"Backgrounds" reveals the experiential basis for the text through autobiographical writings and selections from Fuller's recently published letters, journals, and "Boston Conversations."
"Criticism and Reviews" presents a superb selection of critical writing about the novel.
The critics include Orestes A. Brownson, A. G. M, Lydia Maria Child, Frederic Dan Huntington, Edgar A. Poe, Charles Lane, George Eliot, Margaret Vanderhaar Allen, David M. Robinson, Bell Gale Chevigny, Julie Ellison, Christina Zwarg, and Jeffery Steele.
A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are included.
Larry J. Reynolds is Thomas Franklin Mayo Professor in Liberal Arts and Professor of English at Texas A&M University, where he co-founded and served as first director of the Interdisciplinary Group for Historical Literary Study. He is author of James Kirke Paulding and European Revolutions and the American Literary Renaissance and co-editor of "These Sad But Glorious Days": Dispatches from Europe, 1846-1850 and New Historical Literary Study.