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Research Papers on Oliver Wendell Holmes

Research papers on Oliver Wendell Holmes for literature courses examine his poetry and often include an insight into his life. Paper Masters literature writers can help you explicate any of Holmes' poems or write a research paper on his life.

Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894) was one of America’s premier poets in the 19th century and father to the famed Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. The elder Holmes was a member of the Fireside Poets, a group of influential New England writers, which also included Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

A few of Holmes' more famous poems include:

  • Oliver Wendell HolmesBallad of the Oysterman
  • The Broken Circle
  • The Chambered Nautilus
  • Departed Days
  • The Dilemma
  • Mare Rubrum
  • Old Ironsides
  • Our Indian Summer
  • The Two Streams

    Holmes was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and graduated from Harvard in 1829. The following year his poem “Old Ironsides,” about the USS Constitution appeared and was instrumental in preserving the historic ship. Holmes published numerous other works that year, but began to study medicine as his career. Holmes earned an MD from Harvard in 1836 and became a recognized medical expert, introducing the stethoscope to American doctors.

Oliver Wendell Holmes' Articles

In 1856, Holmes began writing for The Atlantic Monthly magazine, and many of his articles were collected into a book entitled The Autocrat at the Breakfast-Table, which became his most popular work. In 1860, Holmes invented the stereoscope, which allowed people to see pictures in three-dimensions.

During the Civil War, Holmes’ literary output increased, as he often wrote in favor of the Union cause. After the war, he became a member of Longfellow’s Dante Club, and wrote his second novel, The Guardian Angel. Holmes was one of the most popular poets of his day and was frequently asked to write poems in commemoration of specific events.

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