The purpose of the present study is to continue the redefinition of William Ellery Channing's life and work that has been going on during the past decade. Until 1950, the name of Dr. Channing was at best but vaguely familiar to most Americans of the present age, and even scholars of American culture confused him with his namesake and nephew, William Ellery Channing, the poet-companion of Emerson and Thoreau. Since that time, a reawakening of interest in Channing has been shown. As a result, something has been accomplished in restoring a proper balance between the enthusiastic approbation of Channing's contemporaries and the neglect into which he had fallen in the first half of the twentieth century. [From the Preface]
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