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New Books: The Altar at Home: Sentimental Literature and Nineteenth-Century American Religion by Claudia Stokes
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“Claudia Stokes presents a more textured account and provocatively mixed assessment of the sentimental tradition of American women’s letters than we have yet encountered.”—Tracy Fessenden, Arizona State University
“This is an excellent book—well researched, innovative, and beautifully written. Claudia Stokes shows a mastery of both literary sentimentalism and religious history, which she uses to bring out compelling new insights about what it meant for women to draw on sentimental codes as they forged new ways of participating in religious culture and public discussions.”—Nancy Bentley, University of Pennsylvania
Displays of devout religious faith are very much in evidence in nineteenth-century sentimental novels such as Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Little Women, but the precise theological nature of this piety has been little examined. In the first dedicated study of the religious contents of sentimental literature, Claudia Stokes counters the long-standing characterization of sentimental piety as blandly nondescript and demonstrates that these works were in fact groundbreaking, assertive, and highly specific in their theological recommendations and endorsements. The Altar at Home explores the many religious contexts and contents of sentimental literature of the American nineteenth century, from the growth of Methodism in the Second Great Awakening and popular millennialism to the developing theologies of Mormonism and Christian Science.
Thinking Outside the Book
In Thinking Outside the Book, Augusta Rohrbach works through the increasing convergences between digital humanities and literary studies to explore the meaning and primacy of the book as a literary, material, and cultural artifact. Rohrbach assembles a rather unlikely cohort of nineteenth-century women writers—Jane Johnston Schoolcraft, Sojourner Truth, Hannah Crafts, Augusta Evans, and Mary Chesnut—to consider the publishing culture of their period from the perspective of our current digital age, bringing together scholarly concepts from both print culture and new media studies.
More than a literary history, this book takes up theories of recovery, literacy, authorship, narrative, the book, and new media in connection with race, gender, class, and region.
“Rohrbach’s readings and archival work demonstrate how valuable the decentering of authorship can be for understanding how racialized and marginalized subjects relate to the literary marketplace, to be sure, but also simply for understanding the networked quality of the marketplace itself in the nineteenth century.”—MATT COHEN, author of The Networked Wilderness: Communicating in Early New England
New Books: Faye Halpern, Sentimental Readers, and Ferda Asya, Writers in Europe: 1850 to the Present
How could novels like Uncle Tom’s Cabin change the hearts and minds of thousands of mid-nineteenth-century readers, yet make so many modern readers cringe at their over-the-top, tear-filled scenes? Sentimental Readers explains why sentimental rhetoric was so compelling to readers of that earlier era, why its popularity waned in the latter part of the nineteenth century, and why today it is generally characterized as overly emotional and artificial. But author Faye Halpern also does more: she demonstrates that this now despised rhetoric remains relevant to contemporary writing teachers and literary scholars.
Writers in Europe: 1850 to the Present. Edited by Ferdâ Asya. Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
The chapters on the works of Nathaniel Parker Willis, E.D.E.N. Southworth, Gertrude Atherton, John Cournos, Edith Wharton, Muriel Rukeyser, Langston Hughes, Edwin Rolfe, John Ashbery, Adrienne Rich, Richard Wilbur, Allen Ginsberg, Harriet Welty Rochefort, and Suzy Gershman, explore the impartial critical outlook that American writers acquired in different parts of Europe, from 1850 to the present, and used as a lens to view Europe and America. Focusing on some less familiar writers, they reveal intriguing aspects of the lives and works of American writers than those of the customarily anthologized expatriates. Offering a broad range of American experiences in Europe in an extensive span of time, the book widens the history of the transatlantic cultural and literary dialogue between America and Europe.
Early American Reprints announces the publication of
Tabitha Gilman Tenney’s Female Quixotism (1801)
Introduction by Mary McAleer Balkun
This novel represents the second to be republished by Early American Reprints, the first being Martha Meredith Read’s Margaretta (1807). Early American Reprints, founded in 2012, is a not-nearly-for-profit, small-run publisher housed at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. The press is funded entirely by its founder, Richard S. Pressman. Each release is a critical edition, with a professional critical introduction, ancillary materials, and extensive explanatory footnotes. For ease of reading, obvious errors in the original are corrected, paragraphing is normalized, and punctuation is modernized—while absolutely maintaining the original text’s integrity. Production quality is high, but prices are low to make the books affordable: (more…)