Kronenberger, Louis

Born: December 9, 1904
Died: April 30, 1980

Ohio connection: Birth


Literary critic, editor, educator, novelist, and playwright Louis Kronenberger, son of Louis, Sr. and Mabel (Newwitter) Kronenberger, was born in 1904 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He attended the University of Cincinnati, 1921-24. He married Emmy Plaut in 1940, and they had one child, Elizabeth. Kronenberger began his career as an editor for Boni & Liveright, 1926-33, and for Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1933-35. He was a member of the board of editors for Fortune magazine, 1936-38. He was a drama critic for Time magazine, 1938-61, and for PM, 1940-48. He was professor of theatre arts at Brandeis University, 1952-70, and visiting lecturer and professor at a number of other colleges and universities over the years. Kronenberger began his book-writing career with The Grand Manner, a novel that received favorable reviews from many critics. His other novels were Grand Right and Left and A Month of Sundays. He was best known, however, for his essays and biographies, which were praised by critics as being accurate, vivid, and readable. Some titles are Kings and Desperate Men: Life in Eighteenth-Century EnglandCompany Manners: A Cultural Inquiry into American LifeThe Republic of Letters (essays);The Polished Surface: Essays in the Literature of WorldlinessNo Whippings, No Gold Watches: The Saga of a Writer and His Jobs (autobiography)The Extraordinary Mr. Wilkes: His Life and Times; and Oscar Wilde. Kronenberger was also the editor of numerous volumes and was a contributor to articles and reviews to periodicals such as NationNew York Times Book Review, New Republic, and Vogue. Louis Kronenberger died April 30, 1980, in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

Litt.D., University of Cincinnati, 1952; Guggenheim fellow, 1969-70.