1st Edition

Americans on Shakespeare, 1776-1914

Edited By

Peter Rawlings





ISBN 9781138324466
Published February 10, 2020 by Routledge
567 Pages

USD $54.95

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Book Description

Published in 1999. Shakespeare is ‘the great author of America’ declared James Fenimore Cooper in 1828. The ambiguous resonance of this claim is fully borne out in this collection of writings on Shakespeare by over forty prominent Americans, spanning the period between the War of independence and the outbreak of the First World War. Featured writers include: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edgar Allen Poe, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Abraham Lincoln, Walt Whitman and Mark Twain.

The essays, many of which are reprinted here for the first time, are arranged in chronological order and provide a fascinating conspectus of American attitudes to Shakespeare, from Revolutionary and Transcendentalist approaches through to the influential interventions of professional American critics in the early twentieth century. The extraordinary and bizarre contribution to the Shakespeare debut by Delia Bacon is exemplified by the inclusion of her 1856 article which is reprinted in its entirety.

Americans on Shakespeare charts the emergence of an American literary tradition, and the gradual appropriation of Shakespeare as part of the American search for cultural identity; an identity whose domination is set to continue into the twenty-first century.

Table of Contents

1. 1776, The Pausing American Loyalist, Moses Coit Tyler  2. 1820, The Boar’s Head Tavern, East Cheap: A Shakespearean Research, Washington Irving  3. 1820 Stratford-On-Avon, Washington Irving  4. 1828, Notions of the Americans, James Fenimore Cooper  5. 1835, Misconceptions of Shakespeare upon the Stage, John Quincy Adams  6. 1836, Advantages and Disadvantages of Foreign Influence on American Literature, Henry D. Thoreau  7. 1838 On the Progress of Civilization, George Bancroft  8. 1839, Literary Vassals, Orestes A. Brownson  9. 1838, Emerson, Orestes A. Brownson  10. 1839, Shakespeare, Jones Very  11. 1840, The Bermudas: A Shakespearian Research, Washington Irving  12. 1844, Shakespeare; or, The Poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson  13. 1844 Shakespeare and Insanity, A. O. Kellogg  14. 1845, A Review of William Hazlitt’s ‘The Characters of Shakespeare’, Edgar Allan Poe  15. 1848, The Romance of Yachting, Joseph C. Hart  16. 1848, Alleged Immorality, H. N. Hudson  17. 1850, Shakespeare in America, Anonymous  18. 1850, Hawthorne and his Mosses, Herman Melville  19. 1856 William Shakespeare and his Plays, Delia Bacon  20. 1857, Preface to Delia Bacon’s ‘The Philosophy of the Plays of Shakespeare Unfolded’, Nathaniel Hawthorne  21. 1857, The Philosophy of the Plays of Shakespeare Unfolded, Delia Bacon  22. 1863, Recollections of a Gifted Woman, Nathaniel Hawthorn  23. 1863, A Letter from President Lincoln to Mr. Hackett: August 17, 1863, Abraham Lincoln  24. 1864, Shakespeare, Ralph Waldo Emerson  25. 1864, Shakespeare, Olivia Wendell Holmes  26. 1866, Why we have no Shakespearean Scholars, Anonymous  27. 1866, Philosopher and Poet, Nathanial Holmes  28. 1867, A Thought on Shakespeare, Anna C. Brackett  29. 1868, Shakespeare Once More, James Russell Lowell  30. 1869, Coriolanus, Mary Preston  31. 1870, Two Speeches, William Cullen Bryant  32. 1871, Domestic Vistas, Walt Whitman  33. 1872, On the Unveiling of Shakespeare’s Statue in Central Park, William Cullen Bryant  34. 1874, The Shakespearean-Bacon Controversy, E. O. Vaile  35. 1876 How Shall we Spell Sh-k-sp-r-‘s Name?, J. H. Gilmore  36. 1877, In Warwickshire, Henry James  37. 1881, Poetry To-Day in America-Shakspere-The Future, Walt Whitman  38. 1884, The Anatomizing of William Shakespeare, Richard Grant White  39. 1884, What Lurks Behind Shakspere’s Historical Plays?, Walt Whitman  40. 1886, A Thought on Shakspere, Walt Whitman  41. Introduction to The Taming of the Shrew, William Winter  42. 1887, An Additional Word on Taming of the Shrew, Augustin Daly  43. 1888, A Backward Glance O’er Travel’d Roads, Walt Whitman  44. 1888, George Fox (and Shakspere), Walt Whitman  45. 1890, Walt Whitman’s View of Shakespeare, Johnathan Trumbull  46. 1891, The Whitman-Shakespeare Question, Johnathan Trumbull  47. 1983, Edwin Booth, William Winter  48. 1895, Shakespeare’s Americanisms, Henry Cabot Lodge  49. 1897, Barnum and Shakespeare, Mark Twain  50. 1898, New World Discoveries, Frank M. Bristol  51. 1905, Shaw and Shakespeare, W. D. Howells  52. 1906, Shakespeare in America, George B. Churchill  53. 1907, Introduction to The Tempest, Henry James  54. 1907, The Response of Concord, Henry James  55. 1909, Is Shakespeare Dead?, Mark Twain  56. 1911, Shakespeare Spells Ruin, William Winter  57. 1913, Shakespeare and his Audience, Brander Matthews  58. 1914, Shakespeare and America: The Perpetual Ambassador of the English-Speaking World, Charles William Wallace  59. 1917, Shakespeare and the Founders of Liberty in America, Charles Mill Gayley  60. 1927, Shakespeare in America, Ashley Thorndike.

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