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Nineteenth-Century American Literature and the Long Civil War

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Part of Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture

  • Date Published: July 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107109834

$ 113.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • American literature in the nineteenth century is often divided into two asymmetrical halves, neatly separated by the Civil War. In Nineteenth-Century American Literature and the Long Civil War, Cody Marrs argues that the war is a far more elastic boundary for literary history than has frequently been assumed. Focusing on the later writings of Walt Whitman, Frederick Douglass, Herman Melville, and Emily Dickinson, this book shows how the war took imaginative shape across, and even beyond, the nineteenth century, inflecting literary forms and expressions for decades after 1865. These writers, Marrs demonstrates, are best understood not as antebellum or postbellum figures but as transbellum authors who cipher their later experiences through their wartime impressions and prewar ideals. This book is a bold, revisionary contribution to debates about temporality, periodization, and the shape of American literary history.

    • Offers fresh readings of lesser-known writings by Whitman, Melville, Douglass, and Dickinson
    • Reframes the Civil War as an event that eclipses the years 1861 to 1865
    • Relates studies of time to studies of Civil War literature
    Read more


    • Winner, 2016 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2015
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107109834
    • length: 206 pages
    • dimensions: 241 x 168 x 43 mm
    • weight: 0.41kg
    • contains: 9 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Walt Whitman's dialectics
    2. Frederick Douglass's revisions
    3. Herman Melville's Civil Wars
    4. Emily Dickinson's erasures.

  • Author

    Cody Marrs, University of Georgia
    Cody Marrs is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Georgia. He received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2010.


    • Winner, 2016 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

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