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Cultures of Letters: Scenes of Reading and Writing in Nineteenth-Century America / Edition 1

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Overview

Using a variety of historical sources, Richard H. Brodhead reconstructs the institutionalized literary worlds that coexisted in nineteenth-century America: the middle-class domestic culture of letters, the culture of mass-produced cheap reading, the militantly hierarchical high culture of post-emancipation black education. He describes how these socially structured worlds of writing shaped the terms of literary practice for writers like Stowe, Hawthorne, Fanny Fern, Louisa May Alcott, Sarah Orne Jewett, and Charles Chesnutt.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
An elegant study--lean and clear--concerning the context of American writing and the significance of understanding, in the author's words, "the diverse and changing worlds that have been constructed around writing in American social life." Brodhead is head of the English department at Yale. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226075266
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/1995
  • Series: Chicago Guides to Academic Life Ser.
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 243
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: On the Idea of Cultures of Letters 1
1 Sparing the Rod: Discipline and Fiction in Antebellum America 13
2 Veiled Ladies: Toward a History of Antebellum Entertainment 48
3 Starting Out in the 1860s: Alcott, Authorship, and the Postbellum Literary Field 69
4 The Reading of Regions 107
For a History of Literary Access 107
The Reading of Regions: A Study in the Social Life of Forms 115
5 Jewett, Regionalism, and Writing as Women's Work 142
6 "Why Could Not a Colored Man?": Chesnutt and the Transaction of Authorship 177
Notes 211
Index 241
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