The English Literatures of America, 1500-1800

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Myra Jehlen, Michael Warner
Psychology Press, 1997 - 1118 pages
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"The book begins with the first colonization of the Americas and stretches beyond the Revolution to the early national period. Placing the literary culture of the settlements in the context of other colonies as well as the growing cosmopolitan culture of the British empire itself, this lively reader contains numerous dialogues across the English Atlantic world. While historically sound and thorough, this anthology responds to current interests, for example, the global context of national cultures; the relation between colonial histories and cosmopolitan culture; or the omissions and margins of the literary record. The English Literatures of America offers a wide range of voices, including women writers on both sides of the ocean, early English-language texts of Native Americans, and writings of Africans both slave and free, in London as well as in the American colonies. It includes texts from elite as well as common cultures, Puritans in New England as well as Puritans in the West Indies, regional cultures in the colonial South as well as the grand cosmopolitan culture of imperial London. The organization of The English Literatures of America involves a thorough rethinking of colonial American literature while retaining the standards of the American canon. American literatures are for the first time presented in an international and colonial context. Not only do new texts appear; familiar ones have new significance. The Puritans can be read as they understood themselves, i.e., as New English. Many texts are collected here for the first time in any anthology. Others are recognized masterpieces of the canon--both British and American--that for the first time can be read in their Atlantic context. Here, for example, are Francis Bacon, Andrew Marvell, Alexander Pope and Adam Smith, as well as Bradstreet, Wheatley, Edwards and Franklin. Despite the unparalleled scope of this anthology, many texts are given complete rather than in snippets. These include Hariot's Brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia, Aphra Behn's play The Widow Ranter, numerous essays by Benjamin Franklin and others. By emphasizing the culture of empire and by representing a transatlantic dialogue, The English Literatures of America allows a new way to understand colonial literature both in the United States and abroad."--Publisher's description.
 

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Contents

Sir John Mandeville
8
Learning to Say America in English
39
William Lightfoot
63
Definition of colony from The Planters Plea 1630
100
from A Modell of Christian Charity 1630
151
Thomas Morton
168
Virginia and the Indies
195
Ned Edward Ward
299
Daniel Defoe
689
Charles Brockden Brown
697
Dr Alexander Hamilton
708
Nathaniel Ames II
716
The Literature of Politics
813
Edmund Burke
850
Thomas Paine
865
Benjamin Franklin
891

New England and Canada
305
John Josselyn
315
Anne Bradstreet
322
Mary Rowlandson
349
Ned Ward
400
The Trials of Puritanism
429
at the Court at Newtown 1637
435
Richard Saltonstall
457
The Seventeenth Century
489
Increase Mather
504
The Seventeenth Century
527
Andrew Marvell
544
Religion in the Enlightenment
597
Histories
683
The Eighteenth Century
901
William Bartram
939
Belles Lettres
949
from The History of the Ancient and Honorable Tuesday Club
958
Fisher Ames
1000
The Eighteenth Century
1011
Benjamin Tompson
1032
three versions of Psalm 137
1040
Food for Criticks 1730
1044
George Berkeley Bishop of Cloyne
1060
Mary Nelson
1073
Philip Freneau
1104
INDEX
1113
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About the author (1997)

Myra Jehlen is the Board of Governors Professor of Literature at Rutgers University. She is the author of "American Incarnation: The Individual, the Nation, and the Continent," among others, and coeditor of "The English Literatures of America, 1500-1800,

Warner is a tenured professor of English at Rutgers University, where he teaches American Literature and Queer Studies.

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