Scope and Contents note
These papers represent a portion of the literary career of Dr. Robert L. Patten of Rice Unviersity. His writings reflect his interests in Victorian graphic art, history of 19th century publishing, and renowned author Charles Dickens along with renowned illustrator George Cruikshank. Formats include drafts, notes and correspondence related to Dr. Patten's books, articles, lectures and reviews.
Robert L. Patten, the Lynette S. Autrey Professor of Humanities at Rice University, was born on April 26, 1939 in Oklahoma City. He received his B.A. from Swarthmore College in 1960. He went on to earn an M.A. (1962) and Ph.D. (1965) from Princeton University. After college, Patten lectured in English at Bryn Mawr College, leaving there in 1969 to take a position as Assistant Professor in the English Department at Rice University, where he became a full professor in 1976. In 1991 and 1992 Patten chaired Rice’s English Department. The author of dozens of articles and reviews on nineteenth-century British literature, Patten used the materials in this collection to write a two-volume biography of George Cruikshank, entitled George Cruikshank’s Life, Times, and Art (vol. 1, 1992; vol. 2, 1996). In 1999 The Guardian, a British newspaper, called Patten’s biography one of the best books of the 1990s.
Robert L. Patten was a Fulbright Scholar from 1963 to 1964 and a Guggenheim Fellow in 1980. He was also chosen as a Couper Scholar in 2004, served as president of the Rice University Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa from 1991 to 1994 and 1997 to 2002, and chaired the Dickens Society in 1973 and 1974. Patten has served in numerous capacities at Rice University, including the Sallyport Award Committee (1986-87), the Advisory Committee on Parking (1992-94), and the University Review Board (1982-84). In addition to George Cruikshank’s Life, Times, and Art, Patten is the author of Charles Dickens and His Publishers(1978), and editor of George Cruikshank: A Revaluation(1974) and Literature in the Marketplace: Nineteenth-Century British Publishing and Reading Practices (1995). He also serves as editor of Studies in English Literature and founded and briefly edited the periodical Dickens Studies Newsletter.