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Writers in Retrospect : The Rise of American Literary History, 1875-1910 - Claudia Stokes

Writers in Retrospect

The Rise of American Literary History, 1875-1910

Paperback Published: 23rd October 2006
ISBN: 9780807857205
Number Of Pages: 256

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In the aftermath of America's centennial celebrations of 1876, readers developed an appetite for chronicles of the nation's past. Born amid this national vogue, the field of American literary history was touted as the balm for numerous "ills"--from burgeoning immigration to American anti-intellectualism to demanding university administrators--and enjoyed immense popularity between 1880 and 1910.

In the first major analysis of the field's early decades, Claudia Stokes offers important insights into the practices, beliefs, and values that shaped the emerging discipline and have continued to shape it for the last century. She considers particular personalities--including Thomas Wentworth Higginson, William Dean Howells, Brander Matthews, and Mark Twain--and episodes that had a formative effect on American literary history as a discipline. Reexamining the field's deep attachment to the literature of antebellum New England, the periodization of the nineteenth century, and the omission of Native narratives, Stokes reveals the many forces, both inside and outside the academy, that propelled the rise of American literary history and persist as influences on the work of current practitioners of the field.

"Admirably integrates an array of archival gems found in the personal papers of her subjects."
-- "New England Quarterly"
"[A] much needed map of the networks and context that informed literary histories written during the late nineteenth century."
-- "American Book Review"
"A valuable addition to our understanding of how American literature was institutionalized as an academic discipline."
-- "Modern Philology"
"This is a book that has both historical range and vivid detail; its argument is original and its topic is timely.

June Howard, University of Michigan "

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
The Lay of the Land: Nation and the Responsibilities of Literary History
A Culture of Retrospection: The Rise of Literary History in the Late Nineteenth Centuryp. 17
Preservation and Assimilation: Brander Matthews and the Silences of Literary Historyp. 33
Class, Authority, and Literary History
Copyrighting American History: International Copyright and the Periodization of the Nineteenth Centuryp. 77
A Higher Function: Literary History and the Advent of Professionalismp. 103
Rancor's Remains: Barrett Wendell and the New England Renaissancep. 139
Epilogue: Relevance and Its Discontentsp. 187
Notesp. 195
Indexp. 225
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780807857205
ISBN-10: 0807857203
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 23rd October 2006
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 13.97  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.32
Edition Type: New edition