Dekker traces the American historical vel from its origins in the early 1800s to the beginning of World War II, examining the genre's connections with Enlightenment and Romantic theories of history, the rise of literary regionalism, the ambitions of Romantic writers to revive the epic and romance, changing gender roles, and individual authors' troubled responses to the modern era's great revolutionary and imperialistic conflicts. Though concerned with the historical romance's development, Dekker devotes most of this book to new readings of major texts by James Fenimore Cooper, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Allen Tate, Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, and William Faulkner, as well as to the Briton whose name is synymous with the genre, Sir Walter Scott.
Cambridge University Press
Date of Publication
Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture