A Brief History of American Literature by Richard Gray

By Richard Gray

  • A short heritage of yank Literature deals scholars and basic readers a concise and up to date background of the total diversity of yankee writing from its origins until eventually the current day. 
  • Represents the single updated concise background of yank literature 
  • Covers fiction, poetry, drama and non-fiction, in addition to taking a look  at other kinds of literature together with folktales, spirituals, the detective tale, the mystery and technology fiction
  • Considers how our knowing of yank literature has replaced over the last twenty years
  • Offers scholars an abridged model of History of yank Literature, a publication generally thought of the traditional   survey text 
  • Provides a useful creation to the topic for college kids of yank literature, American stories and all these drawn to the literature and tradition of the United States

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Born in New York City, of a French Huguenot father and a Scottish mother, he began his poetic career as a celebrant of “Fancy, regent of the mind,” and the power Fancy gave him to roam far to “Britain’s fertile land,” then back to “California’s golden shore” (“The Power of Fancy” (1770)). Events, however, soon conspired to turn his interests in a more political and less Anglophile direction. With college friends, Hugh Brackenridge and James Madison, he wrote some Satires Against the Tories (1775); and with Brackenridge he also wrote a long poem in celebration of The Rising Glory of America.

Here, he developed his persona, “the friend of all good men,” and his characteristic argumentative strategy, also enshrined in his Autobiography, of weaving seamlessly together the imperatives of self-help and altruism, personal need and the claims of society. Here, and elsewhere, Franklin also elaborated his belief in America. His homeplace, Franklin explained in “Information to Those Who Would Remove to America” (1784), was a place where “people do not inquire concerning a Stranger, What is he?

But that did not enable him to escape the anger of many Americans: he was vilified in papers and on pulpits as a threat to both Christian and democratic faiths; and he was condemned to live his last few years in obscurity. Obscurity was never to be the fate of Thomas Jefferson (1724–1826). A person of eclectic interests – and, in that, the inheritor of a tradition previously best illustrated by William Byrd of Westover – Jefferson’s very myriad-mindedness has led to quite contradictory interpretations of both his aims and his achievement.

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