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The first full-length study of early religious fiction from the Revolution to the Civil War, this book explores a long forgotten genre of writing. Ranging over the fiction of some 250 American writers, Reynolds provides an overview of the bestsellers of their time and the popular culture of the period. The literary movement he traces began as a cautiously allegorical one, and he finds that it evolved into a fairly realistic genre by the mid-nineteenth century. This shift from the metaphysical to the earthly was abetted by the authors' uses of a variety of appealing modes: the oriental and visionary tale, historical fiction on biblical themes, and the domestic novel.
Reynolds' study addresses several questions: When did religion first appear in American fiction, and why was the novel increasingly chosen as the appropriate literary mode of popular inspiration? How could theology become entertainment? In what sense does the rhetorical strategy of this fiction reflect changing ways of religious discussion? How can the sermons, essays, or memoirs of the early writers help us to understand the themes and techniques of their fiction?
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David S. Reynolds is Professor of English at the Graduate School and Baruch College, City University of New York.
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Book Description Harvard University Press, 1981. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110674291727
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # S-0674291727
Book Description Harvard University Press, 1981. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0674291727
Book Description Harvard University Press, 1981. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0674291727