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1. Religion and Sexuality in American
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2. The Feminization of American Culture
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3. Virgin Land: The American West
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4. Early American Women Dramatists
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5. The Imagined Civil War: Popular
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6. American Palestine
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7. The Cambridge Companion to Nineteenth-Century
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8. The Syntax of Class : Writing
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9. American Sensations: Class, Empire,
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10. The Poetics of National and Racial
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11. Black and White Women's Travel
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12. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's
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13. Labor Pains: Emerson, Hawthorne,
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14. Poetry for Students: Presenting
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15. Harriet Jacobs and Incidents in
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16. Alias Bill Arp: Charles Henry
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17. Through the Negative: The Photographic
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18. Sporting with the Gods : The Rhetoric
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19. Mark Twain, Travel Books, and
20. The Fugitive's Properties : Law

1. Religion and Sexuality in American Literature (Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture)
by Ann-Janine Morey
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Asin: 0521416760
Catlog: Book (1992-06-26)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 1955428
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Book Description

Through the voice of American fiction, Religion and Sexuality in American Fiction examines the relations of body and spirit (religion and sexuality) by asking two basic questions:How have American novelists handled the interaction between religious and sexual experience?Are there instructive similarities and differences in how male and female authors write about religion and sexuality?Using both canonical and noncanonical fiction, Ann-Janine Morey examines novels dealing with the ministry as the medium wherein so many of the tensions of religion and sexuality are dramatized, and then moves to contemporary novels that deal with moral and religious issues through metaphor. Based on a sophisticated and selective application of metaphor theory, deconstruction, and feminist postmodernism, Morey argues that while American fiction has replicated many traditional animosities, there are also some rather surprising resources here for commonality between men and women if we acknowledge and understand the intimate relationship between language and physical life. ... Read more

2. The Feminization of American Culture
by Ann Douglas
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Asin: 0374525587
Catlog: Book (1998-10-01)
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Sales Rank: 399547
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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This classic of modern feminism is an ambitious attempt to trace certain present-day values back to cultural shifts of the 19th century. Historian Ann Douglas entwines the fate of American women, most notably those of the white middle class, with that of clergy marginalized by the rise in religious denominations and consequent dilution of their power base. No longer invited to wield influence in vital (some might say traditionally masculine) political and economic arenas, clergy were pushed toward more feminine spheres and rules of expression. Likewise, as growing numbers of middle-class white women lost their place as the indispensable center of household production, and many lower-class women became easily replaced industrial cogs, a none-too-subtle shift in perceptions about women's strengths and abilities occurred. Women lost voting rights and other legal privileges; barred from healing and midwifery, they were also less likely to appear in other increasingly male professions. Academies for wealthier girls imparted skills deemed to entice and soothe men without taxing supposedly tiny feminine brains; when Emma Willard offered geometry lessons to girls in the 1820s, one opponent harrumphed: "They'll be educating cows next." Douglas chronicles the rise of an overwhelmingly sentimental "feminization" of mass culture--in which writers of both sexes underscored popular convictions about women's weaknesses, desires, and proper place in the world--with erudite and well-argued scholarship. --Francesca Coltrera ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars masterly
One can only imagine the work that has gone into this staggering piece of intellectual history - whose axis is the unforeseeable and fateful rise of the female public in American intellectual life, and contemporaneously the collapse of the old, muscular style of Protestant religiosity and intellect - from the kind and number of sources the author uses. She has apparently trawled through reams and piles of obscure newspapers and magazines, familiarized herself with writing most of us would be glad to avoid, learned to distinguish the various strands of an intellectual and publishing life which is, to modern America, as alien as imperial China or early Sumer. The result is tremendous: not only a resurrection of a past age that does it honour and justice (if anything, one seems to perceive, in this female scholar, a certain sympathy - even nostalgia - for the utra-male, activist, iron-faced world of the old Puritan thinkers, post-Jonathan Edwards and his likes), but a flood of light on the origins of our (not exclusively American) world and society. This simply cannot be praised too much; future historians will not be able to prescind from it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not a feminist polemic, nor "cultural criticism"
This is foremost a history, and has a focus rather more restricted than its title would suggest, surveying the careers and lives of thirty women and thirty (male) ministers involved in the "feminization" of northeastern Victorian America. The author convinced me in arguing for the significance of said feminization, but I felt burdened by all the biographical minutiae. One has to ignore reams of trivia to grasp the larger themes hinted at in the titles of the chapters (e.g., "The Escape From History," "The Domestication of Death). Where the author breaks the tedium with an impassioned commentary, she seems to be writing a different book altogether. But Douglas's treatment of the theme is original and even-handed, and her short biography of Margaret Fuller compensates for the tiresome church histories. ... Read more

3. Virgin Land: The American West As Symbol and Myth (Harvard Paperback, Hp 21)
by Henry Nash Smith
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Asin: 0674939557
Catlog: Book (1971-11-01)
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Sales Rank: 285407
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Developing the Master Symbol of the "Garden"
An excellent book on several levels. I highly recommend it for all of those interested in American History, Cultural Studies and Sociology.

The purpose of this book is to demonstrate the development of the American myth of the "Garden of the World". Smith argues (persuaively) that the idea of the American continent as a garden: fertile, lush and tamed(or tameable), deeply influenced the course of American history.

As Leo Marx said in his similarly awesome "The Machine in the Garden", the brillance of this book lies in how Smith demonstrates how ideology drives action (or, alternatively: how ideas drive behavior).

Smith divides "Virgin Land" into three parts. Part One "Passage to India" describes the initial path westward and the philosophy of the individuals who pushed for westward expansion (Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Hart Benton, Asa WHitney, William Gilpin and Walt Whitman). By way of a prologue, Smith notes that the idea of "Manifest Destiny" did not develop as soon as the settlers arrived, but rather was developed by American Philosophers and Politicans (and land speculators). In the first Part, Smith describes how the initial push westward was justified via the idea that a passage west would increase trade with the Orient. Smith notes that this idea dervied from 18th century Mercantilist economic theory and was therefore "archaic" (a favorite term of Smith's in this book) from the very beginning.

The Second part of the book ("The Sons of Leatherstocking") uses the literary character of Leatherstocking as an entry point for a discussion of the development of the western hero figure in literature.

A highlight of the book comes in Chapter Ten when Smith discusses the "Dime Novel Heroine". I found his discussion illuminating.

In the third and final part of the book, Smith lays out the characterstics of American Agarianism which would come to define westward expansion after the Civil War. Smith outlines the conflict between Southern Pastoralism and Nort/Western "Yeoman" Agarianism and notes how the Homestead Act was singularly influenced by this second conception of American settlement. He also documents how this same philosophy of agarianism prevented later reform of the Homestead Act even after it became clear to many that the Homestead Act had failed miserably in its goals.

Smith also discusses the struggle by authors to develop authentic western "characters" and relates that struggle to the emegerence of the "Garden of the World" symbol.

This really isn't the forum to tease out all the different issues presented, thoughtfully, in this classic book. I recommend it highly.

5-0 out of 5 stars De-bunking romantic western heroes
Smith is clearly an academian yet tackles some rather fun topics like Wild Bill Cody and the prototype American spaghetti western plot. Alongside in this book he recounts the many historical perspectives flawed in their historical accounts by the most famous writers of their time through the period of manifest destiny. Lastly, he takes on the romatic images of the homesteaders in a re-worked story of their evolution as pioneers showing the earliest prejudices from the east. ... Read more

4. Early American Women Dramatists 1775-1860 (Garland Studies in Amrican Popular History and Culture)
by Zoe Detsi-Diamanti
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Asin: 0815333048
Catlog: Book (1998-12-01)
Publisher: Garland Publishing
Sales Rank: 542693
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5. The Imagined Civil War: Popular Literature of the North & South, 1861-1865 (Civil War America (Hardcover))
by Alice Fahs
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Asin: 0807825816
Catlog: Book (2001-01-01)
Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
Sales Rank: 897415
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Book Description

In this groundbreaking work of cultural history, Alice Fahs explores a little-known and fascinating side of the Civil War--the outpouring of popular literature inspired by the conflict. From 1861 to 1865, authors and publishers in both the North and the South produced a remarkable variety of war-related compositions, including poems, songs, children's stories, romances, novels, histories, and even humorous pieces. Fahs mines these rich but long-neglected resources to recover the diversity of the war's political and social meanings.

Instead of narrowly portraying the Civil War as a clash between two great, white armies, popular literature offered a wide range of representations of the conflict and helped shape new modes of imagining the relationships of diverse individuals to the nation. Works that explored the war's devastating impact on white women's lives, for example, proclaimed the importance of their experiences on the home front, while popular writings that celebrated black manhood and heroism in the wake of emancipation helped readers begin to envision new roles for blacks in American life.

Recovering a lost world of popular literature, The Imagined Civil War adds immeasurably to our understanding of American life and letters at a pivotal point in our history. ... Read more

6. American Palestine
by Hilton Obenzinger
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Asin: 0691009732
Catlog: Book (1999-10-25)
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Sales Rank: 638256
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In the nineteenth century, American tourists, scholars, evangelists, writers, and artists flocked to Palestine as part of a "Holy Land mania." Many saw America as a New Israel, a modern nation chosen to do God's work on Earth, and produced a rich variety of inspirational art and literature about their travels in the original promised land, which was then part of Ottoman-controlled Palestine. In American Palestine, Hilton Obenzinger explores two "infidel texts" in this tradition: Herman Melville's Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage to the Holy Land (1876) and Mark Twain's The Innocents Abroad: or, The New Pilgrims' Progress (1869). As he shows, these works undermined in very different ways conventional assumptions about America's divine mission.

In the darkly philosophical Clarel, Melville found echoes of Palestine's apparent desolation and ruin in his own spiritual doubts and in America's materialism and corruption. Twain's satiric travelogue, by contrast, mocked the romantic naiveté of Americans abroad, noting the incongruity of a "fantastic mob" of "Yanks" in the Holy Land and contrasting their exalted notions of Palestine with its prosaic reality. Obenzinger demonstrates, however, that Melville and Twain nevertheless shared many colonialist and orientalist assumptions of the day, revealed most clearly in their ideas about Arabs, Jews, and Native Americans.

Combining keen literary and historical insights and careful attention to the context of other American writings about Palestine, this book throws new light on the construction of American identity in the nineteenth century. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars National Mania
American Palestine: Melville, Twain, and the Holy Land Mania is a strong and insightful study that sheds light on an important geographic-cultural landscape that shapes American culture. By focusing on the ideological construction of late Nineteenth-century Palestine in the American imagination, Obenzinger shows that this imagination contains much more than meets the eye of those who only look at the domestic spaces of Melville and Twain. Both writers traveled to Palestine, and the texts they produced about these experiences have been deeply and intimately related to their perceptions of, and contributions to, U.S. national culture, which has been obsessed, as the book so persuasively shows, with images and beliefs about "the Holy Land." Obenzinger writes beautifully about Melville's melancholic and Twain's humorous treatment of Palestine and its significance for U.S. culture. ... Read more

7. The Cambridge Companion to Nineteenth-Century American Women's Writing (Cambridge Companions to Literature)
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Asin: 0521669758
Catlog: Book (2001-11-15)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 397675
Average Customer Review: 1 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Providing an overview of the history of writing by women in the period, this companion examines contextually the work of a variety of women writers, including Harriet Beecher Stowe, Rebecca Harding Davis and Louisa May Alcott. The volume provides several valuable tools for students, including a chronology of works and suggestions for further reading. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

1-0 out of 5 stars Caveat lector: do NOT buy this book
I began reading this book with great anticipation, looking forward to a pleasant evening learning more about a sadly-neglected subject; women's writing in 19th century America.

About two thirds down the first page of the historical timeline, one eyebrow went up. Three seconds later the other eyebrow joined the first eyebrow. By page 20 I was ready to ask for my money back.

This book is riddled with so many errors of fact, grammar and spelling (a character in one of Mrs. E.D. E. N. Southworth's novels is described as "fighting duals")that I can't believe it made it past the fact-checker and the copy-editor. I have to ask myself the question: If the editors couldn't be bothered to catch these minor, silly mistakes, how can I have any confidence that the rest of the information they are imparting is accurate?

Messrs Bauer and Gould should be ashamed of themselves for allowing such a slipshod piece of work to make it into print. ... Read more

8. The Syntax of Class : Writing Inequality in Nineteenth-Century America
by Amy Schrager Lang
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Asin: 0691113890
Catlog: Book (2003-01-06)
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Sales Rank: 864803
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Book Description

The Syntax of Class explores the literary expression of the crisis of social classification that occupied U.S. public discourse in the wake of the European revolutions of 1848. Lacking a native language for expressing class differences, American writers struggled to find social taxonomies able to capture--and manage--increasingly apparent inequalities of wealth and power.

As new social types emerged at midcentury and, with them, new narratives of success and failure, police and reformers alarmed the public with stories of the rise and proliferation of the "dangerous classes." At the same time, novelists as different as Maria Cummins, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Frank Webb, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, and Horatio Alger Jr. focused their attention on dense engagements across the lines of class. Turning to the middle-class idea of "home" as a figure for social harmony and to the lexicons of race and gender in their effort to devise a syntax for the representation of class, these writers worked to solve the puzzle of inequity in their putatively classless nation. This study charts the kaleidoscopic substitution of terms through which they rendered class distinctions and follows these renderings as they circulated in and through a wider cultural discourse about the dangers of class conflict.

This welcome book is a finely achieved study of the operation of class in nineteenth-century American fiction--and of its entanglements with the languages of race and gender. ... Read more

9. American Sensations: Class, Empire, and the Production of Popular Culture (American Crossroads, 9)
by Shelley Streeby
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Asin: 0520229452
Catlog: Book (2002-04-01)
Publisher: University of California Press
Sales Rank: 518509
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

16 illustrations This innovative cultural history investigates an intriguing, thrilling, and often lurid assortment of sensational literature that was extremely popular in the United States in 1848--including dime novels, cheap story paper literature, and journalism for working-class Americans. Shelley Streeby uncovers themes and images in this "literature of sensation" that reveal the profound influence that the U.S.-Mexican War and other nineteenth-century imperial ventures throughout the Americas had on U.S. politics and culture. Streeby's analysis of this fascinating body of popular literature and mass culture broadens into a sweeping demonstration of the importance of the concept of empire for understanding U.S. history and literature.This accessible, interdisciplinary book brilliantly analyzes the sensational literature of George Lippard, A.J.H Duganne, Ned Buntline, Metta Victor, Mary Denison, John Rollin Ridge, Louisa May Alcott, and many other writers. Streeby also discusses antiwar articles in the labor and land reform press; ideas about Mexico, Cuba, and Nicaragua in popular culture; and much more. Although the Civil War has traditionally been a major period marker in U.S. history and literature, Streeby proposes a major paradigm shift by using mass culture to show that the U.S.-Mexican War and other conflicts with Mexicans and Native Americans in the borderlands were fundamental in forming the complex nexus of race, gender, and class in the United States. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars ground breaking
American Sensations is a brilliant book, useful to students, professors and other readers interested in the history of popular culture and US imperialism. Well written and researched, Streeby's analysis of popular culture regarding the US/Mexican War--a conflict often overlooked in accounts of US cultural history--is stunning. This is a real classic destined to be read for years to come by students and scholars in American Studies, Latin American Studies, and Chicana/o Studies. And given current debates over US imperialism in the Middle East, American Sensations should be required reading for anyone interested in how the past continues to shape our present moment. ... Read more

10. The Poetics of National and Racial Identity in Nineteenth-Century American Literature (Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture)
by John D. Kerkering
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Asin: 0521831148
Catlog: Book (2003-12-11)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 1286384
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Book Description

Examining the literary history of racial and national identity in nineteenth-century America, John Kerkering argues that writers such as DuBois, Hawthorne and Whitman used poetic effect to emphasize the distinctiveness of certain groups against a diffuse social landscape. Kerkering tells the story of how poetry helped define America as a nation before helping to define America into distinct racial categories.He concludes that through a shared reliance on formal literary effects, national and racial identities become related elements of a single literary history. ... Read more

11. Black and White Women's Travel Narratives: Antebellum Explorations
by Cheryl J. Fish
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Asin: 081302711X
Catlog: Book (2004-02-01)
Publisher: University Press of Florida
Sales Rank: 675717
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Cheryl J. Fish argues that the concept of mobility offers a significant paradigm for reading literature of the United States and the Americas in the antebellum period, particularly for women writers of the African diaspora. Charting journeys across nations and literary traditions, she examines works by three undervalued writers--Mary Seacole, an Afro-Jamaican; Nancy Prince, an African American from Boston; and Margaret Fuller, a white New Englander and Transcendentalist--in whose lives mobility, travel literature, and benevolent work all converge.

Refiguring the forms of domesticity, they traveled to the outposts of conflict and imperial expansion--colonial crossroads in Panama, Tsarist Russia, the Crimean War front, the U.S. frontier, and Jamaica after emancipation--and worked as healers, educators, and reformers. Each writer blended themes from exploration literature and various autobiographical genres to reconfigure racial and national identities and to issue a call for social action. They intervened strategically into discourses of medicine, education, religion, philanthropy, and emigration through a shifting and mobile subjectivity, negotiating relationships to various institutions, persons, and locations.

For each woman, travel removed her from the familiar and placed her in a position of risk, "out-of-bounds," emotionally or physically. Seeking their own vision of the territories, they came to see themselves as citizens of the world, deeply involved in the causes they witnessed. As Fish documents, their desire to improve the quality of life for oppressed and wounded peoples distinguishes their works from other popular travel writers of the time.

Drawing upon unpublished archival material such as letters, journals, and abolitionist periodicals, Fish incorporates print culture and theory into her discussion. She also examines historical accounts of the events and places with which these women were associated. She describes how Prince draws on the Bible and missionary discourse to make corrective readings of emigration policy and the lives of former slaves; Seacole appropriates the picaresque to embed her knowledge of Afro-Jamaican and Western medical tradition, and Fuller combines Romanticism and a fascination with racial science in her analysis of the American Midwest and in her evolving feminist critique. While writing in the popular 19th-century genre of the travelogue, Fish says, these black and white women were able to talk back, make and lose money, challenge stereotypes, and inform and entertain people with their adventures and benevolent work. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Mobile Subjects in a Dynamic Age
With its unassuming title, Cheryl Fish's examination of travel narratives by three mid-nineteenth century women might seem of interest only to specialists. Yet by interweaving historical contextualization, attentive close reading, and theoretical agility, Fish at once reveals the intriguing tensions and assertions to be found in texts that have been dismissed as extraliterary, marginal, or dry. More important, Fish reaches beyond current critical clichés to construct richly textured, nuanced portraits of nineteenth century female identities-- identities that, while circumscribed by economic and ideological limitations, comprised genius, resistance, and astonishing adventures.
The three authors Fish discusses, Nancy Prince, Mary Seacole, and Margaret Fuller, led exceptional lives for their times. Fuller participated in Boston's predominantly masculinized circle of Transcendentalists. Nancy Prince, a Massachusetts-born African American, moved as a newlywed to St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lived for nine years; upon her return to the United States she relocated to Jamaica to establish a mission school. Mary Seacole, the daughter of a Jamaican Creole mother and a Scottish father, traveled as a "doctress"or professional healer to Panama and the Crimea. Yet although these experiences were hardly typical of nineteenth-century women, Fish demonstrates that the juxtapositions and dislocations produced by their unusual mobility and their complex racial and social identities were paradoxically representative, epitomizing "mobile subjectivity"in an era of more general mobility and flux.
In marked contrast to critics who equate literary greatness with anachronism, Fish situates the texts within-not above or beyond-mainstream nineteenth-century discourse. Drawing on a remarkable range of historical sources, Fish traces each author's location amid genres often unappreciated by more recent critics, including the conversion narrative, theological and domestic instructional literature. The narratives participate in and diverge from generic conventions in fascinating ways: Prince's domesticized spiritual memoir "negotiate[s] with the white cult of true womanhood" to legitimize her activity outside the boundaries of the home; Seacole merges the persona of "the picara-heroine," roving the world in search of adventure, with the more socially palatable icon of the "ministering angel" nursing soldiers; the more privileged Fuller incorporates the rapidly gelling tropes of nineteenth-century tourism into her introspective representations of the Great Lakes and Niagara.
Historical contextualization is complemented by Fish's sensitive attention to each author's language, even-perhaps especially-when the text might seem skimpy or inexpressive. Fish single-handedly redeems the sexualized interpretation of feminist critics of the 1980s in her flat-outwonderful analysis of Fuller's description of Niagara Falls, foregrounding Fuller's wild tangle ofimages connoting both gender and sexuality. But Fish is just as appreciative of Prince's and Seacole's less eroticized narratives, scrupulously noting both their repeated motifs and provocative lacunae to illuminate Prince's haunting evocation of "the body in pain," and Seacole's "witty dialectic between imperial conflict and the power of woman to heal." The recovery of these suppressed voices and their relationship to the dynamic and fascinating age that produced them is aunique gift offered by an insightful and generous literary scholar. ... Read more

12. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court: An Authoritative Text, Backgrounds and Sources, Composition and Publication, Criticism (A Norton)
by Mark Twain
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Asin: 0393951375
Catlog: Book (1982-03-01)
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 452345
Average Customer Review: 3.64 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (95)

4-0 out of 5 stars amusing book by Mark Twain
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur¡¦s Court¡¨ is a hilarious story written by Mark Twain. The story starts out talking about a young man named Hank Morgan, who was somehow transported back to the 6th century in England. He started out thinking that he arrived in an asylum, where everybody thought they were in the time of King Arthur. He later proved himself that he was in the 6th century by witnessing a total solar eclipse which he knew it was going to occur on the twenty-first of June A.D. 528 at 3 minutes after noon. After that event, he was given place in the government, and continuously used his cleverness and knowledge he learned in the 19th century to improve and prefect the country he was living in, during the 6th century. He used his knowledge in the field of science and performed what the people in the medieval times, called magic; and as time progressed he became the country¡¦s most powerful advisor. During this period of time, he kept a journal, which is what most of this book is.
Unlike most of the other stories, the plot of this story was consisted of two time periods, the modern 19th century and the medieval 6th century. The main character, Hank Morgan, was mysteriously sent back and became someone like Jesus because he knew what was happening and what is going to happened already in the history lessons when he was still in the 19th century. A literary device Mark Twain used in this book that made this book very amusing was all the satires Hank used to mock the people in King Arthur¡¦s court. For example, when a page was introducing himself to Mark, Mark said, ¡§Go ¡¥long, you ain¡¦t more than a paragraph.¡¨
I recommend this book for people who want something light and less serious, because this book will give you a good laugh.

4-0 out of 5 stars A recommendation of a very intriguing book
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is an intriguing novel written by Mark Twain. This is a fantastic book for the high school level reader, but would be entertaining to adults as well. I am a freshman in high school, and I enjoyed many attributes of the plot and writing style. In this novel the main character, Hank Morgan, is mysteriously transported from the nineteenth century in Connecticut back to the fifth century in England. During his time in medieval Britain, he keeps a journal which is what most of this book is. The preface and afterwards are both the narration of Mark Twain who writes as if he has found Hank's journal, and is merely writing it down in a book. As the journal starts out, Hank is introduced to King Arthur and after narrowly escaping death and becomes the country's most powerful advisor. Hank introduces many modern wonders to this feudal society. He is hailed a magician, being able to perform wonderful "miracles" and "magic", when it really is only modern science. It is very entertaining to read about how the feeble-minded people of that time react to these feats. In the end, there is a tremendous battle with many exciting episodes leading up to it. If a reader is partial to battle scenes of high caliber, this is a book for him! Of course, Hank has many other battles as well. Once of his biggest enemies is the Church of England. The big question the reader asks themselves during this book is "Will Hank return to his time and if so, how?". It was exciting for me to ponder this question throughout the novel. During Hank's travels through medieval Britain, he meets many people. The people he meets who think a government ruled by the people in Britain (his ultimate goal) would be a good idea, he sends to Camelot where he has schools set up which teach people about modern governmental ideas. Schools were also set up to teach people how to produce his wonders of modern science. These few enlightened people remain loyal to Hank until the very end. I thought it an entertaining notion that people who were trained from birth to believe in one thing, could realize it's faults and begin to believe another things. I really enjoy this book because it brings a lot about human nature into question. It discusses the vast differences of beliefs, manners, and life styles between one hundred years ago and fourteen hundred years ago. I also thought the differences between classic Arthurian legend and Mark Twain's perspective of the time were very interesting. Hanks training of these idealistic people he runs across plays into the large political aspect of this book. Since Hank's ultimate goal is to transform Britain into a country ruled by the people, he starts factories producing modern goods which greatly changes the lives of the Britons. I enjoyed the descriptions of the people's reaction to these modern products of science thirteen centuries before they would be invented. Throughout the entire book commentary and philosophizing concerning the comparison of the fifth century feudal system of Britain and the nineteenth century democracy of the U.S. by Hank Morgan is common. This political aspect is typical of Twain's works. It gave me great pleasure to read this aspect of the book and to comprehend it's meaning. Through Hank Morgan, Mark Twain is able to depict vivid images in the readers mind. Whether it be a person, scene, or sensation felt by Hank Twain describes it in a way which puts a solid picture in the imagination of the reader. I have not seen the movie of this novel, but I have heard it isn't very well done and it is nothing compared to the book. I believe this is because Mark Twain paints such a realistic picture in the mind of the reader, it is nothing compared to what some director can film. From Mark Twain's great descriptions and writing style to the unique ideas presented, the novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is a fantastic novel. There are so many aspects of it to enjoy, and it is just an all around entertaining book. I give this book four out of five stars and I recommend it to any one interested in fantasy, especially if they want a different perspective on King Arthur.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not "cute"; but absolutely fascinating!
This book is not a "good" book, in that it fails to achieve its supposed purpose (which is to deprecate chivalric romance). Yet the sheer fascination of this incredibly poigniant failure is enough to keep me returning! It nothing like the "cute" kids versions and movies that it has inspired. Prepare for a vitriolic horror-ride that seems to prove nothing but man's futility--i.e., welcome to Twaine's latter period. Mark Twain's work of psuedo-realistic phantasy is perhaps the most marked and fascinating failure in literature. In the novel Twain sets science and technology against chivalry and romance. Twaine attempts to overthrow a thousand years of fuedal and romantic tradition by means of scientific and economic efficiency. Yet (without revealing too much) in the end the Yankee must praise the romantic hero King Arthur; has used the very superstitions he disdains to dupe the people; come to love an archetype of the simple medieval personality he despises; and, amazingly, has threatened to destroy an entire civilization. In the end the only thing the Yankee proves is that modern man is far too arrogant for his own good, and that it is all too easy to become the villain you hate. So what was Twaine's point? Supposedly to prove the vast superiority of the modern age over the Chivalric Age. But did Twaine actually believe his utterly amazing ending carried out his task? I doubt it; I think the book is a classic example of Twain's disbelief of everything. But the world my never know.

5-0 out of 5 stars review for connecticut yankee
In the novel, A Connecticut in King Arthur's Court, Mark Twain shows the differences between modern society, and sixth century Great Britain. Hank is a self-assured factory worker who knows how to make just about anything. The protagonist, is mysteriously transported back to the sixth century, when struck in the head by a crowbar.
He uses his vast knowledge of explosives and metals to quickly become a leader in the monarchy. His democratic thoughts and ideas become his ambition as he strives to make Great Britain a republic. Twain's novel shows how much of a change society has gone through from the sixth century to the time of the writing of the novel. He also show's how little education anyone received in the sixth century, even the members of royalty are not very wise. Hank's mediocre education is far superior to anybody's in the whole monarchy, because of the advances in education to the present.
Twain shows that the laws of the sixth century were made for the few against the many. At one point a woman is put to death for stealing just enough food to feed her baby. Hank tries, throughout the book, to get the royalty to realize how unfair their laws are to the common man.
This book makes you feel angry at points about the horribleness of the monarchy, yet ashamed because similar acts still go on in the present. An example would be how the rich and privileged still get the best of everything, while the have-nots get the last and worst of everything, both now and then. Twain has a comic sense in the book, and yet he still shows a contrast between the comic and the serious. This book should be a classic for Twain's creative portrayal of the sixth century, yet also because it makes us think about our society today.

3-0 out of 5 stars Very difficult to read
I read this book, expecting it to be similar to Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. However, I struggled through the old English monologues of some of the characters. While this is an amusing tale of a 19th century American attempting to modernize 6th century Britain, I wish I had applied my recreational reading time elsewhere.

This paperback printing is difficult to read, too. The words run too close to the spine, requiring me to hold the book flat to read. ... Read more

13. Labor Pains: Emerson, Hawthorne, and Alcott on Work and the Woman Question (Literary Criticism and Cultural Theory)
by Carolyn R. Maibor
list price: $80.00
our price: $64.35
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Asin: 0415967929
Catlog: Book (2004-01-01)
Publisher: Routledge
Sales Rank: 687824
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Book Description

This book explores the importance of work and its role in defining and developing the self. Maibor reveals how the writings of Emerson, Hawthorne, and Alcott delve into notions of equality through this emphasis on labor. In doing so she challenges the traiditional view of Emerson as unconcerned with societal issues, and opens the work of Hawthorne and Alcott to new feminist readings. ... Read more

14. Poetry for Students: Presenting Analysis, Context and Criticism on Commonly Studied Poetry (Poetry for Students)
list price: $92.00
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Asin: 0787616885
Catlog: Book (1997-10-01)
Publisher: Thomson Gale
Sales Rank: 694242
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

This book has poetry criticism for the most popular poems studied in the high school and college students. It also includes the complete text for each poem reviewed. This book is excellent for a smaller library that cant afford to buy 72 volumes of literary criticisms. ... Read more

15. Harriet Jacobs and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl : New Critical Essays (Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture)
list price: $25.99
our price: $25.99
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Asin: 0521497795
Catlog: Book (1996-02-23)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 596383
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16. Alias Bill Arp: Charles Henry Smith and the South's Goodly Heritage
by David B. Parker
list price: $30.00
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Asin: 0820313106
Catlog: Book (1991-07-01)
Publisher: Univ of Georgia Pr
Sales Rank: 1357265
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17. Through the Negative: The Photographic Image and the Written Word in Nineteenth-Century American Literature (Literary Criticism and Cultural Theory)
by Megan Rowley Williams, Megan Williams
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Asin: 0415966736
Catlog: Book (2003-08-01)
Publisher: Routledge
Sales Rank: 1914713
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Book Description

The Civil War was the first "image war," as photographs of the battlefields became the dominant means for capturing an epochal historic moment. At the same time, writers used the Civil War to present both their notions of nation and their ideas about the new intersections between photography and literary form. Through the Negative offers an account of the collisions between print and visual culture in the work of Hawthorne, Melville, Twain, and Crane, as they responded to and incorporated the work of such photographers as George Barnard, Alexander Gardner, and Jacob Riis. Megan Rowley Williams examines how key nineteenth-century American writers attempted to combat, understand, and incorporate the advent of photography in their fiction. In so doing, Williams demonstrates how analyzing the impact of photography on the diverse narrative histories of the nineteenth century yields fresh insights about contemporary art and writing-including an epilogue that applies her study to photography of the events of 9/11-as the photographic image continues to shape national consciousness. ... Read more

18. Sporting with the Gods : The Rhetoric of Play and Game in American Literature (Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture)
by Michael Oriard
list price: $120.00
our price: $120.00
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Asin: 052139113X
Catlog: Book (1991-02-22)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 688350
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Book Description

Sporting with the Gods examines the metaphors of "play," "game," and "sport" as they are reflected in American literature and culture. The "race" for salvation and success, the great "games" of business and politics, the distinctive American version of "fair play," the desperate "game" against an all-powerful opponent and the cruelties of chance and fate by which man becomes the "sport of the gods"--all of these metaphors touch fundamental American beliefs about fate and freedom, competition and chance, finitude and possibility. The book traces the cultural history of these metaphors primarily through American literary texts (from Cooper and Hawthorne to Updike and Mailer) but also through a wide range of nonliterary writings (sermons, dime novels, success writing, countercultural manifestos, political rhetoric, etc.) The result is a unique cultural history of America, from its inception to the present. ... Read more

19. Mark Twain, Travel Books, and Tourism: The Tide of a Great Popular Movement (Studies in American Literary Realism and Naturalism)
by Jeffrey Alan Melton
list price: $34.95
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Asin: 0817311602
Catlog: Book (2002-07)
Publisher: University of Alabama Press
Sales Rank: 696181
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20. The Fugitive's Properties : Law and the Poetics of Possession
by Stephen M. Best
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Asin: 0226044335
Catlog: Book (2004-04-02)
Publisher: University Of Chicago Press
Sales Rank: 777552
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In this study of literature and law before and since the Civil War, Stephen M. Best shows how American conceptions of slavery, property, and the idea of the fugitive were profoundly interconnected. The Fugitive's Properties uncovers a poetics of intangible, personified property emerging out of antebellum laws, circulating through key nineteenth-century works of literature, and informing cultural forms such as blackface minstrelsy and early race films.

Best also argues that legal principles dealing with fugitives and indebted persons provided a sophisticated precursor to intellectual property law as it dealt with rights in appearance, expression, and other abstract aspects of personhood. In this conception of property as fleeting, indeed fugitive, American law preserved for much of the rest of the century slavery's most pressing legal imperative: the production of personhood as a market commodity. By revealing the paradoxes of this relationship between fugitive slave law and intellectual property law, Best helps us to understand how race achieved much of its force in the American cultural imagination. A work of ambitious scope and compelling cross-connections, The Fugitive's Properties sets new agendas for scholars of American literature and legal culture.

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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars A compelling study combining law and literature
This book is an exciting study that brings together legal and linguistic conceptions of what it meant for people to be "property" under U.S. chattel slavery, and the impact of these conceptions on post-slavery legislation of race relations.The reason I gave it four stars instead of five is that the question of the rape of slave women and the property in resultant children is not addressed.The author discusses what it might conceivably mean to own a person's labor power, but not what it also means to own her reproductive capacity and the children that resulted, on the one hand, from relations between blacks, and, on the other, relations between white slaveholders and enslaved women.The study is broad-ranging and provocative, but it would be even stronger if gender were considered somewhere other than in the (admittedly fascinating) discussion of the way certain issues play out in very early films. ... Read more

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