American Literature in Context to 1865
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
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
"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) "The book includes a transatlantic timeline featuring key literary works and historical events, in addition to suggestions for further reading and a few b&w art illustrations." (Booknews, 1 April 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)
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).
American Literature in Context to 1865 is the perfect companion for readers who want to familiarize themselves with the historical events and literary movements that shaped American literature from the pre-Columbian period to the end of the Civil War. Situating literary texts in their historical context, from indigenous texts to sermons, slave narratives, political tracts, novels, essays on abolition and women’s rights, stories of the early frontier to poetry, Susan Castillo conveys the splendid untidiness and exuberant vitality of American literature, and the ways in which many different voices with different agendas have clamored to be heard. Includes a transatlantic timeline, featuring key literary works and historical events, as well as suggestions for further reading.
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