Historiography and Narrative Design in the American Romance - Study of Four Authors

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This analysis provides a detailed review of historiographic theory in Europe and America from the Enlightenment through the 19th century, and using M. M. Bakhtin’s theory of novelistic discourse, explores the manner in which historiographic models are incorporated dialogically in the works of James Fenimore Cooper , William Gilmore Simms, Lydia Maria Child, and Nathaniel Hawthorne.


“Frye is at his best when conducting historically-based scholarship, and his textual reading of works like Lydia Maria Child’s Hobomok and James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans bring to these works a high degree of critical sophistication and depth. At the same time, Frye’s theoretical model, outlined in chapter one. . . establishes a useful and insightful interpretive framework for understanding historical narrative in the early nineteenth century, and his discussion of technical historiography in chapter two. . . is something all students of early American literature and culture should read. . . . sure to make a lasting impact on the study of the American historical romance.” – Eric Carl Link

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
Preface by G. R. Thompson
1. The Paradigmatics of Romance
2. Metahistory in the West
3. Metahistory and American Progressivism: Cultural Dialogics in Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans
4. Metahistory and American Progressivism; Cultural Dialogics in Simms’s The Yemassee
5. A Critique of American Progressivism: Lydia Maria Child’s Hobomok
6. Hawthorne’s Aesthetic Dialogism: Historiography and the Negative Romance
Epilogue; Notes; Reference List; Index

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