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Bliss Perry, The American spirit in lierature: a chronicle of great interpreters 8 0 Browse Search
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, A book of American explorers 6 0 Browse Search
George Bancroft, History of the Colonization of the United States, Vol. 1, 17th edition. 2 0 Browse Search
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Browsing named entities in Bliss Perry, The American spirit in lierature: a chronicle of great interpreters. You can also browse the collection for True Relation or search for True Relation in all documents.

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erature of escape. We owe this lesson to the genius of Edgar Allan Poe. Let us test these principles by applying them to the earliest colonists. The first book written on the soil of what is now the United States was Captain John Smith's True Relation of the planting of the Virginia colony in 1607. It was published in London in 1608. The Captain was a typical Elizabethan adventurer, with a gift, like so many of his class, for picturesque narrative. In what sense, if at all, may his wriVirginia plantations which gratify our historical curiosity, but which we no more consider a part of American literature than the books written by Stevenson, Kipling, and Wells during their casual visits to this country. But Captain Smith's True Relation impresses us, like Mark Twain's Roughing it, with being somehow true to type. In each of these books the possible unveracities in detail are a confirmation of their representative American character. In other words, we have unconsciously
Bliss Perry, The American spirit in lierature: a chronicle of great interpreters, Chapter 2: the first colonial literature (search)
Chapter 2: the first colonial literature The simplest and oldest group of colonial writings is made up of records of exploration and adventure. They are like the letters written from California in 1849 to the folks back East. Addressed to home-keeping Englishmen across the sea, they describe the new world, explain the present situation of the colonists, and express their hopes for the future. Captain John Smith's True Relation, already alluded to, is the typical production of this class: a swift marching book, full of eager energy, of bluff and breezy picturesqueness, and of triumphant instinct for the main chance. Like most of the Elizabethans, he cannot help poetizing in his prose. Cod-fishing is to him a sport ; and what sport doth yeald a more pleasing content, and lesse hurt or charge then angling with a hooke, and crossing the sweete ayre from Isle to Isle. over the silent streams of a calme Sea? But the gallant Captain is also capable of very plain speech, Cromwel
ier 158 Tennessee's partner, Harte 242 Thanatopsis, Bryant 103, 104, 106 Thomas, Edith, 257 Thompson, Denman, 248 Thoreau, H. D., representative of New England thought, 119; life and writings, 130-39; nature-writing, 262; typically American, 265 Ticknor, George, 89, 111, 178, 216 Timrod, Henry, 225 To Helen, Poe 189, 192 Tom Sawyer, Clemens 238 Tour of the prairies, Irving 91 Transcendentalism, 111 et seq., 218; bibliography, 270-71 Tritemius, Whittier 161 True Relation, Smith 8-10, 25-26 True Reportory of the Wrack of Sir Thomas Gates, Kt. Vpon and from the Islands of the Bermudas, Strachey 26 Tuckerman, F. G., quoted, 117 Twain, Mark, see Clemens, S. L. Twicetold tales, Hawthorne 148 Tyler, Professor, 64 Ulalume, Poe 192 Uncle Tom's cabin, Stowe 98, 208, 219, 220-23 Union of the colonies, Franklin 59 Unitarianism, 112-13 Verplanck, J. C., 107 Very, Jones, 141 Virginia, a continuation of English society, 14; in 1724,