1. Toward the “Great American Novel”

Romance and Romanticism in the Age of Realism

  1. G. R. Thompson

Published Online: 14 OCT 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444344271.ch1

Reading the American Novel 1865-1914

Reading the American Novel 1865-1914

How to Cite

Thompson, G. R. (2011) Toward the “Great American Novel”, in Reading the American Novel 1865-1914, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444344271.ch1

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 OCT 2011
  2. Published Print: 16 SEP 2011

Book Series:

  1. Reading the Novel

Book Series Editors:

  1. Daniel R. Schwarz

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780631234067

Online ISBN: 9781444344271



  • “The Great American Novel,” in age of realism;
  • quest for “literary nationalism”;
  • romance and novel, two literary forms;
  • “Library of Romance” in age of realism;
  • Burroughs's Tarzan of the Apes, event-centered romance;
  • fantasy, mystery and gothic romances;
  • romanticism and realism, historian's paradox;
  • positive and negative romanticism;
  • romance of the “Great American Novel”;
  • realist novel or an idealist romance


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • A “Library of Romance” in the Age of Realism

  • Romanticism and Realism: The Historian's Paradox

  • The Romance of the “Great American Novel”