This unique collection captures some of the excitement and diversity of the immensely prolific print culture that formed and framed nineteenth-century American life and thought. Gathering popular stories that tap into a variety of nineteenth-century American self-perceptions, fears, dreams, and longings, this resurrectionist work makes available material that is not readily available today but which was vital to the culture and daily conversations of the period.
Popular American Literature of the 19th Century collects examples of a wide range of literature including tracts, plays, poems, gift books, dime novels, school books, and serialized newspaper novels. Featuring twenty-five works in their entirety and several more in extensive excerpts, it includes works
by the American Tract Society, Catharine Esther Beecher, Bret Harte, Ik Marvel, William Holmes McGuffey, Maria Monk, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, E. D. E. N. Southworth, Mason Locke Weems, and many others. The selections cover many important themes including singleness and marriage, domesticity and gender roles, masculinity, proper conduct, social reform, temperance, religion, urban and rural life, race, slavery, class, science, business, and more. Ideal for courses in nineteenth-century American literature, surveys of American literature, and introductory courses in American studies, Popular American Literature of the 19th Century is also a rich resource for anyone interested in American popular culture.