Louis Kronenberger (December 9, 1904 – April 30, 1980) was an American literary critic (longest with Time, (1938-1961), novelist, and biographer who wrote extensively on drama and the 18th century.
Kronenberger attended (but did not graduate from) the University of Cincinnati (1921–24).
In 1924, Kronenberger began his career at the New York Times.
In 1926, he became an editor at Boni & Liveright.
In 1933, he became an editor for Alfred A. Knopf.
In 1938, he became drama critic for Time, where he continued to 1961. In 1940, William Saroyan listed Kronenberger among the associate editors at Time in the play, Love's Old Sweet Song. Starting in 1942, he worked under Whittaker Chambers, who became editor for the "Back of the Book" (1942-1944). During this period Time was, according to Chambers, "consistently able and sometimes brilliant, because of a small group of men" that included Kronenberger, T. S. Matthews, James Agee, Robert Fitzgerald, Robert Cantwell, Winthrop Sargeant, John K. Jessup, and Calvin Fixx. He continued to work for Time until 1961.
In 1940, he also served as a critic for PM and worked there until 1948.
Kronenberger was a visiting professor at several universities, including City College of New York, Columbia, Harvard, Berkeley. In 1951, at Brandeis, he founded a Department of Theater Arts.
He was associated with numerous organizations for promoting the arts: Yaddo, Lincoln Center Library-Museum, the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Personal and death
Kronenberger married Emily L. Plaut in 1940; they had two children.
He died on April 30, 1980.
"Kronenberger's praise was a near guarantee of box-office success."
A collection of Louis Kronenberger's papers is held by Princeton University.
In his later years, Kronenberger wrote biographies, including one of John Wilkes and another of Oscar Wilde.
- The Grand Manner (1929)
- Kings and Desperate Men: Life in Eighteenth-Century England (1942)
- Grand Right and Left (1952)
- The Thread of Laughter: Chapters on English Stage Comedy from Jonson to Maugham (1952)
- Company Manners: A Cultural Inquiry into American Life (1954)
- Republic of Letters: Essays on Various Writers (1955)
- Marlborough's Duchess: A Study in Worldliness (1958)
- Madame De Lafayette: The Story of a Patriot's Wife (1959)
- A Month of Sundays (1961)
- The Viking Book of Aphorisms (1962)
- Great World: Portraits and Scenes from Greville's Memoirs, 1814-1860 (1963)
- The Cart and the Horse (1964)
- The Polished Surface: Essays in the Literature of Worldliness (1969)
- The Cutting Edge: A Collection of Witty Insults and Wicked Retorts, of Polished Snubs and Homicidal Repartee (1970)
- No Whippings, No Gold Watches (1970) memoirs
- A Mania for Magnificence (1972)
- Animal, Vegetable, Mineral (1972)
- The Last Word: Portraits of Fourteen Master Aphorists (1972)
- Extraordinary Mr. Wilkes: His Life and Times (1974)
- Oscar Wilde (1976)
- An Anthology of Light Verse (1935)
- An Eighteenth Century Miscellany (1936)
- Reader's Companion (1945) editor
- The Pleasure of Their Company: An Anthology of Civilized Writing (1946)
- The Indispensable Johnson and Boswell (1950)
- Alexander Pope: Selected Works (1951)
- Cavalcade of Comedy (1953)
- George Bernard Shaw : A Critical Survey (1953) * The Portable Johnson and Boswell (1955)
- The Maxims of La Rochefoucauld (1959)
- Novelists on Novelists (1962) editor
- Quality: Its Image in the Arts (1969)
- Brief Lives: a Biographical Companion to the Arts (1971)
Books edited with others:
- The Heavenly Twins (1955)
Plays translated, adapted:
- Mademoiselle Colombe by Jean Anouilh (New York: Coward-McCann, 1954) translated and adapted from the original Colombe (1951)
- Best Plays series (1952-1961):
- The Best Plays of 1952-1953, Burns Mantle Yearbook (1953)
- The Best Plays of 1953-1954 (1954)
- The Best Plays of 1954-1955 (1955)
- The Best Plays of 1955-1956 (1956)
- The Best Plays of 1956-1957 (1957)
- The Best Plays of 1957-1958 (1958)
- The Best Plays of 1958-1959 (1959)
- The Best Plays of 1959-1960 (1960)
- The Best Plays of 1960-1961 (1961)
- Four Plays by Bernard Shaw (1953)
- Richard Brinsley Sheridan: Six Plays (1964)
Plays edited with others:
- The Beggar's Opera by John Gay, A Faithful Reproduction of the 1729 Edition (1961) with Max Goberman
- Ibsen (1977) with Harold Clurman
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t "Louis Kronenberger Papers". Princeton University. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- ^ Saroyan, William (1940). Love's Old Sweet Song: A Play in Three Acts. Samuel French. p. 72. Retrieved 15 July 2017..
- ^ Tanenhaus, Sam (1997). Whittaker Chambers: A Biography. New York: Random House. pp. 170–171 (Kronenberger), 173 (Back of the Book editor). Retrieved 5 August 2017.
- ^ Chambers, Whittaker (1952). Witness. New York: Random House. p. 478. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
- ^ a b c Funston, Judith E. (1999). Kronenberger, Louis. American National Biography.
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