Correspondence and American Literature, 1770-1865

Correspondence and American Literature, 1770-1865

by Elizabeth Hewitt
     
 

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Elizabeth Hewitt uncovers the centrality of letter-writing to antebellum American literature. She argues that many canonical American authors turned to the epistolary form as an idealized mode through which to consider the challenges of American democracy before the Civil War. The letter was the vital technology of social intercourse in the nineteenth century and was… See more details below

Overview

Elizabeth Hewitt uncovers the centrality of letter-writing to antebellum American literature. She argues that many canonical American authors turned to the epistolary form as an idealized mode through which to consider the challenges of American democracy before the Civil War. The letter was the vital technology of social intercourse in the nineteenth century and was adopted as an exemplary genre in which authors from Crevecoeur and Brockden Brown to Emerson, Fuller, Melville, Jacobs, Dickinson and Whitman could theorize the social and political themes that were so crucial to their respective literary projects. They interrogated the political possibilities of social intercourse through the practice and analysis of correspondence. Hewitt argues that, although correspondence is generally only conceived as a biographical archive, it must instead be understood as a significant literary practice through which these authors made sense of social and political relations in the new nation.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Hewitt's voluminous reading and mastery of the literature are evident throughout. Highly recommended." CHOICE

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521123730
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
01/07/2010
Series:
Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture Series, #146
Pages:
244
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

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