Now in poor health, weakened by years of heavy drinking, Riley, the Hoosier Poet died on July 23, 1916 of a stroke. However he overcame that and managed to re-negotiate his contracts so that he received his rightful share of the income and his wealth thereafter increased very quickly. A few of his later poems were set to music and song, one of the most well known being. At the urging of Maurice Thompson, he again attempted to stop drinking liquor, but was only able to give it up for a few months. He succeeded, drawing the largest crowds in Chicago and.
His works had become staples for Ivy League literature courses and universities began offering him honorary degrees. An employee of the Dispatch learned the truth of the incident and reported it to the Kokomo Tribune, which published an exposé that outed Riley as a conspirator behind the hoax. Glass worked closely with Riley's publishers to have his tours coincide with the release of new books, and ensured his tours were geographically varied enough to maintain his popularity in all regions of the nation. Riley began sending poems to his brother again in February 1873. Riley was warmly welcomed by its literary and theatrical community and he toured places that had frequented.
He traveled a touring circuit first in the , and then nationally, holding shows and making joint appearances on stage with other famous talents. Such circuits were popular at the time, and Riley quickly earned a local reputation for his entertaining readings. During this period Riley determined that his most popular poems were those on topics of rural life, and he began to use that as a common theme throughout his future work. Riley attempted to secure a new job at a periodical and leave the Journal, but the magazines to which he submitted would not hire him unless he was willing to relocate. A bachelor, Riley seems to have his writings as his only outlet, and although in his public performances he was well received, his publications were becoming seen as banal and repetitive and sales of these later works began to fall away.
As a lasting tribute, the citizens of Greenfield hold a festival every year in Riley's honor. The works of the Western Association of Writers, most notably those of Riley and Wallace, helped create the midwest's cultural identity and create a rival literary community to the established eastern literari. Often punished, he had nothing kind to say of his teachers in his writings. After my mother died, there it was. With other writers of his era, he helped create a caricature of Midwesterners and formed a literary community that produced works rivaling the established eastern literati. During the early 1880s, Riley still made submissions to the elite literary periodicals, but continued to be rejected.
Contains 82 works by Whitcomb Riley. Riley and his wife, Elizabeth Marine Riley, in a small cabin. In 1970 Peter Revell wrote that Riley's dialect was more similar to the poor speech of a child rather than the dialect of his region. Moderate rubbing and wear to the binding; the spine is a bit darkened. He submitted many poems to Longfellow, whom he considered to be the greatest living poet. Like his children's poems, they too contained morals, suggesting society should pity the downtrodden and be charitable.
Eventually after his last tour in 1895 he retired to spend his final years in Indianapolis writing patriotic poetry. His early career was a series of low paid temporary jobs. A large funeral procession then carried him to where he was buried in a tomb at the top of the hill, the highest point in the city of Indianapolis. During the year, Riley spent working in , he met and began to court Edora Mysers. The first was in 1902, followed by a Doctorate of Letters from the in 1904. During 1885, more than one hundred writers joined the group. Because of this we take care in describing the condition of each book in as much detail as possible, images provided are of the actual book.
Mild wear to spine, board edges and corners. The book's popularity necessitated a second printing before the end of the year. Mild scuffing and soiling to boards. Among the newspapers to take an interest in the poems was the , a major Party metropolitan newspaper in Indiana. He began traveling and performing with the Adelphians around central Indiana to earn an income while he searched for a new publisher.
In the aftermath of the Poe plot, Riley was dismissed from the Democrat, so he returned to Greenfield to spend time writing poetry. At a New York City show in March 1888, was so enthralled by the show he insisted on hosting the two men at a banquet with several leading Broadway theatre actors. Developing and maintaining his publicity became a constant job, and received more of his attention as his fame grew. He satisfied the public with down-to-earth verse that was heart high. Written while Riley was traveling with the Adelphians, but never performed, the play has similarities to , which Riley may have used as a model.