Mitchell, Donald Grant, 1822-1908

Alternative names
Birth 1822-04-12
Death 1908-12-15

Biographical notes:

Donald Grant Mitchell, essayist and novelist, was born in Norwich, Connecticut, graduated from Yale College in 1841 and, after serving abroad briefly as U.S. consul in Venice, Italy, from 1853 to 1854, settled near New Haven, Connecticut. Mitchell wrote literary criticism, travel literature, and volumes of essays on rural themes, including Reveries of a Bachelor (1850), My Farm of Edgewood: A Country Book (1863), and Rural Studies (1867). Other works include the novel Doctor Johns (1866), About Old Story Tellers (1878), and American Lands and Letters (1897–1899).

From the guide to the Donald Grant Mitchell papers, 1787-1936, (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

American writer and agriculturalist.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Edgewood [near New Haven], to Joseph B. Gilder, 1884 Aug. 23. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 645218472

Donald G. Mitchell (1822-1908) was an American author and essayist. Under the pseudonym Ik Marvel he wrote travel essays, social satire, literary criticism, and reflections on rural life and farming. He was best known for his sentimental explorations of middle-class American life, such as in his books Reveries of a Bachelor and Dream Life: A Fable of the Seasons . Although little read today, he was a well-regarded and popular author in the mid-nineteenth century. He inherited his mother's Connecticut farm after her death in 1839, and developed a lifelong interest in agriculture and gardening. In 1855, he purchased a new farm outside of New Haven, Connecticut, Edgewood, which became the subject of much of his later writings.

From the guide to the Donald G. Mitchell Correspondence, 1852-1906, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)

Donald Grant Mitchell was an American author, humorist, and farmer. His most popular works were sentimental essays on the middle class, published under the pseudonym Ik Marvel. He also worked as an editor and journalist, published travel sketches and literary criticism, and served as United States consul to Venice. His purchase of the Connecticut farm he called Edgewood signalled a change from the dreamy meditation of his early work to practical essays on farm work.

From the description of Donald Grant Mitchell letters and etched portrait, 1886-1890. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 67612948

American author; wrote as Ik Marvel.

From the description of Papers of Donald Grant Mitchell [manuscript], n.d. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647954297

American essayist and novelist.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Edgewood, to [Mr. Miller?], [18]94 July 20. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 709592383

Epithet: alias 'Ik Marvel', American author

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000474.0x000381

American author.

From the description of Letter of Ik. Marvel [manuscript], 1888 June. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647824698

From the description of Postcard to Mrs. Charles Coit [manuscript], 1883, July 18. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647833285

Agriculturist, landscape gardener, and author; also used pseudonym Ik Marvel.

From the description of Donald Grant Mitchell papers, 1881-1892. (New Haven Colony Historical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 429256705


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  • Authors, American--19th century--Archives
  • Correspondence
  • Parks--Maps
  • Literature--American Fiction
  • Parks
  • American literature--20th century
  • Male authors, American--19th century--Correspondence
  • American literature--19th century
  • Authors, American
  • Landscape gardening


  • Authors
  • Authors, American--20th century
  • Agriculturists--Connecticut
  • Authors, American
  • Authors--United States--19th century


  • Connecticut (as recorded)
  • New Haven (Conn.) (as recorded)
  • Oyster Point Park (New Haven, Conn.) (as recorded)
  • Sunnyside (New York, N.Y.) (as recorded)
  • Connecticut--New Haven (as recorded)
  • East Rock Park (New Haven, Conn.) (as recorded)