Correspondence and American Literature, 1770-1865

Correspondence and American Literature, 1770-1865

by Elizabeth Hewitt


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Elizabeth Hewitt argues that many canonical American authors, including Jefferson, Emerson, Melville, Dickinson and Whitman, turned to letter-writing as an idealized genre through which to consider the challenges of American democracy before the Civil War. Hewitt maintains that, although correspondence is generally only conceived as a biographical archive, it must instead be understood as a significant genre through which these early authors made sense of social and political relations in the new nation.

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)

About the Author

Elizabeth Hewitt is Assistant Professor of English at The Ohio State University.

Table of Contents

Preface: universal letter writers; 1. National letters; 2. Emerson and Fuller's phenomenal letters; 3. Melville's dead letters; 4. Jacobs's letters from nowhere; 5. Dickinson's lyrical letters; Conclusion: Whitman's universal letters.

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