A History of Virginia Literature chronicles a story that has been more than four hundred years in the making. It looks at the development of literary culture in Virginia from the founding of Jamestown in 1607 to the twenty-first century. Divided into four main parts, this History examines the literature of colonial Virginia, Jeffersonian Virginia, Civil War Virginia, and modern Virginia. Individual chapters survey such literary genres as diaries, histories, letters, novels, poetry, political writings, promotion literature, science fiction, and slave narratives. Leading scholars also devote special attention to several major authors, including William Byrd of Westover, Thomas Jefferson, Ellen Glasgow, Edgar Allan Poe, and William Styron. This book is of pivotal importance to the development of American literature and of American studies more generally.