Bayard Taylor (January 11, 1825 – December 19, 1878)
Bayard Taylor was an American poet, literary critic, translator, and travel author. Taylor had a close relationship with poet/diplomat George Henry Boker, founder of Nassau Monthly. Taylor was famous for his books about the Gold Rush in California, including Eldorado and California Life. He also wrote about passionate relationships between men, including Twin Love and the poem To a Persian Boy. Joseph and His Friend is considered the first American novel to deal with gay feelings. It recounts an intimate friendship between two men and is believed to be inspired by the poets Fitz-Greene Halleck and Joseph Rodman Drake, who died in young age: during a train ride Joseph Asten's eyes settle on a stranger, passenger Philip Held. Feeling his stare, Philip looks back. “[t]he usual reply to such a gaze is an unconscious defiance…but the look which seems to answer, 'We are men, let us know each other!' is, alas! Too rare in this world.” In time, yielding to “manly love...as tender and true as the love of woman,” they kiss. Yet, Joseph finds a potential bride, leaving Philip “vicariously happy, warmed in [his] lonely sphere by the far radiation of [Joseph's] nuptial bliss.”
Timeline & Places:
• January 11, 1825: born.
• 1859: built Cedarcroft, Cedarcroft Rd, Kennett Square, PA 19348, Stati Uniti
• December 19, 1878: died. Buried at Longwood Cemetery, 945 E Baltimore Pike, Kennett Square, PA 19348, Stati Uniti