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The Oxford History of the Novel in English – Volume 5: The American Novel to 1870 - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Oxford History of the Novel in English: Volume 5: The American Novel to 1870

J. Gerald Kennedy and Leland S. Person


The American Revolution and the Civil War bracket roughly eight decades of formative change in a republic created in 1776 by a gesture that was both rhetorical and performative. The subsequent construction of U.S. national identity influenced virtually all art forms, especially prose fiction, until internal conflict disrupted the project of nation-building. This volume reassesses, in an authoritative way, the principal forms and features of the emerging American novel. It includes chapters on: the beginnings of the novel in the United States; the novel and nation-building; the publishing indus ... More

Keywords: novel, American Revolution, Civil War, national identity, prose fiction, publishing industry, Antebellum America, nation-building

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780195385359
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780195385359.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

J. Gerald Kennedy, editor
Louisiana State University

Leland S. Person, editor
Texas A&M University

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J. Gerald Kennedy and Leland S. Person

Part I The Beginnings of the Novel in the United States

Part II The Novel and American Nation Building

9 America’s Europe

J. Gerald Kennedy

Part III The American Publishing World and the Novel

11 The Perils of Authorship

Lara Langer Cohen and Meredith L. Mcgill

13 Cheap Sensation

Shelley Streeby

Part IV Leading Novelists of Antebellum America

14 James Fenimore Cooper

Wayne Franklin

15 Catharine Maria Sedgwick

James L. Machor

17 Herman Melville

Jonathan Arac

Part V Major Novels

19 The Last of the Mohicans

Leland S. Person

20 The Scarlet Letter

Monika Elbert

Part VI Cultural Influences on the American Novel, 1820–1870

24 The Transamerican Novel

Anna Brickhouse

Part VII Fictional Subgenres

34 Surviving National Disunion

Paul Christian Jones