Masterpieces of American Romantic Literature

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006 - 202 pages


The Romantic movement led to some of the greatest works of 19th-century American literature. Written expressly for students, this book offers succinct introductions to 10 of the most important works of American Romanticism, many of which reflect the social, political, and historical concerns of the era. Included are chapters on Emerson's essays, Poe's The Raven and selected stories, Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, and several other major texts or collections. Each chapter provides biographical information, a review of the author's critical reception, and a discussion of characters, plot, themes, language, and other topics. The volume closes with a bibliography of primary and secondary sources.

Romanticism significantly influenced American literature in the 19th century and led to what has sometimes been called the American Renaissance. The Romantic movement and the period roughly contemporaneous with the Civil War gave birth to some of the most creative and enduring poems, novels, short fiction, and essays. These works are among the most imaginative and challenging pieces of American literature and hold a central place in the curriculum. In addition to their value as literary works, they chronicle the enormous social, political, and historical changes taking place in America. Written expressly for high school students, this book conveniently introduces the major works of American Romanticism.


    The volume begins with an introductory essay on the Romantic movement. This is followed by chapters on individual works or collections by major authors. Included are chapters on:

  • Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans
  • Dickinson's poems
  • Emerson's essays
  • Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter
  • Longfellow's Evangeline
  • Melville's Moby-Dick
  • Poe's The Raven and short fiction
  • Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin
  • Thoreau's Walden
  • Whitman's Song of Myself
  • Each chapter provides biographical information, a review of the author's critical reception, and a discussion of plot, themes, characters, language, and other topics. The volume closes with a bibliography.

 

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Contents

2 Ralph Waldo Emerson Selected Essays
29
3 Edgar Allan Poe The Raven and Selected Stories
43
4 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Evangeline 1847
63
5 Nathaniel Hawthorne The Scarlet Letter 1850
77
6 Herman Melville MobyDick 1851
95
7 Harriet Beecher Stowe Uncle Toms Cabin 1852
115
8 Henry David Thoreau Walden or Life in the Woods 1854
133
9 Walt Whitman Song of Myself 1855
149
10 Emily Dickinson Selected Poems
165
Bibliography
183
Index
197
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About the author (2006)

Melissa McFarland Pennell is Professor of English at University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

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