A History of American Literature, 1607-1765

A History of American Literature, 1607-1765

A History of American Literature, 1607-1765

A History of American Literature, 1607-1765

Excerpt

It is my purpose to write the history of American literature from the earliest English settlements in this country, down to the present time. I hope to accomplish the work within the space of three or four volumes. Each of these volumes will cover a distinct period in the intellectual life of the American people; and while between the several volumes there will exist the tie of mutual interpretation and of historical consecutiveness, it is intended that each shall be, with reference to the epoch which it portrays, a complete and independent work.

Such unity and completeness have been aimed at in the present volumes, which, together, may be described as a history of the rise of American literature at the several isolated colonial centres, where at first each had its peculiar literary accent; of the growth of this sporadic colonial literature in copiousness, range, flexibility, in elegance and force, and especially in tendency toward a common national accent; until, finally, in 1765, after all the years of our minority and of our filial obedience had been lived, the scattered voices of the thirteen colonies were for the first time brought together and blended in one great and resolute utterance:--an utterance expressive of criticism upon the parental control wielded over us by England, of dissent from that control, and at last of resistance to it; an utterance which meant, among other things, that the thirteen colonies were no longer thirteen colonies but a single nation only, with all its great hopes and great fears in common, with its ideas, its determinations, its literature, in common likewise. The real ending of our colonial epoch, the real beginning of our revolutionary epoch, coincided in that tremendous year of disenchantment, the year 1765. That year . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.