Letters from an American Farmer and Other Essays

ISBN-10: 0674051815

ISBN-13: 9780674051812

Edition: 2013

List price: $38.00
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Description: Letters from an American Farmer was published in London in 1782, just as the idea of an “American” was becoming a reality. Those epistolary essays introduced the European public to America’s landscape and customs and have since served as the iconic description of a then-new people. Dennis D. Moore’s convenient, up-to-date reader’s edition situates those twelve pieces from the 1782 Letters in the context of thirteen other essays representative of Crèvecoeur’s writings in English.The “American Farmer” of the title is Crèvecoeur’s fictional persona Farmer James, a bumpkin from rural Pennsylvania. In his Introduction to this edition, Moore places this self-effacing pose in perspective and charts Crèvecoeur’s enterprising approach to self-promotion, which involved repackaging and adapting his writings for French and English audiences.Born in Normandy, Crèvecoeur came to New York in the 1750s by way of England and then Canada, traveled throughout the colonies as a surveyor and trader, and was naturalized in 1765. The pieces he included in the 1782 Letters map a shift from hopefulness to disillusionment: its opening selections offer America as a utopian haven from European restrictions on personal liberty and material advancement but give way to portrayals of a land plagued by the horrors of slavery, the threat of Indian raids, and revolutionary unrest. This new edition opens up a broader perspective on this artful, ambitious writer and cosmopolitan thinker who coined America’s most enduring metaphor: a place where “individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men.”

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Book details

List price: $38.00
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 1/14/2013
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 416
Size: 6.75" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.584
Language: English

Dennis D. Moore is University Distinguished Teaching Professor in the English Department at Florida State University.

Introduction: Moving Beyond "The Farmer of Feelings"
A Note on Cr�vecoeur's Text and on Emendations
Introductory Letter
Thoughts, Feelings and Pleasures of an American Farmer
What Is an American?
Description of the Island of Nantucket, with the Manners, Customs, Policy and Trade of the Inhabitants
Customary Education and Employment of the Inhabitants of Nantucket
Description of the Island of Martha's Vineyard and of the Whale-Fishery
Manners and Customs at Nantucket
Peculiar Customs at Nantucket
Description of Charles-Town; Thoughts on Slavery; on Physical Evil; a Melancholy Scene
On Snakes; and on the Humming-Bird
From Mr. Iw-n-Al-z, a Russian Gentleman; Describing the Visit He Paid at My Request to Mr. John Bertram, the Celebrated Pennsylvanian Botanist
Distresses of a Frontier Man
A Happy Family Disunited by the Spirit of Civil War
Rock of Lisbon
Sketches of Jamaica and Bermudas and Other Subjects
The Commissioners
Ingratitude Rewarded
Susquehannah
The Grotto
Hospitals
A Sketch of the Contrast between the Spanish and the English Colonies
A Snow-Storm as It Affects the American Farmer
The Frontier Woman
History of Mrs. B.
The Man of Sorrow
Suggestions for Further Reading
Acknowledgments
Index
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