Meyer Howard Abrams was born in Long Branch, New Jersey in 1912. He studied English at Harvard University and attained his B.A. in 1934. He won a Henry fellowship to Cambridge University in 1935, where he was tutored by I. A. Richards. Abrams returned to Harvard for graduate school, and received his Masters' degree in 1937 and his PhD in 1940. Abrams set the standard of critical authority for American literary studies for the quarter century after World War II. He is the author of two syntheses of English Romantic thought, and has also been general and Romantic period editor of the most widely used college anthology of English literature; The Norton Anthology of English Literature, as well as author of a popular Glossary of Literary Terms, and several influential essays on English Romanticism. Abrams's dissertation written in 1940, was expanded and published in 1953 as The Mirror and the Lamp: Romantic Theory and the Critical Tradition. The Mirror and the Lamp contributed to the legitimation of English Romanticism as a field of study. Nearly 20 years later, in Natural Supernaturalism, Abrams asserted a different thesis with similar authority.
Stephen Greenblatt is a literary critic, theorist and scholar. He is the author of Three Modern Satirists: Waugh, Orwell, and Huxley (1965); Renaissance Self-Fashioning: From More to Shakespeare (1980); Learning to Curse: Essays in Early Modern Culture (1990); Redrawing the Boundaries: The Transformation of English and American Literary Studies (1992); The Norton Shakespeare (1997); Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare (2004); Shakespeare's Freedom (2010); and The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (2011).