Encyclopedia Of Frontier Literature

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With roots going back to Europe's discovery of the New World, frontier literature chronicles no less than the settling of America. Now a timely reference work presents this literature in all of its diversity, allowing readers to experience the myriad of creative responses evoked by the promise of the new frontier.

The Encyclopedia of Frontier Literature surveys 400 years of North American frontier literature, presenting dominant themes, biographies, literary history and analysis, genres, writers, titles, and characters as a method of defining and exemplifying the vast trove of literature about the continents exploration and settlement. From novels, short stories, and poetry to theater, oratory, outdoor dramas, songs, biographies, diaries, journals, and logbooks, frontier literature is characterized by its rich expression of human experience. In the 94 A-Z entries in this volume, readers will find coverage of dozens of authors and hundreds of works as well as eyewitness accounts by ordinary people, from the action-packed autobiography of former slave James Beckwourth, the novels of Edna Ferber and Mari Sandoz, and the speeches of Kiowa chief Satanta to Francis Parkman's The Oregon Trail and Larry McMurty's Lonesome Dove. The Encyclopedia also includes helpful chronologies, lists of major works and authors, cross-references beneath each entry, primary sources, filmographies, and a bibliography offering additional commentary.

A perusal of the Encyclopedia of Frontier Literature offers the researcher, reader, writer, and teacher a compelling reason to sample several points of view and to contemplate the romance that still clings to the Old West. Taken as a whole, frontierliterature is as rich, varied, and satisfying as any branch of written and spoken art.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"…Snodgrass has created an informative outline for its study….she opens windows of understanding into the enduring theme of the frontier in American cultural, political, and literary life."


Rettig on Reference (Gale.com)

"The author of this unique reference explores over 400 years worth of the extensive body of literature about the exploration and settlement of North America….Without a doubt, this is a major reference source for this genre. It is also a readable book that will be enjoyed by those who love frontier literature….Recommended."


The Book Report

This ambitious encyclopedia attempts to present the dominant themes of literary history, genres, writers and characters in the vast legacy of frontier literature. The author discusses major writers such as Twain and James Fenimore Cooper, historians Mari Sandoz and Dee Brown, along with discussions of obscure trappers, miners and mountain men of the west. As an aid for study, Snodgrass has included a chronology of local works from 1532 on, a list of major works, a list of authors' major works, a chronology of cinema versions of major titles, a listing of primary sources (including Internet sources), a bibliography of overviews and reference works, and an index of genres, titles, authors, events and settings. Snodgrass attempts to be comprehensive, but the reader should be aware that no reference work could possibly cover this vast area; and it is puzzling that she provides no discussion of the major impact of the Lewis and Clark journals. In fact, Lewis and Clark's work is only listed under primary sources. Students will have to look elsewhere for a discussion of their journals. But these are minor points. This volume contains much useful information for the recreational reader, the scholar and librarians. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 1997, Oxford Univ. Press, 540p, 24cm, 99-11766, $19.95. Ages 16 to adult. Reviewer: Carrie Eldridge; Youth Svcs. Libn., San Juan Island, WA, September 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 5)
Surveys North American frontier literature from the time of Columbus to the 20th century. The 94 alphabetized entries include authors, works, biographies, key concepts, terms, geographic locations, literary motifs, and dominant themes, such as explorers of the frontier, law and order, Native Americans in literature, naturalists, and poetry of the frontier. Each entry provides textual commentary, literary analysis, historical background and sources. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780874368888
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/9/1997
  • Series: ABC-CLIO Literary Companion Series
  • Pages: 560
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Ellen Snodgrass, an educator and expert in classical mythology, is the author of the Encyclopedia of Satirical Literature, The Encyclopedia of Southern Literature, and the award-winning Encyclopedia of Utopian Literature.

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