By Shirley Samuels
Chapter 1 nationwide Narrative and the matter of yank Nationhood (pages 7–19): J. Gerald Kennedy
Chapter 2 Fiction and Democracy (pages 20–30): Paul Downes
Chapter three Democratic Fictions (pages 31–39): Sandra M. Gustafson
Chapter four Engendering American Fictions (pages 40–51): Martha J. Cutter and Caroline F. Levander
Chapter five Race and Ethnicity (pages 52–63): Robert S. Levine
Chapter 6 classification (pages 64–74): Philip Gould
Chapter 7 Sexualities (pages 75–86): Valerie Rohy
Chapter eight faith (pages 87–96): Paul Gutjahr
Chapter nine schooling and Polemic (pages 97–107): Stephanie Foote
Chapter 10 Marriage and agreement (pages 108–118): Naomi Morgenstern
Chapter eleven Transatlantic Ventures (pages 119–130): Wil Verhoeven and Stephen Shapiro
Chapter 12 different Languages, different Americas (pages 131–144): Kirsten Silva Gruesz
Chapter thirteen Literary Histories (pages 147–157): Michael Drexler and Ed White
Chapter 14 Breeding and analyzing: Chesterfieldian Civility within the Early Republic (pages 158–167): Christopher Lukasik
Chapter 15 the yank Gothic (pages 168–178): Marianne Noble
Chapter sixteen Sensational Fiction (pages 179–190): Shelley Streeby
Chapter 17 Melodrama and American Fiction (pages 191–203): Lori Merish
Chapter 18 soft barriers: Passing and different “Crossings” in Fictionalized Slave Narratives (pages 204–215): Cherene Sherrard?Johnson
Chapter 19 medical professionals, our bodies, and Fiction (pages 216–227): Stephanie P. Browner
Chapter 20 legislation and the yankee Novel (pages 228–238): Laura H. Korobkin
Chapter 21 exertions and Fiction (pages 239–248): Cindy Weinstein
Chapter 22 phrases for kids (pages 249–261): Carol J. Singley
Chapter 23 Dime Novels (pages 262–273): Colin T. Ramsey and Kathryn Zabelle Derounian?Stodola
Chapter 24 Reform and Antebellum Fiction (pages 274–284): Chris Castiglia
Chapter 25 the matter of town (pages 287–300): Heather Roberts
Chapter 26 New Landscapes (pages 301–313): Timothy Sweet
Chapter 27 The Gothic Meets Sensation: Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Allan Poe, George Lippard, and E. D. E. N. Southworth (pages 314–329): Dana Luciano
Chapter 28 Retold Legends: Washington Irving, James Kirke Paulding, and John Pendleton Kennedy (pages 330–341): Philip Barnard
Chapter 29 Captivity and Freedom: Ann Eliza Bleecker, Harriet Prescott Spofford, and Washington Irving's “Rip Van Winkle” (pages 342–352): Eric Gary Anderson
Chapter 30 New England stories: Catharine Sedgwick, Catherine Brown, and the Dislocations of Indian Land (pages 353–364): Bethany Schneider
Chapter 31 Harriet Beecher Stowe, Caroline Lee Hentz, Herman Melville, and American Racialist Exceptionalism (pages 365–377): Katherine Adams
Chapter 32 Fictions of the South: Southern graphics of Slavery (pages 378–387): Nancy Buffington
Chapter 33 The West (pages 388–399): Edward Watts
Chapter 34 The outdated Southwest: Mike Fink, Augustus Baldwin Longstreet, Johnson Jones Hooper, and George Washington Harris (pages 400–410): David Rachels
Chapter 35 James Fenimore Cooper and the discovery of the yankee Novel (pages 411–424): Wayne Franklin
Chapter 36 the ocean: Herman Melville and Moby?Dick (pages 425–433): Stephanie A. Smith
Chapter 37 nationwide Narrative and nationwide heritage (pages 434–444): Russ Castronovo
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Additional resources for A Companion to American Fiction 1780-1865
Samuel Miller was complaining that ‘‘all classes of persons in society from the dignified professional character to the lowest grades of laboring indigence, seek and devour novels’’ (1803: 171–2). Cathy Davidson, in her landmark study of the early American novel, notes that while the number of social libraries in the American colonies (open to members who bought shares and paid an annual fee) grew by 376 between 1731 and 1800, most of those new libraries, 266 of them, opened in the final decade of the century (1986: 27).
For the most part, these attempts have noted the correlation between the rise of the novel and the spread of democracy, even if the postrevolutionary escalation in the consumption and production of novels actually coincided with a well-documented series of attempts to limit the extension of the franchise. A more nuanced approach to the politics of the genre, however, has taken into account the novel’s dual relationship to voice and print. The American Revolution and the proliferating genre of narrative fiction gave ‘‘voice’’ to more ‘‘ordinary people’’; but both phenomena also exploited the range and effects of print reproduction in such a way as to give greater cultural force to various forms of anonymous utterance.
Indeed, there is much to suggest that late eighteenth-century cultural critics saw the rise of the novel and the spread of democracy as related phenomena. For ‘‘Federalist men of letters,’’ Lewis Simpson writes, there existed ‘‘an analogy between the threat of democracy to the political order and the danger of democracy to the organization and control of literature’’ (1960: 253). ‘‘In the department of belles-lettres,’’ wrote a 22 Paul Downes contributor to the Columbian Phoenix (Boston) in 1800, ‘‘some fatality seems to impose insurmountable obstacles to our excellence, and threatens an eternal democracy instead of a well-organized republic of letters, and almost in defiance of nature, a perpetual equality of fame’’ (quoted in Simpson 1960: 259).
A Companion to American Fiction 1780-1865 by Shirley Samuels