- The Oxford Handbook of: Early American Literature
- The Literature of Exploration
- Captain John Smith
- Promotion Literature
- Puritan Historians and Historiography
- New England Poetry
- Captivity Literature
- Jonathan Edwards and the Great Awakening
- Augustan American Verse
- Picaresque Travel Narratives
- Dr. Alexander Hamilton
- Indian Voices in Early American Literature
- Scientific Discourse
- Newspapers and Magazines
- Print and Manuscript Culture
- Early American Libraries
- Early American Autobiography
- Early American Slave Narratives
- Benjamin Franklin
- Early American Drama
- The Literature of Politics
- Revolutionary Verse
- The Beginnings of the American Novel
- Crèvecoeur's <i>Letters from an American Farmer</i>
- History as Literature
- The Place of Natural History in Early American Literature
Abstract and Keywords
The beginnings of the American novel form the basis of this article. It traces the birth of novel as a genre in the American heartland. Edward Kimber recorded his experiences of New England in his work titled Itinerant Observations in America. This phenomenal work was to influence Susana Rowson. More than two decades after Edward Kimber crossed the Atlantic from England to the colonies, young Susanna made her first transatlantic crossing in 1766, four years after her birth in Portsmouth, England, to join her father in America. Rowson, like Kimber, made American people and places the subject of a novel first published in London, Charlotte, A Tale of Truth (1791). Her novel features a central character who crosses the Atlantic at a young age under duress. A comparative study between the English novel and its American counterpart winds up this article.
Melissa J. Homestead is Associate Professor of English and Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The author of American Women Authors and Literary Property, 1822–1869 (2005), she is currently working on a study of Catharine Sedgwick's engagements with antebellum print culture and a coauthored study (with Anne L. Kaufman) of the creative partnership of Willa Cather and Edith Lewis.
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