American Literature before 1865

Showing 1–24 of 27 results

  • Coming Soon

    Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Essayist, lecturer, poet, and America’s first “public intellectual,” Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) is the central figure in nineteenth-century American letters and the leader (albeit reluctantly)…

  • Ida May

    The sentimental antislavery novel Ida May appeared so like its predecessor in the genre, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, that for the month of November 1854, reviewers…

  • Civil Disobedience

    In 1848, Henry David Thoreau twice delivered lectures in Concord, Massachusetts, on “the relationship of the individual to the state.” The essay now known as…

  • Pudd’nhead Wilson and Those Extraordinary Twins

    The two narratives published together in The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson and the Comedy Those Extraordinary Twins are overflowing with spectacular events. Twain shows us…

  • Clotel

    As nearly all of its reviewers pointed out, Clotel was an audience-minded performance, an effort to capitalize on the post—Uncle Tom’s Cabin “mania” for abolitionist…

  • Kelroy

    Kelroy, a nearly-forgotten 1812 novel by Rebecca Rush, combines the refinement of the novel of manners with the Gothic novel’s hidden evil to tell the…

  • The Garies and Their Friends

    Unjustly overlooked in its own time, Frank J. Webb’s novel of pre-Civil War Philadelphia weaves together action, humor, and social commentary. The Garies and Their…

  • The Western Captive and Other Indian Stories

    This edition recovers Elizabeth Oakes Smith’s successful 1842 novel The Western Captive; or, The Times of Tecumseh and includes many of Oakes Smith’s other writings…

  • The Blithedale Romance

    Inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s own experience as a member of the famous Brook Farm Community, which the author describes in his preface as the “most…

  • Domestic Manners of the Americans

    Frances Trollope’s Domestic Manners of the Americans, complemented by Auguste Hervieu’s satiric illustrations, took the transatlantic world by storm in 1832. An unusual combination of…

  • The Octoroon

    Regarded by Bernard Shaw as a master of the theatre, Dion Boucicault was arguably the most important figure in drama in North America and in…

  • Edgar Allan Poe: Selected Poetry and Tales

    Edgar Allan Poe’s stories and poems are among the most haunting and indelible in American literature, but critics for decades persisted in seeing Poe as…

  • Emma Corbett

    Set both in England and in America, Emma Corbett is the moving story of a family torn apart by the American revolutionary war. Edward Corbett…

  • Clarence

    Honorable mention recipient for the 2012 Society for the Study of American Women Writers Award. A pioneering American novel of manners first published in 1830,…

  • The Age of Reason

    The Age of Reason is one of the most influential defences of Deism (the idea that God can be known without organized religion) ever written.…

  • The Coquette and The Boarding School

    Hannah Webster Foster based The Coquette on the true story of Elizabeth Whitman, an unmarried woman who died in childbirth in New England. Fictionalizing Whitman’s…

  • The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket

    Edgar Allan Poe’s only long fiction has provoked intense scholarly discussions about its meaning since its first publication. The novel relates the adventures of Pym…

  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin

    With its gripping plot and pungent dialogue, Uncle Tom’s Cabin offers readers today a passionate portrait of a nation on the verge of disunion and…

  • The Last of the Mohicans

    The Last of the Mohicans enjoyed tremendous popularity both in America and abroad, offering its readers not only a variation on the immensely popular traditional…

  • Reuben and Rachel

    Susanna Haswell Rowson, a popular and prolific writer, actress, and educator in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, had a truly transatlantic life and…

  • Lydia Sigourney

    Lydia Huntley Sigourney (1791–1865) was the most widely read and respected pre-Civil War American woman poet in the English-speaking world. In a half-century career, Sigourney…

  • Secret History; or, The Horrors of St. Domingo and Laura

    Based on Leonora Sansay’s eyewitness accounts of the final days of French rule in Saint Domingue (Haiti), Secret History is a vivid account of race…

  • Glances Backward

    Glances Backward brings together in one volume a broad selection of nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century American writings about gay male love, including love stories, Westerns,…

  • The Autobiography of Ashley Bowen (1728-1813)

    The first American sailor known to write his own autobiography, Ashley Bowen remains a valuable storyteller who can speak to today’s readers about the maritime…