The Making of Racial Sentiment Slavery and the Birth of The Frontier Romance

by Ezra (Associate Professor, Columbia University, New York) Tawil

Part of the Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture Series

The Making of Racial Sentiment Slavery and the Birth of The Frontier Romance Synopsis

The frontier romance, an enormously popular genre of American fiction born in the 1820s, helped redefine 'race' for an emerging national culture. The novels of James Fenimore Cooper, Lydia Maria Child, Catharine Maria Sedgwick and others described the 'races' in terms of emotional rather than physical characteristics. By doing so they produced the idea of 'racial sentiment': the notion that different races feel different things, and feel things differently. Ezra Tawil argues that the novel of white-Indian conflict provided authors and readers with an apt analogy for the problem of slavery. By uncovering the sentimental aspects of the frontier romance, Tawil redraws the lines of influence between the 'Indian novel' of the 1820s and the sentimental novel of slavery, demonstrating how Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin ought to be reconsidered in this light. This study reveals how American literature of the 1820s helped form modern ideas about racial differences.

The Making of Racial Sentiment Slavery and the Birth of The Frontier Romance Press Reviews

'...I thoroughly applaud his broader theoretical claim...' Journal of American Studies

Book Information

ISBN: 9780521073042
Publication date: 4th September 2008
Author: Ezra (Associate Professor, Columbia University, New York) Tawil
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 256 pages
Categories: Literary studies: general,

About Ezra (Associate Professor, Columbia University, New York) Tawil

Ezra F. Tawil is Assistant Professor of English at Columbia University.

More About Ezra (Associate Professor, Columbia University, New York) Tawil

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