Between the years 1850 and 1855 there appeared, in rapid succession, five American books now universally recognised as classics: The Scarlet Letter, Moby Dick, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Walden and Leaves of Grass. This study seeks to clarify that extraordinary half-decade in the rise of American literature. In successive chapters Professor Lease analyses the British connections of ten American writers, from Washington Irving to Walt Whitman. He considers their struggle for cultural independence through their engagement with, reaction to and gradual acceptance by the established English world of letters. These Anglo-American encounters are a dramatic series of portraits that provide new perspectives for understanding the career, the quest for nationality and the imaginative world of each of these major contributors to the shaping of an American literature.
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- Date Published: April 2009
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521108522
- length: 316 pages
- dimensions: 216 x 140 x 18 mm
- weight: 0.4kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Part I. Forays:
1. 'Who reads an American book?'
2. Washington Irving: uneasy ambassador
3. Homeward Bound: the two voices of Fenimore Cooper
4. Yankee Invasion: John Neal's campaign
5. Poe's England and the divided self
6. Hawthorne and Our Old Home
7. Crosscurrents: Melville's England and America
Part II. Forays and Friendships:
8. God's ambassador: Harriet Beecher Stowe and Old England
9. Emerson, Carlyle and 'the two Englands'
10. A brother's house: Thoreau's resurrection ode
11. 'Leaves of Grass': England and the outsetting bard.
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