The American Spirit in Literature
By Bliss Perry

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Bibliographical Note

An authoritative account of American Literature to the close of the Revolution is given in M. C. Tyler’s “History of American Literature during the Colonial Time,” 2 volumes (1878) and “Literary History of the American Revolution,” 2 volumes (1897). For a general survey see Barrett Wendell, “A Literary History of America” (1900), W. P. Trent, “American Literature” (1903), G. E. Woodberry, “America in Literature” (1903), W. C. Bronson, “A Short History of American Literature” (1903), with an excellent bibliography, W. B. Cairns, “History of American Literature" (1912), W. P. Trent and J. Erskine, “Great American Writers" (1912), and W. Riley, “American Thought” (1915). The most recent and authoritative account is to be found in “The Cambridge History of American Literature,” 3 volumes edited by Trent, Erskine, Sherman, and Van Doren.

The best collection of American prose and verse is E. C. Stedman and E. M. Hutchinson’s “Library of American Literature,” 11 volumes (1888-1890). For verse alone, see E. C. Stedman, “An American Anthology” (1900), and W. C. Bronson, “American Poems," 1625-1892 (1912). For criticism of leading authors, note W. C. Brownell, “American Prose Masters” (1909), and Stedman, “Poets of America” (1885). Chapters 1-3. Note W. Bradford, “Journal" (1898), J. Winthrop, “Journal” (1825, 1826), also “Life and Letters” by R. C. Winthrop, 2 volumes (1863), G. L. Walker, “Thomas Hooker” (1891), O. S. Straus, “Roger Williams” (1894), Cotton Mather, “Diary,” 2 volumes (1911, 1912), also his “Life" by Barrett Wendell (1891), Samuel Sewall, “Diary,” 3 volumes (1878). For Jonathan Edwards, see “Works,” 4 volumes (1852), his “Life” by A. V. G. Allen (1889), “Selected Sermons” edited by H. N. Gardiner (1904). The most recent edition of Franklin’s “Works" is edited by A. H. Smyth, 10 volumes (1907).

Chapter 4. Samuel Adams, “Works,” 4 volumes (1904), John Adams, “Works,” 10 volumes (1856), Thomas Paine, “Life” by M. D. Conway, 2 volumes (1892), “Works” edited by Conway, 4 volumes (1895), Philip Freneau, “Poems,” 3 volumes (Princeton edition, 1900, Thomas Jefferson, “Works” edited by P. L. Ford, 10 volumes (1892-1898), J. Woolman, “Journal” (edited by Whittier, 1871, and also in “Everyman’s Library”), “The Federalist” (edited by H. C. Lodge, 1888).

Chapter 5. Washington Irving, “Works,” 40 volumes (1891-1897), also his “Life and Letters” by P. M. Irving, 4 volumes (1862-1864). Fenimore Cooper, “Works,” 32 volumes (1896), “Life" by T. R. Lounsbury (1883). Brockden Brown, “Works,” 6 volumes, (1887). W. C. Bryant, “Poems,” 2 volumes (1883), “Prose,” 2 volumes (1884), and his “Life” by John Bigelow (1890).

Chapter 6. H. C. Goddard, “Studies in New England Transcendentalism” (1908). R. W. Emerson, “Works,” 12 volumes (Centenary edition, 1903), “Journal,” 10 volumes (1909-1914), his “Life” by J. E. Cabot, 2 volumes (1887), by R. Garnett (1887), by G. E. Woodberry (1905); see also “Ralph Waldo Emerson,” a critical study by O. W. Firkins (1915). H. D. Thoreau, “Works," 20 volumes (Walden edition including “Journals,” 1906), “Life” by F. B. Sanborn (1917), also “Thoreau, A Critical Study” by Mark van Doren (1916). Note also Lindsay Swift, “Brook Farm” (1900), and “The Dial,” reprint by the Rowfant Club (1902).

Chapter 7. Hawthorne, “Works,” 12 volumes (1882), “Life” by G. E. Woodberry (1902). Longfellow, “Works,” 11 volumes (1886), “Life" by Samuel Longfellow, 3 volumes (1891). Whittier, “Works,” 7 volumes (1892), “Life” by S. T. Pickard, 2 volumes (1894). Holmes, “Works” 13 volumes (1892), “Life” by J. T. Morse, Jr. (1896). Lowell, “Works,” 11 volumes (1890), “Life” by Ferris Greenslet (1905), “Letters” edited by C. E. Norton, 2 volumes (1893). For the historians, note H. B. Adams, “Life and Writings of Jared Sparks,” 2 volumes (1893). M. A. DeW. Howe, “Life and Letters of George Bancroft,” 2 volumes (1908), G. S. Hillard, “Life, Letters, and Journals of George Ticknor,” 2 volumes (1876), George Ticknor, “Life of Prescott” (1863), also Rollo Ogden, “Life of Prescott"(1904), G. W. Curtis, “Correspondence of J. L. Motley,” 2 volumes (1889), Francis Parkman, “Works,” 12 volumes (1865-1898), “Life” by C. H. Farnham (1900), J. F. Jameson, “History of Historical Writing in America” (1891).

Chapter 8. Poe, “Works,” 10 volumes (Stedman-Woodberry edition, 1894-1895), also 17 volumes (Virginia edition, J. A. Harrison, 1900, “Life” by G. E. Woodberry, 2 volumes (1909). Whitman, “Leaves of Grass” and “Complete Prose Works” (Small, Maynard and Co.) (1897, 1898), also John Burroughs, “A Study of Whitman" (1896).

Chapter 9. C. Schurz, “Life of Henry Clay,” 2 volumes (1887). Daniel Webster, “Works,” 6 volumes (1851), “Life” by H. C. Lodge (1883). Rufus Choate, “Works,” volumes (1862). Wendell Phillips, “Speeches, Lectures, and Letters,” 2 volumes (1892). W. L. Garrison, “The Story of his Life Told by his Children,” 4 volumes (1885-1889). Harriet Beecher Stowe, “Works,” 17 volumes (1897), “Life” by C. E. Stowe (1889). Abraham Lincoln, “Works,” 2 volumes (edited by Nicolay and Hay, 1894).

Chapter 10. For an excellent bibliography of the New National Period, see F. L. Pattee, “A History of American Literature since 1870” (1916).

For further bibliographical information the reader is referred to the articles on American authors in “The Encyclopaedia Britannica” and in “The Warner Library” (volume 30, “The Student’s Course,” N. Y., 1917).


Chapter I. The Pioneers  •  Chapter II. The First Colonial Literature  •  Chapter III. The Third and Fourth Generation  •  Chapter IV. The Revolution  •  Chapter V. The Knickerbocker Group  •  Chapter VI. The Transcendentalists  •  Chapter VII. Romance, Poetry, and History  •  Chapter VIII. Poe and Whitman  •  Chapter IX. Union and Liberty  •  Chapter X. A New Nation  •  Bibliographical Note  • 

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