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John Neal and Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture ed. by Edward Watts and David J. Carlson (review)

John Neal and Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture ed. by Edward Watts and David J.... REVIEWS John Neal and Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture. Edited by Edward Watts and David J. Carlson. (Lanham, MD: Bucknell University Press, 2012. Pp. 319. Hardcover, $84.99.) Reviewed by Sari Altschuler The John Neal novel that sits in my office is representatively disorienting. This edition of Rachel Dyer (1828), proclaimed a ``literary classic'' by its 1990s publishers, was nonetheless shelved as young adult fiction by the library that recently deacquisitioned it. Declared an antecedent to The Scarlet Letter (though largely superficially), the volume reveals the anxieties about its seriousness, originality, historical significance, and, most confusingly, genre that have long plagued Neal's critical legacy. Edward Watts and David Carlson's collection, John Neal and Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture, does much to counter these concerns and reestablish Neal's role as a central literary figure from the middle fifty years of the nineteenth century. By treating Neal as a serious object of study worthy of an essay collection and approaching an array of Neal's work from a wide variety of historical, aesthetic, and political angles, Watts and Carlson bring necessary attention to a lamentably marginalized figure. The volume is dynamic, expansive, and heartening; it hopefully heralds the further reconsideration of a http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Early Republic University of Pennsylvania Press

John Neal and Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture ed. by Edward Watts and David J. Carlson (review)

Journal of the Early Republic , Volume 33 (2) – Apr 17, 2013

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.
ISSN
1553-0620
Publisher site
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Abstract

REVIEWS John Neal and Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture. Edited by Edward Watts and David J. Carlson. (Lanham, MD: Bucknell University Press, 2012. Pp. 319. Hardcover, $84.99.) Reviewed by Sari Altschuler The John Neal novel that sits in my office is representatively disorienting. This edition of Rachel Dyer (1828), proclaimed a ``literary classic'' by its 1990s publishers, was nonetheless shelved as young adult fiction by the library that recently deacquisitioned it. Declared an antecedent to The Scarlet Letter (though largely superficially), the volume reveals the anxieties about its seriousness, originality, historical significance, and, most confusingly, genre that have long plagued Neal's critical legacy. Edward Watts and David Carlson's collection, John Neal and Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture, does much to counter these concerns and reestablish Neal's role as a central literary figure from the middle fifty years of the nineteenth century. By treating Neal as a serious object of study worthy of an essay collection and approaching an array of Neal's work from a wide variety of historical, aesthetic, and political angles, Watts and Carlson bring necessary attention to a lamentably marginalized figure. The volume is dynamic, expansive, and heartening; it hopefully heralds the further reconsideration of a

Journal

Journal of the Early RepublicUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Apr 17, 2013

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