Award

Spring 1950

Document Type



Languages & Literature

First Advisor

Rev. R. V. Kavanaugh


At the 188th annual commencement exercises of Princeton University, June 18, 1955, Agnes Repplier was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of letters. Dean Eisenhart, in introducing Miss Repplier, called her, "dean of American essayists." In the course of his introductory Speech he stated; "American literature has been permanently enriched by her Gallic gaiety; her kindly humor, her keen thrusts of satire, trenchant but without venom, her good taste and innate sense for the amenities of life and letters, her rich store of reading, her anchorage in ancient loyalties of faith. Not indifferent to counter-currents and points of friction in the world of today, she has been able to forget the vexations and humiliations of the present in a serener study of the mighty past"(2)

The purpose of the following work is to examine the critical essays of Miss Repplier. Although Miss Repplier has written several charming novels and bits of poetry, it is in the field of the critical essay in which we read her at her best. In the course of this examination a short explanation and history of the essay is included for the better understanding of Miss Repplier's works, for this is the tradition that she has in large part so ably continued.