Henry Seidel Canby (1878-1961)

<a href="/omeka/items/browse?advanced%5B0%5D%5Belement_id%5D=50&advanced%5B0%5D%5Btype%5D=is+exactly&advanced%5B0%5D%5Bterms%5D=Henry+Seidel+Canby%27s+portrait">Henry Seidel Canby's portrait</a>

Where: Yelping Hill

When: 1922-1961


Canby was born in Wilmington, Delaware, and studied at Yale University, where he received his doctorate in 1905. Canby married Marion Posonby Gause in 1907 and they eventually had two sons, Edward Tatnall and Courtlandt Canby.


In addition to his teaching duties at Yale, Canby edited the Yale Review from 1911 through 1922. During this period Canby was appointed the first editor of the Literary Review, a supplement of the New York Post. In 1924, Canby resigned from the Literary Review to found the Saturday Review of Literature, which under Canby became the most influential literary weekly publication in America. Canby continued with the Saturday Review of Literature until 1936, when he was appointed to the Board of Editors. Canby was appointed editor-in-chief of the newly founded Book-of-the-Month-Club in 1926.


After their marriage, the Canbys would take an annual retreat to a Quaker colony, The Pocono Lake Preserve, in Pennsylvania. After visiting their friends the (Carl) Van Dorens in Cornwall, the Canbys had the idea of starting a colony of their own in Cornwall. By 1921, Canby had convinced Lee Wilson Dodd, Beverly Kunkel, Henry Noble MacCracken, David Smith, and Mason Trowbridge, along with their wives, to join him in purchasing a tract of land in Cornwall known as Yelping Hill to be a summer retreat for their collective community of artists and authors. The group asked Ruth Adams to be their architect.


Canby continued teaching, writing, and working for both the Saturday Review of Literature and the Book-of-the-Month-Club. He accepted many short term teaching appointments in a variety of locations, including Cambridge, California, and Melbourne, Australia, during which time he championed American literature as a worthy field of study. Canby retired from the Book-of-the-Month-Club in 1954, and from teaching and the Saturday Review of Literature in 1958. He died in New York in 1961. 






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Henry Seidel Canby (1878-1961)