Guide to the Papers of Noel Perrin, 1932 - 2002Manuscript MS-348

Biography

Edwin Noel Perrin was born September 28, 1927, in New York City. He attended Woodberry Forest School in Virginia, and later studied at Williams College graduating in 1949. Perrin also received a Master of Arts degree in English from Duke University in 1950. He served in the United States Army in Korea from 1951 to 1952, and was awarded the Bronze Star. After his military service he taught English literature at the Woman's College of the University of North Carolina from 1956 to 1959. He also studied at Cambridge University in England, where he received an M. Litt. in 1958. Perrin joined the Dartmouth faculty in 1959, as an instructor in English. He was promoted to Assistant Professor of English in 1961, and to Associate Professor of English with tenure in 1966. He became a full Professor in 1970, and then was chairman of the English Department from 1972 to 1975. Perrin specialized in teaching modern poetry, particularly that of Robert Frost. He was a Fulbright professor at Warsaw University in Poland in 1970, and was twice a Guggenheim Fellow, in 1970 and again in 1985. In 1984 Perrin joined Dartmouth's Environmental Studies Program as an Adjunct Professor. Perrin began writing works for a popular audience in 1961 with his first essay collection, "A Passport Secretly Green." His second book, "Dr. Bowdler's Legacy: A History of Expurgated Books in England and America," was published in 1969, and was nominated for the National Book Award. In 1978, he published "First Person Rural: Essays of a Sometime Farmer," which became so popular that he wrote three sequels that ended with "Last Person Rural" in 1991. Other notable works include "A Reader’s Delight," "Giving up the Gun: Japan's Reversion to the Sword, 1543-1879," and "Solo: Life with an Electric Car." Perrin was a frequent contributor to a number of publications, including The Washington Post, Atlantic Monthly, Publisher's Weekly, The New York Times, Vermont Life, and Country Journal. He died in 2004, at the age of 77.

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