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Correspondence and American Literature, 1770-1865 : Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture - Elizabeth Hewitt

Correspondence and American Literature, 1770-1865

Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture

Hardcover

Published: 10th January 2005
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Elizabeth Hewitt uncovers the centrality of letter-writing to antebellum American literature. She argues that many canonical American authors turned to the epistolary form as an idealised genre through which to consider the challenges of American democracy before the Civil War. The letter was the vital technology of social intercourse in the nineteenth century and was adopted as an exemplary genre in which authors from Crevecoeur and Adams through Jefferson, to Emerson, Melville, Dickinson and Whitman, could theorise the social and political themes that were so crucial to their respective literary projects. They interrogated the political possibilities of social intercourse through the practice and analysis of correspondence. Hewitt argues 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.

'... absorbing ...' Journal of American Studies

Preface: Universal letter writers
National letters
Emerson and Fuller's phenomenal letters
Melville's dead letters
Jacobs's letters from nowhere
Dickinson's lyrical letters
Conclusion: Whitman's universal letters
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521842556
ISBN-10: 0521842557
Series: Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 242
Published: 10th January 2005
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2  x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.53