Identifier

etd-06122006-184339

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

This dissertation examines nine early historical novels of the Revolution that recover an important yet largely forgotten archive of American cultural history. In the years following the War of 1812 writers from the Revolution’s successor generation reinscribed the history of national origins through narratives of the Revolution that address issues left unresolved by the Revolutionary War and subsequent Constitutional debates; thus, the Revolution itself becomes an important and ubiquitous subject area for writers attempting to situate narratives of national history. These national allegories, consciously constructed as patriotic narratives, unconsciously “bring forth” figurations that represent the official nation’s Others, people excluded by race, class, and gender. Thus, the dissertation addresses these novels both in their dimension as official patriotic narratives of national history and also as narratives that introduce liminal figures that undermine naïve versions of a unified nation. Ultimately, early Revolutionary historical novels express complex and conflicted versions of an American nation as it was constructed in the years leading up to the jubilee celebrations of 1825-26. Among the texts explored here are Samuel Woodworth’s The Champions of Freedom (1816); James Fenimore Cooper’s The Spy (1821), The Pilot (1824), and Lionel Lincoln (1825); John Neal’s Seventy-Six (1823), Lydia Maria Child’s The Rebels (1825); Eliza Cushing’s Saratoga (1824) and Yorktown (1826); and Giles Gazer’s (pseud.) Frederic de Algeroy (1825).

Date

2006

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Secure the entire work for patent and/or proprietary purposes for a period of one year. Student has submitted appropriate documentation which states: During this period the copyright owner also agrees not to exercise her/his ownership rights, including public use in works, without prior authorization from LSU. At the end of the one year period, either we or LSU may request an automatic extension for one additional year. At the end of the one year secure period (or its extension, if such is requested), the work will be released for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

J. Gerald Kennedy

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