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Mark Twain: Historical Romances (LOA #71) PDF Author: Mark Twain
Publisher: Library of America
ISBN: 9780940450820
Category : Fiction
Languages : en
Pages : 1050

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Book Description
In the three novels collected in this Library of America volume, Mark Twain turned his comic genius to a period that fascinated and repelled him in equal measure: medieval and Renaissance Europe. This lost world of stately pomp and unspeakable cruelty, artistic splendor and abysmal ignorance—the seeming opposite of brashly optimistic, commercial, democratic nineteenth-century America—engaged Twain’s imagination, inspiring a children’s classic, and astonishing fantasy of comedy and violence, and an unusual fictional biography. Twain drew on his fascination with impersonation and the theme of the double in The Prince and the Pauper (1882), which brilliantly uses the device of identical boys from opposite ends of the social hierarchy to evoke the tumultuous contrasts of Henry VIII’s England. As the pauper Tom Canty is raised to the throne, while the rightful heir is cast out among thieves and beggars, Twain sustains one of his most compelling narratives. A perennial children’s favorite, the novel brings an impassioned American point of view to the injustices of traditional European society. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889) finds Twain in high satiric form. When hard-headed Yankee mechanic Hank Morgan is knocked out in a fight, he wakes up in Camelot in A.D. 528—and finds himself pitted against the medieval rituals and superstitions of King Arthur and his knights. In a hilarious burlesque of the age of chivalry and of its cult in the nineteenth-century American South, Twain demolishes knighthood’s romantic aura to reveal a brutish, violent society beset by ignorance. But the comic mood gives way to a darker questioning of both ancient and modern society, culminating in an astonishing apocalyptic conclusion that questions both American progress and Yankee “ingenuity” as Camelot is undone by the introduction of advanced technology. “Taking into account . . . her origin, youth, sex, illiteracy, early environment, and the obstructing conditions under which she exploited her high gifts and made her conquest in the field and before the courts that tried her for her life—she is easily and by far the most extraordinary person the human race has ever known.” So Twain wrote of the heroine of Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (1896), his most elaborate work of historical reconstruction. A respectful and richly detailed chronicle, by turns admiring and indignant, Joan of Arc opens a fascinating window onto the moral imagination of America’s greatest comic writer. LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

Mark Twain: Historical Romances (LOA #71)

Mark Twain: Historical Romances (LOA #71) PDF Author: Mark Twain
Publisher: Library of America
ISBN: 9780940450820
Category : Fiction
Languages : en
Pages : 1050

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Book Description
In the three novels collected in this Library of America volume, Mark Twain turned his comic genius to a period that fascinated and repelled him in equal measure: medieval and Renaissance Europe. This lost world of stately pomp and unspeakable cruelty, artistic splendor and abysmal ignorance—the seeming opposite of brashly optimistic, commercial, democratic nineteenth-century America—engaged Twain’s imagination, inspiring a children’s classic, and astonishing fantasy of comedy and violence, and an unusual fictional biography. Twain drew on his fascination with impersonation and the theme of the double in The Prince and the Pauper (1882), which brilliantly uses the device of identical boys from opposite ends of the social hierarchy to evoke the tumultuous contrasts of Henry VIII’s England. As the pauper Tom Canty is raised to the throne, while the rightful heir is cast out among thieves and beggars, Twain sustains one of his most compelling narratives. A perennial children’s favorite, the novel brings an impassioned American point of view to the injustices of traditional European society. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889) finds Twain in high satiric form. When hard-headed Yankee mechanic Hank Morgan is knocked out in a fight, he wakes up in Camelot in A.D. 528—and finds himself pitted against the medieval rituals and superstitions of King Arthur and his knights. In a hilarious burlesque of the age of chivalry and of its cult in the nineteenth-century American South, Twain demolishes knighthood’s romantic aura to reveal a brutish, violent society beset by ignorance. But the comic mood gives way to a darker questioning of both ancient and modern society, culminating in an astonishing apocalyptic conclusion that questions both American progress and Yankee “ingenuity” as Camelot is undone by the introduction of advanced technology. “Taking into account . . . her origin, youth, sex, illiteracy, early environment, and the obstructing conditions under which she exploited her high gifts and made her conquest in the field and before the courts that tried her for her life—she is easily and by far the most extraordinary person the human race has ever known.” So Twain wrote of the heroine of Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (1896), his most elaborate work of historical reconstruction. A respectful and richly detailed chronicle, by turns admiring and indignant, Joan of Arc opens a fascinating window onto the moral imagination of America’s greatest comic writer. LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

Mark Twain: Mississippi Writings (LOA #5)

Mark Twain: Mississippi Writings (LOA #5) PDF Author: Mark Twain
Publisher: Library of America
ISBN: 9780940450073
Category : Fiction
Languages : en
Pages : 1126

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Book Description
Mark Twain is perhaps the most widely read and enjoyed of all our national writers. This Library of America collection presents his best-known works, together for the first time in one volume. Tom Sawyer “is simply a hymn,” said its author, “put into prose form to give it a worldly air,” a book where nostalgia is so strong that it dissolves the tensions and perplexities that assert themselves in the later works. Twain began Huckleberry Finn the same year Tom Sawyer was published, but he was unable to complete it for several more. It was during this period of uncertainty that Twain made a pilgrimage to the scenes of his childhood in Hannibal, Missouri, a trip that led eventually to Life on the Mississippi. The river in Twain’s descriptions is a bewitching mixture of beauty and power, seductive calms and treacherous shoals, pleasure and terror, an image of the societies it touches and transports. Each of these works is filled with comic and melodramatic adventure, with horseplay and poetic evocations of scenery, and with characters who have become central to American mythology—not only Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, but also Roxy, the mulatto slave in Puddn’head Wilson, one of the most telling portraits of a woman in American fiction. With each book there is evidence of a growing bafflement and despair, until with Puddn’head Wilson, high jinks and games, far from disguising the terrible cost of slavery, become instead its macabre evidence. Through each of four works, too, runs the Mississippi, the river that T. S. Eliot, echoing Twain, was to call the “strong brown god.” For Twain, the river represented the complex and often contradictory possibilities in his own and his nation’s life. The Mississippi marks the place where civilization, moving west with its comforts and proprieties, discovers and contends with the rough realities, violence, chicaneries, and promise of freedom on the frontier. It is the place, too, where the currents Mark Twain learned to navigate as a pilot—an experience recounted in Life on the Mississippi—move inexorably into the Deep South, so that the innocence of joyful play and boyhood along its shores eventually confronts the grim reality of slavery. LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

Washington Irving: History, Tales & Sketches (LOA #16)

Washington Irving: History, Tales & Sketches (LOA #16) PDF Author: Washington Irving
Publisher: Library of America
ISBN: 9780940450141
Category : Fiction
Languages : en
Pages : 1144

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Book Description
Washington Irving’s career as a writer began obscurely at age seventeen, when his brother’s newspaper published his series of comic reports on the theater, theater-goers, fashions, balls, courtships, duels, and marriages of his contemporary New York, called Letters of Jonathan Oldstyle, Gent. Written in the persona of an elderly gentleman of the old school, these letters captured his fellow townsmen at play in their most incongruous attitudes of simple sophistication. Irving’s next work, Salmagundi, written in collaboration with his brother William and James Kirke Paulding, and published at irregular intervals in 1805–06, continued this roguish style of satire and burlesque. A History of New York, publicized by an elaborate hoax in the local newspapers concerning the disappearance of the elderly “Diedrich Knickerbocker,” turned out to be a wild and hilarious spoof that combined real New York history with political satire. Quickly reprinted in England, it was admired by Walter Scott and Charles Dickens (who carried his copy in his pocket). In later years, as Irving revised and re-revised his History, he softened his gibes at Thomas Jefferson, the Dutch, and the Yankees of New England; this Library of America volume presents the work in its original, exuberant, robust, and unexpurgated form, giving modern readers a chance to enjoy the version that brought him immediate international acclaim. The Sketch Book contains Irving’s two best-loved stories, “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” It also includes many sketches of English country and city life, as well as nostalgic portraits of vanishing traditions, like the old celebrations of Christmas. A writer of great urbanity and poise, acutely sensitive to the nostalgia of a passing age, Washington Irving was a central figure in America’s emergence on the international scene. LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

Nathaniel Hawthorne: Collected Novels (LOA #10)

Nathaniel Hawthorne: Collected Novels (LOA #10) PDF Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne
Publisher: Library of America
ISBN: 9780940450080
Category : Fiction
Languages : en
Pages : 1272

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Book Description
Written in a richly suggestive style, Hawthorne’s five world-famous novels are permeated by his own history as well as America’s In The House of the Seven Gables, Nathaniel Hawthorne alludes to his ancestor’s involvement in the Salem witch trials, as he follows the fortunes of two rival families, the Maules and the Pyncheons. The novel moves across 150 years of American history, from an ancestral crime condoned by Puritan theocracy to reconciliation and a new beginning in the bustling Jacksonian era. Considered Hawthorne’s greatest work, The Scarlet Letter is a dramatic allegory of the social consequences of adultery and the subversive force of personal desire in a community of laws. The transgression of Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale, the innate lawlessness of their bastard child Pearl, and the torturous jealousy of the husband Roger Chillingworth eventually erupt through the stern reserve of Puritan Boston. The Scarlet Letter engages the moral and romantic imagination of readers who ponder the question of sexual freedom and its place in the social world. Fanshawe is an engrossing apprentice work that Hawthorne published anonymously and later sought to suppress. Written during his undergraduate years at Bowdoin College, it is a tragic romance of an ascetic scholar’s love for a merchant’s daughter. The Blithedale Romance is a novel about the perils, which Hawthorne knew first-hand, of living in a utopian community. The utilitarian reformer Hollingsworth, the reticent narrator Miles Coverdale, the unearthly Priscilla, and the sensuous Zenobia (purportedly modeled on Margaret Fuller) act out a drama of love and rejection, idealism and chicanery, millennial hope and suicidal despair on an experimental commune in rural Massachusetts. The Marble Faun, Hawthorne’s last finished novel, uses Italian landscapes where sunlight gives way to mythological shadings as a background for mysteries of identity and murder. Its two young Americans, Kenyon and Hilda, become caught up in the disastrous passion of Donatello, an ingenuous nobleman, for the beautiful, mysterious Miriam, a woman trying to escape her past.

Slave Narratives (LOA #114)

Slave Narratives (LOA #114) PDF Author: William L. Andrews
Publisher: Library of America
ISBN: 9781883011765
Category : Literary Collections
Languages : en
Pages : 992

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Book Description
The ten works collected in this volume demonstrate how a diverse group of writers challenged the conscience of a nation and laid the foundations of the African American literary tradition by expressing their in anger, pain, sorrow, and courage. Included in the volume: Narrative of the Most Remarkable Particulars in the Life of James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw; Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano; The Confessions of Nat Turner; Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass; Narrative of William W. Brown; Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb; Narrative of Sojouner Truth; Ellen and William Craft's Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom; Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl and Narrative of the Life of J. D.Green. LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

Frederick Douglass: Autobiographies (LOA #68)

Frederick Douglass: Autobiographies (LOA #68) PDF Author: Frederick Douglass
Publisher: Library of America
ISBN: 9780940450790
Category : Biography & Autobiography
Languages : en
Pages : 1126

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Book Description
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. presents the only authoritative edition of all three autobiographies by the escaped slave who became a great American leader. Here in this Library of America volume are collected Frederick Douglass's three autobiographical narratives, now recognized as classics of both American history and American literature. Writing with the eloquence and fierce intelligence that made him a brilliantly effective spokesman for the abolition of slavery and equal rights, Douglass shapes an inspiring vision of self-realization in the face of monumental odds. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (1845), published seven years after his escape, was written in part as a response to skeptics who refused to believe that so articulate an orator could ever have been a slave. A powerfully compressed account of the cruelty and oppression of the Maryland plantation culture into which Douglass was born, it brought him to the forefront of the anti-slavery movement and drew thousands, black and white, to the cause. In My Bondage and My Freedom (1855), Douglass expands the account of his slave years. With astonishing psychological penetration, he probes the painful ambiguities and subtly corrosive effects of black-white relations under slavery, and recounts his determined resistance to segregation in the North. The book also incorporates extracts from Douglass’s speeches, including the searing “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” Life and Times, first published in 1881, records Douglass’s efforts to keep alive the struggle for racial equality udirng Reconstruction. John Brown, Abraham Lincoln, William Lloyd Garrison, and Harriet Beecher Stowe all feature prominently in this chronicle of a crucial epoch in American history. The revised edition of 1893, presented here, includes an account of his controversial diplomatic mission to Haiti. This volume contains a detailed chronology of Douglass’s life, notes providing further background on the events and people mentioned, and an account of the textual history of each of the autobiographies. LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

Stephen Crane: Prose & Poetry (LOA #18)

Stephen Crane: Prose & Poetry (LOA #18) PDF Author: Stephen Crane
Publisher: Library of America
ISBN: 9780940450172
Category : Fiction
Languages : en
Pages : 1379

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Book Description
Here in one volume are all of Stephen Crane's best-known works, including the novels The Red Badge of Courage, about a young and confused Union soldier under fire for the first time; Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, a vivid portrait of slum life and a young girl's fall; George's Mother, about New York's Bowery and its effect on a young workingman; The Third Violet, about a bohemian artist's country romance; and The Monster, a novella about sacrifice and rescue. The stories collected here include masterpieces like "The Open Boat," "The Blue Hotel," and "The Bride Comes to the Yellow Sky," as well as tales of childhood in small-town America. In his journalism, the best of which is presented here, Crane covered the Spanish-American and Grego-Turkish wars, traveled through Mexico and the West, and reported on the seamier sides of New York City life. The volume concludes with The Black Riders and War Is Kind, collections of epigrammatic free verse that look back to Emily Dickinson and forward to Imagism. LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

Harriet Beecher Stowe: Three Novels (LOA #4)

Harriet Beecher Stowe: Three Novels (LOA #4) PDF Author: Harriet Beecher Stowe
Publisher: Library of America
ISBN: 9780940450011
Category : Fiction
Languages : en
Pages : 1477

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Book Description
In this Library of America volume are the best and most enduring works of Harriet Beecher Stowe, “the little woman,” as Abraham Lincoln said when he met her in 1861, “who wrote the book that made this great war.” He was referring, with rueful exaggeration, to Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), which during its first year had sold over 300,000 copies. Contemporary readers can still appreciate the powerful effects of its melodramatic characterizations and its unapologetic sentimentality. They can also recognize in its treatment of racial violence some of the brooding imagination and realism that anticipates Faulkner’s rendering of the same theme. Stowe was charged with exaggerating the evils of slavery, but her stay in Cincinnati, Ohio, where her father (the formidable Lyman Beecher, head of the Lane Theological Seminary) gave her a close look at the miseries of the slave communities across the Ohio River. People in her circle of friends were continually harboring slaves who escaped across the river from Kentucky on the way, they hoped, to Canada. Two other novels, along with Uncle Tom’s Cabin, show the range and variety of her literary accomplishment. The Minister’s Wooing (1859) is set in Newport, Rhode Island, after the Revolution. It is a romance based in part on the life of Stowe’s sister, and it traces to a happy ending the conflicts in a young woman between adherence to Calvinistic rigor and her expression of preference in the choice of a marital partner. The third novel, Oldtown Folks (1869), confirms Stowe’s genius for the realistic rendering of ordinary experience, her talent for social portraiture with a keen satiric edge, and her subtlety in exploring a wide group of themes, from child-rearing practices and religious controversy to romantic seduction and betrayal. But finally, it is the old town and a way of life that no longer exists that is the true subject of this elegiac novel. LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

Edgar Allan Poe: Poetry & Tales (LOA #19)

Edgar Allan Poe: Poetry & Tales (LOA #19) PDF Author: Edgar Allan Poe
Publisher: Library of America
ISBN: 9780940450189
Category : Literary Collections
Languages : en
Pages : 1408

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Book Description
In this complete and uniquely authoritative Library of America collection, Edgar Allan Poe's well-known tales of "mystery and imagination" and his best-known verse are collected with early poems, rarely published stories and humorous sketches, and the ecstatic prose poem Eureka. Poe's poetry is famous both for the musicality of "To Helen" and "The City in the Sea" and for the hypnotic, incantatory rhythms of "The Raven" and "Ulalume." "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "The Cask of Amontillado" show his mastery of Gothic horror; "The Pit and the Pendulum" is a classic of terror and suspense. Poe invented the modern detective story in "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," and developed the form of science fiction that was to influence, among others, Jules Verne and Thomas Pynchon. Poe was also adept at the humorous sketch of playful jeu d'esprit, such as "X-ing a Paragraph" or "Never Bet the Devil Your Head." All his stories reveal his high regard for technical proficiency and for what he called "rationation." Poe's fugitive early poems, stories rarely collected (such as "Bon-Bon," "King Pest," "Mystification," and "The Duc De L'Omelette), his only attempt at drama, "Politian"—these and much more are included in this comprehensive collection, presented chronologically to show Poe's development toward Eureka: A Prose Poem, his culminating vision of an indeterminate universe, printed here for the first time as Poe revised it and intended it should stand. A special feature of this volume is the care taken to select an authoritative text of each work. The printing and publishing history of every item has been investigated in order to choose a version that incorporates all of Poe's own revisions without reproducing the errors or changes introduced by later editors. Here, then, is one of America's and the world's most disturbing, powerful, and inventive writers published in "the first truly dependable collection of Poe's poetry and tales." LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

William Dean Howells: Novels 1875-1886 (LOA #8)

William Dean Howells: Novels 1875-1886 (LOA #8) PDF Author: William Dean Howells
Publisher: Library of America
ISBN: 9780940450042
Category : Fiction
Languages : en
Pages : 1217

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Book Description
The four novels collected in this Library of America volume are among the classic works from the immensely productive career of America’s most influential man of letters at the turn of the twentieth century. William Dean Howells was a champion of French and Russian realistic writers and a brilliant advocate of the most controversial American writers of his own time. In A Foregone Conclusion (1875), a young American painter roams through Europe for years before at last deciding to marry the woman who, he erroneously thinks, has been in love with an Italian priest turned agnostic. A Modern Instance (1882) offers an unflinching portrait of an unhappy marriage and ends with a hero barred by his perhaps overscrupulous conscience from marrying the divorced heroine. Once again personal dilemmas are seen as symptoms of the rapid displacement of older social and religious stabilities by opportunism and commercial progress. One of the most engaging of all his novels, Indian Summer(1885), is touched with the Jamesian glamour of romantic confusion among two American couples in Italy. Here Howells’s realism takes a quietly humorous turn. Situations which might be exploited by another novelist for their theatrical or melodramatic possibilities are instead eroded by the often trivial or casual experiences of everyday living. Characteristically, Howells is opposed to exaggeration in the interest of discovering how people, despite the crises that beset them, manage to find their way. The Rise of Silas Lapham (1885), Howells’s best-known work, gives a brilliantly skeptical portrait of American business life and its perils, celebrating not the rise but the loss of fortune that makes possible the hero’s recovery of his earlier integrity and happiness. “There are,” remarked a contemporary reviewer, “thousands of Silas Laphams throughout the United States,” and present-day readers might agree that there still are. LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.