Cross-Examinations of Law and Literature Cooper, Hawthorne, Stowe, and Melville

by Brook (University of California, Irvine) Thomas

Part of the Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture Series

Cross-Examinations of Law and Literature Cooper, Hawthorne, Stowe, and Melville Synopsis

In Cross Examinations of Law and Literature Brook Thomas uses legal thought and legal practice as a lens through which to read some of the important fictions of antebellum America. The lens reflects both ways, and we learn as much about the literature in the context of contemporary legal concerns as we do about the legal ideologies that the fiction subverts or reveals. Successive chapters deal with Cooper's Pioneers and Hawthorne's The House of Seven Gables (property law and the image of the judiciary), Melville's 'Benito Cereno' and Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin (slavery), Melville's White Jacket, Pierre and 'Bartleby' (worker exploitation or wage slavery), The Confidence-Man (contracts), and finally, 'Billy Budd', which examines a number of issues illustrative of the triumph of legal formalism after the Civil War.

Cross-Examinations of Law and Literature Cooper, Hawthorne, Stowe, and Melville Press Reviews

'A welcome addition to a fascinating area of study ...' Choice 'By placing the familiar canonical works of Cooper, Hawthorne, Stowe and Melville in a carefully defined relation with contemporary legal ideology, he has illuminated both the literature and the law and has helped recover a part of our cultural history.' Donald A. Ringe, American Literature

Book Information

ISBN: 9780521409704
Publication date: 31st May 1991
Author: Brook (University of California, Irvine) Thomas
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 316 pages
Categories: Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers, Literary studies: c 1800 to c 1900 , Literary studies: c 1500 to c 1800, Cultural studies,

About Brook (University of California, Irvine) Thomas

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