Manual Literary History Writing, 1770-1820

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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon. May 28, - Published on Amazon. Fronius gives a good overview of the historical situation of women writing at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century. She also brings in new archival research that corrects the impression that discourse equals reality. This kind of thinking comes from reading lots of Foucault in grad school, I would guess. The repressive gender talk coming from heavyweights like Campe, Schiller, Fichte, and Humboldt which Fronius nicely reproduces and analyzes in her first chapter does not actually reflect the self-image and behavior of many of their female contemporaries, in this case female authors who were often determined and business-like in their pursuit of publication and confident in their printed rebuttals of the prevailing discourse on gender.

The only time I hesitated was in Fronius's conclusion, where she briefly seems to suggest that literary scholars are, as a breed, incapable of distinguishing between complex historical reality and discourse. On the whole, a very useful book. Go to Amazon.


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English Choose a language for shopping. Audible Download Audio Books. Franklin knew the importance of those foundation habits, without which higher morality is not possible. He impressed on men the necessity of being regular, temperate, industrious, saving, of curbing desire, and of avoiding vice.

The very foundations of character rest on regularity, on good habits so inflexibly formed that it is painful to break them. Franklin's success in laying these foundations was phenomenal. His Poor Richard's Almanac , begun in , was one of his chief agencies in reaching the common people. They read, reread, and acted on such proverbs as the following, which he published in this Almanac from year to year. The figures in parenthesis indicate the year of publication. It had been translated into nearly all European languages before the end of the nineteenth century.

It is still reprinted in whole or part almost every year by savings banks and societies in France and England, as well as in the United States. He has influenced, and he still continues to influence, the industry and thrift of untold numbers. He is the first American writer to show a keen sense of humor. He used this with fine effect when he was colonial agent in England. Here's the King of Prussia claiming a right to this kingdom!

Literary History Writing, – | SpringerLink

In writing English prose, Franklin was fortunate in receiving instruction from Bunyan and Addison. Simplicity, practicality, suggestiveness, common sense, were his leading attributes. His sense of humor kept him from being tiresome and made him realize that the half may be greater than the whole. The two people most useful to the age in which they lived were George Washington and Benjamin Franklin.

A great altruist, this Quaker supplements Franklin in teaching that the great aim in life should be to grow more capable of seeing those spiritual realities which were before invisible. Life's most beautiful realities can never be seen with the physical eye. It will broaden the reader's sympathies and develop a keener sense of responsibility for lessening the misery of the world and for protecting even the sparrow from falling.

It will cultivate precisely that side of human nature which stands most in need of development. He never received much education.

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Early in life he became a shopkeeper's clerk and then a tailor. This lack of early training and broad experience affects his writings, which are not remarkable for ease of expression or for imaginative reach; but their moral beauty and intensity more than counterbalance such deficiencies. A part of his time he spent traveling as an itinerant preacher.


He tried to get Quakers to give up their slaves, and he refused to write wills that bequeathed slaves. He pleaded for compassion for overworked oxen and horses. He journeyed among the Indians, and endeavored to improve their condition. It cut him to the quick to see traders try to intoxicate them so as to get their skins and furs for almost nothing. He took passage for England in the steerage, and learned the troubles of the sailors. From this voyage he never returned, but died in York in Franklin looked steadily at this world, Woolman at the next.

Each record is supplementary to the other. She published in Boston in a novel entitled The Power of Sympathy.

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This is probably the first American novel to appear in print. The reason for such a late appearance of native fiction may be ascribed to the religious character of the early colonists and to the ascendency of the clergy, who would not have tolerated novel reading by members of their flocks. Jonathan Edwards complained that some of his congregation were reading forbidden books, and he gave from the pulpit the names of the guilty parties. These books were probably English novels. There is little doubt that a Puritan church member would have been disciplined if he had been known to be a reader of some of Fielding's works, like Joseph Andrews The Puritan clergy, even at a later period, would not sanction the reading of novels unless they were of the dry, vapid type, like the earliest Sunday school books.

Jonathan Edwards wrote the story of one of his youthful experiences, but it was "the story of a spiritual experience so little involved with the earth, that one might fancy it the story of a soul that had missed being born.

Timothy Dwight became president of Yale in , said that there is a great gulf fixed between novels and the Bible. Even later than there was a widespread feeling that the reading of novels imperiled the salvation of the soul. To-day we know that certain novels are as dangerous to the soul as leprosy to the body, but we have become more discriminating.

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We have learned that the right type of fiction, read in moderation, cultivates the imagination, broadens the sympathetic powers, and opens up a new, interesting, and easily accessible land of enjoyment. One of these characters, looking at some flowers embroidered by the absent object of his affections, says, "It shall yield more fragrance to my soul than all the bouquets in the universe. The majority of the early novels, in aiming to teach some lesson, show the influence of Samuel Richardson, the father of English fiction.

This didactic spirit appears in sober statement of the most self-evident truths. Another characteristic is tepid or exaggerated sentimentality. Only an antiquary need linger over these. We must next study the causes that led to a pronounced change in fiction. The next step in fiction will show a breaking away from the classic or didactic school of Samuel Richardson and a turning toward the new Gothic or romantic school.

To understand these terms, we must know something of the English influences that led to this change. For the first two thirds of the eighteenth century, English literature shows the dominating influence of the classic school. Alexander Pope — in poetry and Samuel Johnson — in prose were the most influential of this school. Horace, more than any other classic writer, set the standard for poetry. Pope and his followers cared more for the excellence of form than for the worth of the thought.

Their keynote was:. In poetry the favorite form was a couplet, that is, two lines which rhymed and usually made complete sense. This was aptly termed "rocking horse meter. Johnson in his comparison of Pope and Dryden:.

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Such overemphasis placed on mere form tended to draw the attention of the writer away from the matter.