He graduated from Harvard University, and taught at the English department of Yale University. A professor of English at Trinity College from 1917 to 1946, he was a mentor to Abbie Huston Evans. He edited the works of Henry David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
He wrote Pedlar's Progress, a biography of Bronson Alcott, the father of writer Louisa May Alcott, and one of the foremost Transcendentalists.His papers are held at Trinity College.
He died in New London, Connecticut on the 19 June 1967.