A.B. Harvard, 1873; study at Berlin, 1882-3.
Prof. Gk. lang. & lit. Adelphi Acad, (after 1896 Adelphi Coll.) (Garden City, NY), 1895-1907; principal, The School of the Lackawanna (Scranton PA), 1907-11; prof. lit. Hobart Coll. (Geneva, NY), 1914-8; linguist, U.S. Postal Censorship, New York, NY, 1918-9; sec. AIA, 1890-4.
"The Prometheus of Aeschylus," Atlantic 62 (1888) 207-22, 333-44; Three Dramas of Euripides (trans.) (Boston & New York, 1889); "From Venice to Assos," Atlantic 63 (1889) 500-9; "The Closing Scenes of the Iliad," Atlantic 64 (1889) 482-99; "Delphi: The Locality and Its Legends," ibid., 801-13; "Odysseus and Nausicaa," Atlantic 66 (1890) 78-92; "Looking toward Salamis and the Persians of Aeschylos," Atlantic 70 (1892) 70-84; "Womanhood in the Iliad" Atlantic 71 (June 1893) 784-801; Folia Dispersa (verse) (New York, 1895); Art and Humanity in Homer (New York & London, 1896); "The Classical Element in Browning's Poetry," AJP 17 (1896) 197-216; The New England Poets (New York, 1898); The Successors of Homer (London, 1898); Pope's Translation of Homer's Iliad Books I, VI, XXII, XXIV (New York & Chicago, 1900); "Classical Influences upon American Literature. With a special Study of Longfellow," Chatauquan (1900), 466-70; "The Rise of Greek Drama," Sewanee Review 9 (1901) 156-70; Introduction to the Study of American Literature (New York & Chicago, 1902); Introduction to Classical Greek Literature (New York, 1903); Introduction to Classical Latin Literature (New York, 1904); Ideals in Greek Literature (Chatauqua, NY, 1905); A Study of American Literature (New York & Chicago, 1907); The Soul of the Anthology (New Haven, 1923); Maximilian Harden, Germany, France, and England (trans.) (New York, 1924); idem, I Meet My Contemporaries (trans.) (New York, 1925); V-asste? Karl Vossler, Medieval Culture (trans.) (New York, 1929).
Lawton played a significant role in the first American archeological expedition to Assos in 1881 by deciphering the inscriptions found there. Later he edited the Library of the World's Best Literature, and his many popular books and articles devoted to ancient literature reached a wide audience. In later life he was associated with the extension lecture system at the University of Pennsylvania. He lost his eyesight in middle age and devoted himself thereafter to translations, many of which he did with his wife.
NYTimes (20 Apr. 1941) 43; WhAm 4:560.