Hall, Lawrence (1915 - 1993)


Lawrence Sargent Hall was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts. He taught at Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Massachusetts (1936-38), received his Ph.D from Yale University (1941), taught at Ohio University in Athens (1941-42), at Yale (1946), and was a visiting professor at Columbia University (1956), before becoming professor of English at Bowdoin (1946-67), where he retired as Henry Leland Chapman Professor in 1986.

In addition to his academic career, Hall was appointed to the Governor's Council on the Arts & Culture in Maine (1964), served on the Maine State Commission on the Arts & Humanities (1965-68), was director of Maine Citizen's Association for Cooperative Planning (1966-69), and consultant for the Family Practice Residency Institute in Augusta (1973), developing a humanistic curriculum in medical education. He served to the rank of lieutenant commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve (1942-46), first teaching for a year at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and then serving on sea duty until the war ended. He was also director of a censorship intelligence unit of the Office of Strategic Services (1942).

Hall wrote the short story "The Ledge" (1959), which was awarded first place in the O. Henry Prize Collection in 1960, and has appeared in more than thirty anthologies. He was a contributor to Down East, Hudson Review, North American Review, The Reporter, Shakespeare Quarterly, and The Skipper.


  • Hawthorne: Critic of Society (1944)
  • Stowaway: A novel (1961)
  • How Thinking is Written, an Analytic Approach to Writing (1963)
  • A Grammar of Literary Criticism; Essays in Definition of Vocabulary, Concepts, and Aims (1965)
  • Seeing and Describing; Selected Descriptive Writing (1966)