Nineteenth Century

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[Alcott] Odell Shepard, PEDLAR'S PROGRESS: The Life of Bronson Alcott. VG/VG. Minor edgewear to unclipped jacket, which is in mylar. (Boston: Little Brown & Company. 1937). First Trade Edition. Tissue-guarded frontispiece, 5 pen & ink drawings. xvii/546 pages. Quite a nice copy.
~~~ In this biography Mr. Shepard has lifted a hiterto neglected and little understood man to his rightful place as one of the most brilliant figures in New England's brilliant period of intellectual glory.
~~~ Fifty volumes of Bronson Alcott's journals, more than five million words in all, written from 1826 to 1882, were read by Mr Shepard before he wrote this book. Basing his biography chiefly on the journals, he is able to present Alcott to the world as even his contemporaries did not know him.
~~~ Bronson Alcott was born on a Connecticut farm in 1799 and died in 1888. His first venture into the world was as a "Connecticut Yankee", pack on his back, who tramped up and down the South, intoxicated by the grace and luxury of plantation life. He loved the country; he loved to travel.
~~~ At the age of 28 he came to Boston as a teacher of children, with ideas too far ahead of his time to meet with general approval. His school was closed but Alcott could no more be prevented from teaching than the wind from blowing. He turned from children to adults and became the apostle of the Transcendental Movement. In drawing room, church parlor, town hall, far beyond the Atlantic seaboard he spread his gentle version of the new philosophy. He was never the formal lecturer. His method was Conversation. His was the teaching genius which drew out ideas from his dsiciples instead of attempting to put his own ideas into their minds.
~~~ The lecture tours yielded no profits. Throughout his life Alcott was to be successful at almost everything he tried except the making of money. It is probably for this reason that the idea of him as a drag on his family has survived. Certainly his family never thought so of him. The Alcott home, in spite of a constant struggle against poverty, was avery beautiful example of family life at its best.


Bain, Robert (ed), WHITMAN'S AND DICKINSON'S CONTEMPORIES: An Anthology of Their Verse. NEW copy, TRADE PAPERBACK. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1996. 504 pages. "Bain's edition attempts to reconstruct the American poetic landscape during the age of Whitman and Dickinson. He anthologizes the work of a variety of poets, including John Greenleaf Whittier, James Russell Lowell, Lydia Huntley Sigourney, and Paul Laurence Dunbar, among a wide range of other writers. Bain contextualizes their work within the historical framework of the mid to latter half of the nineteenth century, with particular emphasis upon such events as the Civil War and the Mexican War in the late 1840s."


[Burroughs] Edward Kanze, THE WORLD OF JOHN BURROUGHS. NEW copy, hardcover. Abrahms, 1993. 160 pages. "John Burroughs - naturalist, ornithologist, author, poet, and teacher - is perhaps best remembered today as one of the earliest and most articulate pioneers of what is now known as the conservation movement in the United States. Burroughs published twenty-eight books between 1867 and 1922, writing about literature as well as nature, and earning a popularity in his time as great as that of his contemporaries and kindred spirits, Henry David Thoreau and John Muir. Many of his writings are still in print. Born in 1837 in the Catskill Mountains of New York State and a longtime resident of the Hudson River Valley, Burroughs spent his life studying the natural world around him - from birds and bees to flowers and trees - and putting his thoughts on paper. His powerful verbal landscapes and philosophical insights into the natural world during the height of the Industrial Revolution were read by hundreds of thousands of people - from powerful industrialists to countless schoolchildren. He counted among his friends the poet Walt Whitman, the pioneering preservation President, Teddy Roosevelt, Thomas Edison, and Andrew Carnegie. Henry Ford, whose own farmland upbringing Burroughs's writing recalled, not only gave the writer a Model T car and went camping with him, but also purchased his boyhood homestead, which Burroughs and other relatives were having trouble maintaining, and deeded it to his friend. Author Ed Kanze, himself a naturalist, writer, and photographer, sheds new light on Burroughs's enormous contribution to how we think about our environment. His biographical text is enhanced by many quotations from Burroughs's essays and poems and, uniquely, by conversations with Burroughs's granddaughter, who contributed numerous affectionate recollections of her grandfather as well as many archival photographs of him, his farm and woodland writing studio, 'Slabsides,' and family and friends - including Muir, Roosevelt, Ford, Edison, and others." Originally published at $29.95, now OUT OF PRINT.


Cooper, James Fenimore, GLEANINGS IN EUROPE: ITALY. NEW copy. TRADE PAPERBACK. SUNY, 1981. 377 pages.


Cooper, James Fenimore THE PRAIRIE. NEW copy. TRADE PAPERBACK. Oxford University Press, 1999. 393 pages.


Cooper, James Fenimore, JAMES FENIMORE COOPER: SEA TALES, THE PILOT, THE RED ROVER. Library of America, 1991. NEW copy, Hardcover with dust jacket. 902 pages.


Cooper, James Fenimore WORKS. Complete in 32 volumes. Half leather. (NY: Hurd & Houghton: Cambridge Riverside Press, 1872). Illustrated from drawings by F.O.C. Darley. Volumes generally in excellent condition. Damage to particular volumes will be noted, and photos provided. Inquiries welcome. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

[Cooper] Signe O. Wegener. JAMES FENIMORE COOPER VERSUS THE CULT OF DOMESTICITY: Progressive Themes of Femininity and Family in the Novels. . NEW copy, trade paperback. (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2005). 6x9. Notes, bibliography, index, 197 pages.

~~~ Between 1820 and 1860 a set of established cultural values deemed the "Cult of Domesticity" sought to shape the private and public lives of individuals in a rapidly changing American society. Promoting the ideals of conformity in religious, domestic and personal development, the cult was particularly concerned with maintaining a status quo of piety, purity, obedience and domesticity in 19th century female behavior. While a number a female writers responded through literature to the social standards they were urged to emulate, the prominent male writer James Fenimore Cooper reacted as well, addressing the predominant cultural climate through texts that establish women as an integral part of the plot line.
~~~ This book provides a comprehensive discussion of James Fenimore Cooperís view of family dynamics and explores his attempts to simultaneously present and critique the forces shaping the social development of the nation. The study places 10 relevant Cooper novels within the context of popular literary works by 19th century writers Lydia Maria Child, Catherine Maria Sedgwick, Susan Warner and Maria Cummins to demonstrate how Cooper approaches issues of Victorian domesticity and how his representations compare to those crafted by the contemporary women writers. Opening chapters discuss why Cooper chose the womenís fiction genre as his vehicle and present an overview of the "Cult of Domesticity" in fiction and nonfiction, delineating the origins and effects of 19th century domestic life. Remaining chapters address the role of the mother, the father and the central daughter figure in domestic fiction.


Cooley, Carolyn Lindley THE MUSIC OF EMILY DICKINSON'S POEMS AND LETTERS: A Study of Imagery and Form . NEW copy, trade paperback. (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2003). Photographs, notes bibliography & indexes.

~~~ Music is a vital element in the poems and prose of Emily Dickinson but, despite its importance, the function of music as a literary technique in her work has not yet been fully explored; what information exists is scarce and scattered.
~~~ The significance of the musical terminology and imagery in Dickinsonís poetry and prose are thoroughly explored in this book. It considers the music of Dickinsonís life and times and how it influenced her writing, how she combined music and poetry to create her own style, several important nineteenth century reviews for what they reveal about the musical quality of her work, and her use of Protestant hymns as a model for her poetry. It also provides insights into musical interpretations of her poetry as related to the author by some fifty modern-day composers and arrangers, and discusses musical reflections of her poems and letters.


Guthrie, James R, EMILY DICKINSON'S VISION: Illness and Identity in her Poetry NEW copy, hardcover with dust jacket. (University Press of Florida, 1998). 211 pages.
~~~ In this original contribution to Dickinson biography and criticism, James Guthrie demonstrates how the poet's optical disease--strabismus, a deviation of the cornea--directly affected her subject matter, her poetic method, and indeed her sense of her own identity. Dickinson's illness compelled her to remain indoors with her eyes heavily bandaged for months at a time, especially during the summer. Guthrie maintains that these extended periods of sensory deprivation caused her to seek solace in writing and to convert her poems into replacements for her injured eyes. Many poems discuss her physical pain; many mention such topics as optics, astronomy, light, or the sun; some suggest that she blamed God for what had happened to her. These poems permitted her, Guthrie says, to use her personal experience as a springboard for discussing philosophical and religious matters and led her, finally, to conceive a system of metapoetics in which she served as translator or mediator between God's will and human experience. Guthrie argues that reading the poems in an overtly biographical context deepens their complexity and profundity. Dickinson emerges from this study as an accomplished artist and an eminently sane and stable woman whose patience and optimism were sorely tested by severe, chronic illness.
~~~ Currently in print at $59.95.


[Dickenson] George Mamunes. "SO HAS A DAISY VANISHED": Emily Dickinson and Tuberculosis . NEW copy, trade paperback. (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2008). 6x9. Appendices, notes, bibliography, index, 211 pages.

~~~ This work places Emily Dickinsonís poetry in a new setting, examining the many ways in which Dickinsonís literary style was affected by her experiences with tuberculosis and her growing fear of contracting the disease. The author gives an in-depth discussion on 73 of Dickinsonís poems, providing readers with a fresh perspective on issues that have long plagued Dickinson biographers, including her notoriously shut-in lifestyle, her complicated relationship with the tuberculosis-stricken Benjamin Franklin Newton, and the possible real-life inspirations for her "terror since September."


Worral, Simon, THE POET AND THE MURDERER NEW copy, trade PAPERBACK. (Plume Books). 270 pages.
~~~ She was a private woman who became a poet in order to reveal the truth about herself. He was a master of deception and a murderer whose greatest creation was his own shadowy persona. Simon Worrall takes readers on a spellbinding journey into the lives of Emily Dickinson, Mark Hofmann, and the great literary forgery that links them together.

As the author follows the trail of a forged Emily Dickinson poem across America, he journeys into a labyrinth of lies and intrigue where truth is illusion, and nothing is what it seems. Filled with the page-turning suspense and tantalizing sleuthing techniques of a literary thriller, The Poet and the Murderer paints us an unforgettable portrait of a man whose greatest talent - and greatest tragedy - was his ability to conceal his depraved brilliance behind the unique gifts and enduring celebrity of others." His greatest forgery, a fifteen-line poem in the style of Emily Dickinson, dazzled and then shocked the world of auction houses and academia. By weaving together the story of this masterful forgery with fascinating insights into the life and work of America's most elusive poet, Simon Worrall has created a book that explores the edge between art and artifice, and genius and madness.


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