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Homicide in American Fiction, 1798-1860: A Study in Social Values

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Homicide in American Fiction, 1798-1860 analyzes the attitudes on homicide expressed in popular fiction and works of literary distinction published in a period when dueling, lynching, street fighting, and attacks by mobs on unpopular groups caused many in both Europe and America to wonder whether violence was an inevitable outgrowth of democratic institutions. David Brion Davis reads novels and stories by American writers both canonic (Charles Brockden Brown, James Fenimore Cooper, Washington Irving, Herman ...

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Former Library book. Binding is slightly damaged and/or book has some loose pages. No missing pages. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Shipped to over one million happy customers. Your ... purchase benefits world literacy! Read more Show Less

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Ithaca, New York, U.S.A. 1968 Soft Cover Good Plus 0801490669 Cover scars from tag removal otherwise book very good.

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Ithaca 1968 Trade paperback Revised ed. Good. The cover has several scuffs, especially along the edges. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 364 p.

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1968 Soft cover Fine Soft cover in near fine condition.

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1957 Hardcover Very Good- Exlibrary, usual markings. Slight cover wear.; 346 pages.

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1968 Paperback Fine NEVER READ OR USED, Tracking provided on most orders.

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More About This Book

Overview

Homicide in American Fiction, 1798-1860 analyzes the attitudes on homicide expressed in popular fiction and works of literary distinction published in a period when dueling, lynching, street fighting, and attacks by mobs on unpopular groups caused many in both Europe and America to wonder whether violence was an inevitable outgrowth of democratic institutions. David Brion Davis reads novels and stories by American writers both canonic (Charles Brockden Brown, James Fenimore Cooper, Washington Irving, Herman Melville, and Edgar A. Poe) and forgotten (Newton Mallory Curtis, Richard Henry Dana, E. Z. C. Judson, George Lippard, William Gilmore Simms, and Charles Wilkins Webber) against a background of social and intellectual history, comparing fictional depictions of crime with changing beliefs and values concerning human evil and responsibility.

His discussion follows the theological, philosophical, and psychological ideas of the time about man's moral nature and show how some of these ideas were reflected in law and legal decision. The author then considers the relation between homicide and sex. Such motives as jealousy and revenge are treated in separate chapters. In the book's final part, Davis discusses the primary conditions of American society which fiction writers associated with homicide-the absence of monarchy, established church, or tradition; the changing and more independent status of women; and the promise of unlimited financial gains-speculating on how these factors may have influenced American thinking on moral issues and fostered anxieties about imminent social disintegration, reflected in lynch mobs and duels.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801490668
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/1968
  • Series: 9/28/2005
  • Pages: 364

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