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Bliss Perry, The American spirit in lierature: a chronicle of great interpreters 10 0 Browse Search
Cambridge History of American Literature: volume 1, Colonial and Revolutionary Literature: Early National Literature: Part I (ed. Trent, William Peterfield, 1862-1939., Erskine, John, 1879-1951., Sherman, Stuart Pratt, 1881-1926., Van Doren, Carl, 1885-1950.) 6 0 Browse Search
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Carlyle's laugh and other surprises 4 0 Browse Search
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Letters and Journals of Thomas Wentworth Higginson 2 0 Browse Search
Cambridge History of American Literature: volume 3 (ed. Trent, William Peterfield, 1862-1939., Erskine, John, 1879-1951., Sherman, Stuart Pratt, 1881-1926., Van Doren, Carl, 1885-1950.) 2 0 Browse Search
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The new world and the new book 2 0 Browse Search
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Cambridge History of American Literature: volume 1, Colonial and Revolutionary Literature: Early National Literature: Part I (ed. Trent, William Peterfield, 1862-1939., Erskine, John, 1879-1951., Sherman, Stuart Pratt, 1881-1926., Van Doren, Carl, 1885-1950.), Chapter 7: fiction II--contemporaries of Cooper. (search)
who were being entertained. Cooper, like Scott, was more elevated than Fielding and Smollett, more realistic than the Gothic romancers, more humane than Godwin or Brown. The two most common charges against the older fiction, that it pleased wickedly and that it taught nothing, had broken down before the discovery, except in illibpture that section for classic ground. Paulding and Hoffman assisted Cooper in New York, and Paulding took Swedish Delaware for himself; for Pennsylvania Bird was Brown's chief successor; Maryland had Kennedy; Virginia, without many native novels, began to undergo, in the hands of almost every romancer who dealt with the founders e during the winter of 1807-8, Simms got but a bare schooling and was early apprenticed to a druggist. He seems, during his youth, to have been as bookish as Brockden Brown, but it was romantic poetry and history which claimed his attention, not romantic speculation. From his grandmother, with whom he lived as a boy, he heard in
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Letters and Journals of Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Chapter 7: Cambridge in later life (search)
or Boston, but of a Calvinistic back-country, where he was injured for life and almost perished of repression and atrophy. January 9, 1888 Do pay proper attention to William Austin, of whom Duyckinck has some account. I think his Peter Rugg had marked influence on Hawthorne. At any rate, he anticipated Hawthorne in what may be called the penumbra of his style-passing out of a purely imaginative creation through a medium neither real nor unreal and so getting back to common earth. Brockden Brown could not do this, but always had to come back with a slump upon somnambulism or ventriloquism; and Edward Bellamy, who has I think more of the pure Hawthorne invention than any of our men, fails always in the same way. Austin's English travels, which I have, are racy and remarkable, especially for the period (1804). I knew his daughter and granddaughters, all uncommonly fine women. Cambridge, May 13, 1903 It is a great pleasure to hear from you again, and all the more since you a
Bliss Perry, The American spirit in lierature: a chronicle of great interpreters, Chapter 3: the third and fourth generation (search)
l education and colonial science were likewise chiefly indebted to London, but by 1751 Franklin's papers on electricity began to repay the loan. A university club in New York in 1745 could have had but fifteen members at most, for these were all the academics in town. Yet Harvard had then been sending forth her graduates for more than a century. William and Mary was founded in 1693, Yale in 1701, Princeton in 1746, King's (now Columbia) in 1754, the University of Pennsylvania in 1755, and Brown in 1764. These colonial colleges were mainly in the hands of clergymen. They tended to reproduce a type of scholarship based upon the ancient languages. The curriculum varied but little in the different colonies, and this fact helped to produce a feeling of fellowship among all members of the republic of letters. The men who debated the Stamp Act were, with a few striking exceptions, men trained in Latin and Greek, familiar with the great outlines of human history, accustomed to the dis
Bliss Perry, The American spirit in lierature: a chronicle of great interpreters, Chapter 5: the Knickerbocker group (search)
Europe the real romance of the American wilderness. That Cooper was the first to perceive the artistic possibilities of this romance, no one would claim. Brockden Brown, a Quaker youth of Philadelphia, a disciple of the English Godwin, had tried his hand at the very end of the eighteenth century upon American variations of the Gothic romance then popular in England. Brown had a keen eye for the values of the American landscape and even of the American Indian. He had a knack for passages of ghastly power, as his descriptions of maniacs, murderers, sleep-walkers, and solitaries abundantly prove. But he had read too much and lived too little to rival trred to the pages of his American Indian stories, Atala and Rene, the mystery and enchantment of our dark forests and endless rivers. But Chateaubriand, like Brockden Brown, is feverish. A taint of old-world eroticism and despair hovers like a miasma over his magnificent panorama of the wilderness. Cooper, like Scott, is mascu
by Conway, 4 volumes (1895), Philip Freneau, Poems, 3 volumes (Princeton edition, 1902), Thomas Jefferson, Works edited by P. L. Ford, 10 volumes (1892-1898), J. Woolman, Journal (edited by Whittier, 1871, and also in Everyman's Library), the Federalist (edited by H. C. Lodge, 1888). Chapter 5. Washington Irving, Works, 40 volumes (1891-1897), also his Life and letters by P. M. Irving, 4 volumes (1862-1864). Fenimore Cooper, Works, 32 volumes (1896), Life by T. R. Lounsbury (1883). Brockden Brown, Works, 6 volumes, (1887). W. C. Bryant, Poems, 2 volumes (1883), Prose, 2 volumes (1884), and his Life by John Bigelow (1890). Chapter 6. H. C. Goddard, Studies in New England Transcendentalism (1908). R. W. Emerson, Works, 12 volumes (Centenary edition, 1903), Journal, 10 volumes (1909-1914), his Life by J. E. Cabot, 2 volumes (1887), by R. Garnett (1887), by G. E. Woodberry (1905); see also Ralph Waldo Emerson, a critical study by O. W. Firkins (1915). H. D. Thoreau, Works, 20
Cambridge History of American Literature: volume 3 (ed. Trent, William Peterfield, 1862-1939., Erskine, John, 1879-1951., Sherman, Stuart Pratt, 1881-1926., Van Doren, Carl, 1885-1950.), Book III (continued) (search)
t found so delayed a favour with publishers that his books were all posthumous—Cecil Dreeme (1861), John Brent (1862), Edwin Brothertoft (1862), The canoe and the saddle (1863), and Life in the open air and other papers (1863). Mr. Waddy's return, written earliest of all, was first published in 1904, edited and condensed by Burton Egbert Stevenson. Time might, it is urged, have made Winthrop the legitimate successor of Hawthorne, but in fact he progressed little beyond the qualities of Brockden Brown, whom he considerably resembles in his strenuous nativism, his melodramatic plots, his abnormal characters, his command over the mysterious, and his breathless style. Of the three novels John Brent is easily the most interesting by reason of its vigorous narrative of adventures in the Far West, at that time a region still barely touched by fiction, and its magnificent hero, the black horse Don Fulano. That Winthrop's real talent looked forward in this direction rather than backward to
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Carlyle's laugh and other surprises, V. James Fenimore Cooper (search)
into him less of life than Marryat imparts to the most ordinary midshipman. The talk of Cooper's civilian worthies is, as Professor Lounsbury has well said,--in what is perhaps the best biography yet written of any American author,--of a kind not known to human society. This is doubtless aggravated by the frequent use of thee and thou, yet this, which Professor Lounsbury attributes to Cooper's Quaker ancestry, was in truth a part of the formality of the old period, and is found also in Brockden Brown. And as his writings conform to their period in this, so they did in other respects: describing every woman, for instance, as a female, and making her to be such as Cooper himself describes the heroine of Mercedes of Castile to be when he says, Her very nature is made up of religion and female decorum. Scott himself could also draw such inane figures, yet in Jeanie Deans he makes an average Scotch woman heroic, and in Meg Merrilies and Madge Wildfire he paints the extreme of daring sel
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Carlyle's laugh and other surprises, XXIV. a half-century of American literature (1857-1907) (search)
ated classes. Many years after, when Mrs. Frances Anne Kemble, writing in reference to the dramatic stage, pointed out that the theatrical instinct of Americans created in them an affinity for the French which the English, hating exhibitions of emotion and self-display, did not share, she recognized in our nation this tinge of the French temperament, while perhaps giving to it an inadequate explanation. Iii The local literary prominence given, first to Philadelphia by Franklin and Brockden Brown, and then to New York by Cooper and Irving, was in each case too detached and fragmentary to create more than these individual fames, however marked or lasting these may be. It required time and a concentrated influence to constitute a literary group in America. Bryant and Channing, with all their marked powers, served only as a transition to it. Yet the group was surely coming, and its creation has perhaps never been put in so compact a summary as that made by that clear-minded ex-edit
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The new world and the new book, VI (search)
one permanent phrase to English literature. I remember well the surprise produced, in my boyhood, by the appearance of Stanley; or, The Recollections of a Man of the World. It was so crammed with miscellaneous literary allusion and criticism, after the fashion of those days, that it was attributed by some critics to Edward Everett, then the standing representative of omniscience in our Eastern States. This literary material was strung loosely upon a plot wild and improbable enough for Brockden Brown, and yet vivid enough to retain a certain charm, for me at least, even until this day. It was this plot, perhaps, which led the late James T. Fields to maintain that Maturin was the author of the novel in question; but it is now known to have been the production of Horace Binney Wallace of Philadelphia, then a youth of twenty-one. In this book occurs the sentence: Byron's European fame is the best earnest of his immortality, for a foreign nation is a kind of contemporaneous posterity.