Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 12 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The basis of this article is the letters from an American farmer. First published in London in 1782, J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur's Letters from an American Farmer represents something of an odd case in the canon of early American writing. A work that appears to straddle the line between fiction and non fiction, written by a transplanted Frenchman of ambiguous political leanings, Letters has been variously ignored, challenged, and embraced as a vital cornerstone of the national literature of the United States. DH Lawrence's archetypal reading of Farmer James is perhaps best appreciated for its canny anticipation of the political considerations that would drive the renaissance of Crèvecoeur's literary reputation during the middle decades of the century. The emergence of American studies as a field during the 1940s and 1950s provided the vital context in which Letters was finally established as a classic formulation of the ideal of the ethnic melting pot.

Keywords: letters, political leanings, renaissance, J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur, American writing

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.