3. Reconstructing the Past, Reimagining the Future

The Development of American Literature 1865–1900

  1. Richard Gray

Published Online: 21 MAR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444397604.ch3

A Brief History of American Literature

A Brief History of American Literature

How to Cite

Gray, R. (2011) Reconstructing the Past, Reimagining the Future, in A Brief History of American Literature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444397604.ch3

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 21 MAR 2012
  2. Published Print: 7 JAN 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405192316

Online ISBN: 9781444397604

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Keywords:

  • reconstructing the past, reimagining the future - The Development of American Literature 1865–1900;
  • Civil War, bloodiest conflict in American history - Union soldiers and Confederates lost on the battlefield or in military hospitals;
  • literary regionalisms - Mark Twain, born Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835–1910), calling this period “the Gilded Age”;
  • “My books are simply autobiographies,” Twain insisting once - true of every American writer, the remark especially true of him;
  • regionalism in New England;
  • regionalism in the South, writings, described as regionalist or local color - after the Civil War, committed to cultural restitution and recovery;
  • development of literary realism and naturalism;
  • Howell's 1885 novel, The Rise of Silas Lapham - what he called “fidelity to experience and probability of motive”;
  • women's writing, and its development - writings, by African American women;
  • writing and conditions of women - the means by which, Louisa M. Alcott (1832–1888) sought to support not only herself but her mother and sisters

Summary

This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Rebuilding a Nation

  • The Development of Literary Regionalisms

  • The Development of Literary Realism and Naturalism

  • The Development of Women's Writing

  • The Development of Many Americas