Wednesday, March 15, 2017
WILLIAM STANLEY BEAUMONT BRAITHWAITE (1878-1962)
was born into a well-to-do, family in Boston, Massachusetts.
Braithwaite was largely tutored at home by his father, William Smith Braithwaite, who had spent time in England studying medicine. The younger Braithwaite studied the usual subjects, plus French and literature. His father died when Braithwaite was the age of 7, his death plunging the entire family into poverty.
Braithwaite's mother, Emma Dewolfe Braithwaite began working as a domestic to support her growing family.
Braithwaite had to quit school at the age of 13 to help his mother support the family. He worked as an errand boy for various proprietors for a few years. Finally, at the age of 15 he was apprenticed to a typesetter for a publisher, Ginn & Company. It was here that he developed an affinity for books, writing and poetry, and where he began writing his own poems.
Braithwaite eventually published 3 volumes of poetry.
His first book, "Lyrics of Life," was self-published in 1904. His 2nd volume, "The House of Falling Leaves," was similarly published in 1908. His third volume, "Selected Poems," was published in 1948. Braithwaite's poems reflects his love of the universal theme of loneliness and passion.
During his career, Braithwaite compiled and edited numerous poetry anthologies from poems collected from various periodicals. These yearly anthologies helped to launch the careers of many American poets.
Braithwaite died at his home in Harlem, New York in 1962.