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Biography of Edith Hamilton A.B. 1894 (Greek and Latin): Author of The Greek Way

After studying in Leipzig and Munich, Edith Hamilton was invited by M. Carey Thomas to head The Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore; she was only 29. To the students, she was "a venerated presence-remote, terrifying, and incredibly demanding." After her retirement she admitted that she never liked the work.

More to her liking was her life in New York, where she made literary and theatrical friends. The publication of The Greek Way in 1930 brought acclaim, but there was some criticism from scholars about translation and interpretation. Edith Hamilton did not claim to be a scholar; her commitment was to the unverifiable "truths of the spirit" she found in ancient writers.

From Bryn Mawr Alumnae Bulletin (Winter 1981), in turn adapted from Barbara Sicherman and Carol Hurd Green (edd.), Notable American Women: The Modern Period (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1980).

See further Judith P. Hallett, "Edith Hamilton (1867-1963)", in W.M. Calder III and J.P. Hallett (edd.) Six North American Women Classicists = Classical World 90.2-3 (1996/1997) 107-147. Hallett presents a detailed account of Edith Hamilton's life and influence (showing that two of her most passionate devotees were Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis and Robert F. Kennedy). Judith Hallett is also the author of the Edith Hamilton entry in Ward W. Briggs, Jr. (ed.) Biographical Dictionary of North American Classicists (Greenwood Press: Westport, CT and London, 1994) 253-255.