Volume I of The Cambridge History of American Literature was originally published in 1997, and covers the colonial and early national periods and discusses the work of a diverse assemblage of authors, from Renaissance explorers and Puritan theocrats to Revolutionary pamphleteers and poets and novelists of the new republic. Addressing those characteristics that render the texts distinctively American while placing the literature in an international perspective, the contributors offer a compelling new evaluation of both the literary importance of early American history and the historical value of early American literature.
Acknowledgments; Introduction; 1. The literature of colonisation Myra Jehlen; 2. New England puritan literature Emory Elliott; 3. British-American belles lettres David S. Shields; 4. The American enlightenment 1750-1820 Robert A. Ferguson; 5. The literature of the revolutionary and early national periods Michael T. Gilmore; Chronology; Bibliography; Index.