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The link provided is to the Hope College library catalog. Unaffiliated users should search Worldcat.org to find a copy at their local library.


This three-volume reference (which complements the three-volume American history through literature, 1820-1870) presents lengthy essays on works and themes in literature that contextualize them within their historical milieu. Many essays feature an individual work for the subject, describing the work's critical reception and interpretation while focusing on the events or themes it depicts, such as racism, class, or philosophical or religious belief. Thematic essays, including those on adolescence, city dwellers, humor, or social Darwinism, explore the meaning and impact of the concept during the era, with many specific literary examples. Each essay concludes with cross referencing and lists of bibliography. Many b&w images are included. The contributors teach English or history, mainly in the US. Quirk teaches English at the U. of Missouri-Columbia; Scharnhorst teaches English at the U. of New Mexico. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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