A History of Virginia Literature chronicles a story that has been more than four hundred years in the making. It looks at the development of literary culture in Virginia from the founding of Jamestown in 1607 to the twenty-first century. Divided into four main parts, this History examines the literature of colonial Virginia, Jeffersonian Virginia, Civil War Virginia, and modern Virginia. Individual chapters survey such literary genres as diaries, histories, letters, novels, poetry, political writings, promotion literature, science fiction, and slave narratives. Leading scholars also devote special attention to several major authors, including William Byrd of Westover, Thomas Jefferson, Ellen Glasgow, Edgar Allan Poe, and William Styron. This book is of pivotal importance to the development of American literature and of American studies more generally.
Kevin J. Hayes is the author of several books on Virginian literature and history, including Edgar Allan Poe, The Road to Monticello: The Life and Mind of Thomas Jefferson, and The Library of William Byrd of Westover, for which he received the Virginia Library History Award. Hayes is also the recipient of research fellowships from the Boston Athenaeum, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Lilly Library, the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies, and the Virginia Historical Society.
1. The literary culture of Jamestown Karen Schramm; 2. Colonial historians Jon Kukla; 3. William Byrd of Westover Stephen C. Ausband; 4. Colonial Virginian verse Nanette C. Tamer; 5. The establishment of the printing press A. Franklin Parks; 6. The literature of the revolution Brian Steele; 7. Letter writing in eighteenth-century Virginia Elizabeth Hewitt; 8. Thomas Jefferson Jason Robles; 9. Notes on the State of Virginia Kevin J. Hayes; 10. John Page and his circle Kevin J. Hayes; 11. Travels, history, and biography Kevin J. Hayes; 12. Romantic verse Russell Brickery; 13. Edgar Allan Poe and the art of fiction Paul Christian Jones; 14. Virginia novel John L. Hare; 15. The Southern Literary Messenger Christine Modey; 16. The literature of slavery Robyn McGee; 17. Civil war diaries and reminiscences David Anderson; 18. Post-romantic poetry Lauren Rule Maxwell; 19. Virginia folklore Ted Olson; 20. The Virginia novel II Gwendolyn Jones Harold; 21. Ellen Glasgow Susan Goodman; 22. Virginia writers project Tom Barden; 23. Science fiction and fantasy John D. Miles; 24. William Styron James L. W. West, III; 25. Virginians at a distance: Willa Cather and Tom Wolfe Adam N. Jabbur; 26. Modern poetry Chris Beyers.