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Hemispheric RegionalismRomance and the Geography of Genre$
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Gretchen J. Woertendyke

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190212278

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190212278.001.0001

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Nation and Regionalism in Walter Scott and James Fenimore Cooper

Nation and Regionalism in Walter Scott and James Fenimore Cooper

(p.121) 5 Nation and Regionalism in Walter Scott and James Fenimore Cooper
Hemispheric Regionalism

Gretchen J. Woertendyke

Oxford University Press

In the first decades of the nineteenth century, venues such as the North American Review repeatedly called for a writer who could do justice to the nation through literature. It was not until Walter Scott’s publications travelled across the Atlantic that American writers had the language and landscape to produce a fundamentally national literature in the historical romance. Only through the innovations of the Scottish writer did the hemispheric energies, which remain on the surface of the gothic and popular forms, assimilate into the regionalist energies of the historical romance and its more overtly national impulses. In some ways, Walter Scott’s fiction and its circulation in the United States created the conditions of possibility for the literary nationalism that critics of the time eagerly cried out for. His fictions mapped out a new kind of romance in which the long arc of history culminated in the nation’s contemporary moment.

Keywords:   historical romance, nationalism, Walter Scott, Fenimore Cooper, regional, local, circulation, maritime, literary nationalism

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