A Chronological Outline of American Literature

A Chronological Outline of American Literature

A Chronological Outline of American Literature

A Chronological Outline of American Literature

Synopsis

"This convenient reference tool will supplement basic sources. . . . Suitable for all libraries with American literature collections." Choice

Excerpt

As the title indicates, the Chronological Outline of American Literature is intended, principally, to assist scholars, students, and general readers of American literature in determining the extent of literary activity and of events related to literature in the United States during a specific year, decade, or even century. As such, this volume should not be considered a repository for literary trivia, wherein mental gymnasts may leap over one another in their efforts to memorize dates, authors, and titles that, in and by themselves, have little meaning and even less value. Rather, the entries upon the pages of this reference book will enable the serious reader to comprehend the significance of events and activities as they have affected and contributed to the literary history of the United States.

For example, consider the centennial of the nation, 1876, a year embedded in the minds and notebooks of historians essentially because of Alexander Graham Bell's first transmission, Colorado's admission to the Union as the thirty-eighth state, the Battle of the Little Big Horn, the formation of the National Baseball League, and the James brothers' raid on Northfield, Minnesota. In that same year, the American Chemical Society came into being, while the Boston Public Library and the Johns Hopkins University both flung open new doors. Ira David Sankey composed his collection of Gospel Hymns (a series extending to 1891); GeneralHenry Martin Robert published his Rules of Order; Thomas Y. Crowell founded his publishing firm; and young Melville Dewey set forth a new system for the classification of library books.

Yet, neither we nor the historians should fail to remember that Americans living in 1876 could have witnessed, if interested, the publication of Louisa /> May Alcott Rose in Bloom and Silver Pitchers and Independence; Mark Twain Adventures of Tom Sawyer; Ralph Waldo Emerson Letters and Social Aims; Bret Harte Gabriel Conroy and Two Men of Sandy Bar; the first publication of Nathaniel Hawthorne The Dolliver Romance; Henry James' Roderick Hudson; Herman Melville poem, Clarel; Charles Dudley Warner My Winter on the Nile . . .

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