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American Literature in Context to 1865

ISBN: 978-1-4051-8864-7
204 pages
August 2010, Wiley-Blackwell
American Literature in Context to 1865 (1405188642) cover image


American Literature in Context to 1865 discusses the issues and events that engaged American writers of the period, providing original and useful readings of important literary works that demonstrate how context contributes to meaning
  • Covers a range of genres including the myths, chants and songs of indigenous cultures, sermons, slave narratives, essays and the novels and poetry to 1865
  • Designed to be used alongside the major anthologies of literature from the period
  • Equips students with the necessary historical context needed to understand the writings from this period
  • Pedagogical features include a detailed bibliography, and a transatlantic timeline, with literary works, and historical events
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Table of Contents

Preface viii

Acknowledgments ix

Timeline of Texts and Historical Events x

The Arrival of the Europeans 1

European Exploration and Settlement: The Anvil and the Golden Fleece 17

The City on a Hill: Alternative Visions 32

From Colonies to Nation 61

The Struggle for Identity in Post-Revolutionary America 80

American Expansion and the Transcendentalists 98

The Originals: Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Emily Dickinson, and Walt Whitman 124

A House Divided: Abolitionism, the Women’s Movement, and the Civil War 146

Bibliography 171

Index 180

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Author Information

Susan Castillo is Harriet Beecher Stowe Professor of American Studies at King’s College London and has published extensively on colonial writing of the Early Americas, Native American writing, and on the U.S. South. Her books include The Literatures of Colonial America: An Anthology (Wiley-Blackwell, 2001), A Companion to the Literatures of Colonial America (Wiley-Blackwell, 2005), Colonial Encounters in New World Writing, 1500-1786: Performing America (2005) and American Travel Writing and Empire (2009).  
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"Joining numerous other volumes in the "Literature in Context" series, this is an excellent starting point for students of American literature. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-and upper-division undergraduates; general readers." (Choice, 1 August 2011)

"In the end this book is an innovative soul within a traditional body.  It presents the historical context of American writing from a variety of perspectives within a period structure relevant to many current college courses." (NBOL-19, October 2010)

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