Agnes Repplier



Agnes Repplier, a female essayist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was born on April 1, 1855. Daughter of John George Repplier and his second wife Agnes Mathias, Agnes Repplier taught herself how to read at the age of ten and grew to be a voracious reader. She attended two schools during her teenage years, but was asked not to return to either school after only a few terms at each due to her independent and rebellious nature. Repplier began writing and publishing stories when she was just twenty years old. At that time she wrote to help support her family after her father lost all his money in a failed business venture. After trying her hand at fiction and poetry, Repplier found her forte in the genre of the short essay. Eleven years after she began writing, Repplier's essay "Children, Past and Present" was published in The Atlantic Monthly. She published regularly in the magazine until 1940 and successfully published in many other journals as well. She went on to publish twenty collections of essays, five biographical studies, and one book about the history of humor. Once she could afford to travel, Repplier took the opportunity to spend time abroad and write about her experiences. Later in life, Repplier became the recipient of honorary doctor of letters degrees from Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Temple University, and the University of Pennsylvania. Repplier never married, but instead lived with her two older siblings, Mary and Louis. Repplier died on November 15, 1950 at the age of ninety-five.

(Compiled by Amanda Dambrink)

See also

Essays by Agnes Repplier

Battle of the babies

Its first guns were heard in New York, where a modest periodical, devoted to the training of parents, opened fire upon those time-honored nursery legends which are presumably dear to the hearts of all rightly constituted babies.


Amuse! amuse! amuse! is the plea of a weariness as wide as the world, and as old as humanity. Amuse me for a little while, that I may think I have escaped from myself.

The grocer’s cat

If we keep a cat because there are mice in our kitchen or rats in our cellar, what claim have we to gratitude? If we keep a cat for the sake of her beauty, and because our hearth is but a poor affair without her, she repays her debt with interest when she dozes by our fire.


It is in his pleasures that a man really lives, it is from his leisure that he constructs the true fabric of self.

Travellers’ tales

It is to England we must go if we seek for silence, that gentle, pervasive silence which wraps us in a mantle of content.

Trials of a publisher

Genius flourishes like the mountain oak when it can strike root in the money-boxes of less gifted friends.


Writers are often so blind to the value of words that they are content with a bare expression of their thoughts, disdaining the "labor of the file," and confident that the phrase first seized is for them the phrase of inspiration.
Patrick Madden's New Book
Quotidiana by Patrick Madden

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