In colonial America, tales about the capture of English settlers by Native American war parties and the captives' subsequent suffering and privations were wildly popular among readers. Despite their importance in the development of American literature, however, the origins of the captivity narrative have until now been largely unexplored.
In Providence Tales and the Birth of American Literature, James Hartman uncovers the genesis of the captivity narrative in the English providence tale and its transformation in the seventeenth century. Exploring the cultural context in which both English providence tales and their American counterparts emerged -- focusing in particular on the way in which the providence tale folded the religious spirit of inquiry and truth-seeking into the new science and empiricism of the seventeenth century -- Hartman offers a provocative reassessment of the origins of American literature.
Hartman has written an undeniably significant work that will be an invaluable source for those researching providential literature as well as for those seeking to understand the providential roots of the American novel... the scholarship is impeccable. -- Elizabeth Barnes American Literature There is a real wealth of information in this book, and Hartman provides several stimulating interpretive frameworks through which to approach a wide-ranging body of work. -- Christopher Castiglia Modern Philology By elucidating the transatlantic literary conversation that took place between Britain and the North American colonies, Hartman has made a welcome addition to the growing body of scholarly writing that places issues in 'American' nation-formation not in the nineteenth century but squarely in the middle of the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Anglo-American literary marketplace of ideas. This is an interesting and indeed splendid study in English colonial intellectual and literary history, and an important contribution to the study of American letters. Carla Mulford, Pennsylvania State University, colonial and eighteenth-century editor of The Heath Anthology of American Literature Hartman's impressive grounding of the captivity stories in a well-established tradition of providential narratives revises interpretations that attempt to describe the writings of Mary Rowlandson and other early Indian captives as indigenous productions that reflect an exceptionalist frontier experience. An important contribution to our understanding of the early captivity narratives as well as to our knowledge of the imaginative world of late seventeenth-century England and New England. Frank Shuffelton, University of Rochester, editor of A Mixed Race: Ethnicity in Early America
|Remapping Colonial Discourse from Providence Tale to Indian Captivity Narrative||p. 15|
|The Providence Tale in England, 1597-1697||p. 39|
|Witchcraft Relations in England and on the Continent, 1484-1697||p. 64|
|Providence Tales in the New World: New England Witchcraft Narratives, 1684-1702||p. 100|
|The Birth of the Indian Captivity Narrative||p. 128|
|Works Consulted||p. 177|
|Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.|
For Ages: 22+ years old
Number Of Pages: 216
Published: 1st June 2002
Dimensions (cm): 23.1 x 16.6 x 1.4
Weight (kg): 0.338