Willard Thorp, 1940s.
Photographer unknown; Willard Thorp and Margaret Farrand Thorp Papers, Special Collections, Princeton University Library.

Willard Thorp


Willard Thorp (1899–1990) taught English at Princeton for forty-one years until retirement in 1967; becoming a full professor in 1944; chair of the Department, 1958–63; and ultimately Holmes Professor of Belles Lettres, 1952–67. He co-founded and chaired the American Civilization Programme. A good friend of Emily Hale, and a notable influence upon her. Works include the Oxford Anthology of English Poetry (with Howard Lowry, 1935), A Southern Reader (1955), American Writing in the Twentieth Century (1960), American Humorists (1964); a pioneering annotated edition of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick (1947); The Princeton Graduate School: A History (with Minor Myers Jr. and Jeremiah Finch, 1978); and he co-edited the Literary History of the United States (1948). See further the special Willard Thorp issue of Princeton University Library Chronicle 54: 2/3 (Winter–Spring 1993).