Donald Grant Mitchell (1822-1908) was an American essayist and novelist. The grandson of politician and jurist Stephen Mix Mitchell, he was born in Norwich, Connecticut, on April 12, 1822. He graduated from Yale College in 1841, where he was a member of Skull & Bones and studied law, but he soon took up literature. Throughout his life he showed a particular interest in agriculture and landscape gardening, which he followed at first in pursuit of health. He served as U.S. consul at Venice, Italy, from 1853 to 1854, and in 1855 he settled at his estate, called Edgewood, near New Haven, Connecticut.
He produced books of travel, volumes of essays on rural themes, including My Farm of Edgewood: A Country Book (1863), sketchy studies of English monarchs and of English and American literature, and a character novel entitled Doctor Johns (1866). He was best known as the author (under the pseudonym of "Ik Marvel") of the sentimental essays contained in the volumes Reveries of a Bachelor, or a Book of the Heart (1850) and Dream Life, a Fable of the Seasons (1851). His other works include About Old Story-tellers (1878) and American Lands and Letters (1897-1899).
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., called him "one of the pleasantest of our American writers."
This article incorporates text from the EncyclopÃ¦dia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.