Edgar Lee Masters

Updated September 23, 2019 | Infoplease Staff

Masters, Edgar Lee



Born Garnett, Kan., Aug. 23, 1869. Educated at Knox College, Ill. He studied law in his father's office and was admitted to the bar in 1891. Married Helen M. Jenkins, of Chicago, in 1898. Mr. Masters wrote several volumes of verse and several poetic dramas, which are now out of print, before he found himself in the "Spoon River Anthology", published first in `Reedy's Mirror' and in book form in 1915. This volume, written in free verse and containing about two hundred brief sketches, or posthumous confessions, shows Mr. Masters to be a psychologist of the keenest penetration, a satirist and humorist, laying bare unsparingly the springs of human weakness, but seeing with an equal insight humanity's finer side. "Spoon River Anthology", which had perhaps a wider recognition than that of any volume of verse of the period, was followed by "Songs and Satires", 1916; "The Great Valley", 1916; "Toward the Gulf", 1917; and "Starved Rock", 1920.

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