Correspondence and American Literature, 1770-1865

by Elizabeth (Ohio State University) Hewitt

Part of the Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture Series

Correspondence and American Literature, 1770-1865 Synopsis

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 nation.

Correspondence and American Literature, 1770-1865 Press Reviews

Review of the hardback: '... absorbing ...' Journal of American Studies

Book Information

ISBN: 9780521123730
Publication date: 17th December 2009
Author: Elizabeth (Ohio State University) Hewitt
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 244 pages
Categories: Literary studies: c 1500 to c 1800, Literary studies: c 1800 to c 1900 ,

About Elizabeth (Ohio State University) Hewitt

Elizabeth Hewitt is Assistant Professor of English at The Ohio State University.

More About Elizabeth (Ohio State University) Hewitt

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