Lanzendörfer, Tim; Scheiding, Oliver (eds.) (Eds.)


American Lives

An Anthology of Transatlantic Life Writing from the Colonies to 1850

American Lives provides readers with an overview of biographical writing in America and its transatlantic and transhistorical contexts, from its earliest Classical antecedents to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Representative Men. Collecting 110 documents, this anthology offers a comprehensive view of both the actual practices and the theoretical conceptions of biography existing from the colonial period to 1850. It emphasizes the cultural connections between Great Britain, its colonies, and the early United States, showing the influence of British theory and practice well into the 19th century. Including excerpts from monograph biographies, biographical anthologies, and broadly surveying the field of biographical periodical writings, American Lives covers the richness of life writing in the British colonies of North America and the Early American Republic and highlights the importance of understanding American biography’s dialogue with fiction, with history, and with autobiography, both at home and across the Atlantic. It elucidates the many functions of biography: its capacity to entertain and educate readers in religious, civil, and personal matters. The anthology highlights the complex role of biography in national discourse and its permanence as a literary form over several centuries. In both scope and aim, it is the first comprehensive anthology of American biography and thus documents a field of cultural practice that has hitherto been neglected.

Complemented by an online anthology of full-length texts and further illustrations, American Lives emphasizes both classroom utility and scholarly thoroughness.

Inhaltsverzeichnis / Table of Contents (PDF)


ISBN 978-3-86821-567-0, geb., 436 S., 12 Abbildungen, € 36,50 (2015)

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