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The Earliest Romans

A Character Sketch

Ramsay MacMullen

"A vibrant account that puts flesh on the bare bones of early Roman history." ---Celia Schultz, University of Michigan The ancient Romans' story down to 264 B.C. can be made credible by stripping away their later myths and inventions to show how their national character shaped their destiny. After many generations of scholarly study, consensus is clear: the account in writers like Livy is not to be trusted because their aims were different from ours in history-writing. They wanted their work to be both improving and diverting. It should grow out of the real past, yes, but if that reality couldn't be recovered, or was uncertain, their art did not forbid invention. It more than tolerated dramatic incidents, passions, heroes, heroines, and villains. If, however, all this resulting ancient fiction and adornment are pruned away, a national character can be seen in the remaining bits and pieces of credible information, to explain the familiar story at least in its outlines. To doubt the written sources has long been acceptable, but this or that detail or narrative section must always be left for salvage by special pleading. To press home the logic of doubt is new. To reach beyond the written sources for a better support in excavated evidence is no novelty; but it is a novelty, to find in archeology the principal substance of the narrative---which is the choice in this book. To use this in turn for the discovery of an ethnic personality, a Roman national character, is key and also novel. What is repeatedly illustrated and emphasized here is the distance traveled by the art or craft of understanding the past---"history" in that sense---over the course of the last couple of centuries. The art cannot be learned, because it cannot be found, through studying Livy and Company. Readers who care about either of the two disciplines contrasted, Classics and History, may find this argument of interest. "Like Thucydides of the hyperactive Athenians and de Tocqueville of the nation-building Americans, MacMullen here draws a character sketch of the early Romans---the men who built Rome, conquered Italy, and created an empire. Based on profound familiarity with history, evidence, and their better-known descendants, attention to what they did and failed to do, remarkable insight, empathy, constructive imagination, and not without humor, he reconstructs the homo Romanus and thus helps us imagine what he was like, and understand why he achieved what he did. This little book is informative, full of important ideas, and delightful to read." ---Kurt Raaflaub, Brown University Jacket image: Marcus Fabius and Quintus Tannius. Fresco. Musei Capitolini, Rome, Italy. Courtesy of Scala / Art Resource, NY..

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Earline's Pink Party

The Social Rituals and Domestic Relics of a Southern Woman

In Earline’s Pink Party Elizabeth Findley Shores sifts through her family’s scattered artifacts to understand her grandmother’s life in relation to the troubled racial history of Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

A compelling, genre-bending page-turner, Earline’s Pink Party: The Social Rituals and Domestic Relics of a Southern Woman analyzes the life of a small-city matron in the Deep South. A combination of biography, material culture analysis, social history, and memoir, this volume offers a new way of thinking about white racism through Shores’s conclusion that Earline’s earliest childhood experiences determined her worldview.
 
Set against a fully drawn background of geography and culture and studded with detailed investigations of social rituals (such as women’s parties) and objects (such as books, handwritten recipes, and fabric scraps), Earline’s Pink Party tells the story of an ordinary woman, the grandmother Shores never knew. Looking for more than the details and drama of bourgeois Southern life, however, the author digs into generations of family history to understand how Earline viewed the racial terror that surrounded her during the Jim Crow years in this fairly typical southern town.
 
Shores seeks to narrow a gap in the scholarship of the American South, which has tended to marginalize and stereotype well-to-do white women who lived after Emancipation. Exploring her grandmother’s home and its contents within the context of Tuscaloosa society and historical events, Shores evaluates the belief that women like Earline consciously engaged in performative rituals in order to sustain the “fantastical” view of the white nobility and the contented black underclass. With its engaging narrative, illustrations, and structure, this fascinating book should interest scholars of memory, class identity, and regional history, as well as sophisticated lay readers who enjoy Southern history, foodways, genealogy, and material culture.

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Early African American Print Culture

Edited by Lara Langer Cohen and Jordan Alexander Stein

The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries saw both the consolidation of American print culture and the establishment of an African American literary tradition, yet the two are too rarely considered in tandem. In this landmark volume, a stellar group of established and emerging scholars ranges over periods, locations, and media to explore African Americans' diverse contributions to early American print culture, both on the page and off.

The book's seventeen chapters consider domestic novels and gallows narratives, Francophone poetry and engravings of Liberia, transatlantic lyrics and San Francisco newspapers. Together, they consider how close attention to the archive can expand the study of African American literature well beyond matters of authorship to include issues of editing, illustration, circulation, and reading—and how this expansion can enrich and transform the study of print culture more generally.

Published in cooperation with the Library Company of Philadelphia.

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Early African Entertainments Abroad

From the Hottentot Venus to Africa's First Olympians

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Early American Cartographies

Martin Brückner

Maps were at the heart of cultural life in the Americas from before colonization to the formation of modern nation-states. The fourteen essays in Early American Cartographies examine indigenous and European peoples' creation and use of maps to better represent and understand the world they inhabited.

Drawing from both current historical interpretations and new interdisciplinary perspectives, this collection provides diverse approaches to understanding the multilayered exchanges that went into creating cartographic knowledge in and about the Americas. In the introduction, editor Martin Bruckner provides a critical assessment of the concept of cartography and of the historiography of maps. The individual essays, then, range widely over space and place, from the imperial reach of Iberian and British cartography to indigenous conceptualizations, including "dirty," ephemeral maps and star charts, to demonstrate that pre-nineteenth-century American cartography was at once a multiform and multicultural affair.

This volume not only highlights the collaborative genesis of cartographic knowledge about the early Americas; the essays also bring to light original archives and innovative methodologies for investigating spatial relations among peoples in the western hemisphere. Taken together, the authors reveal the roles of early American cartographies in shaping popular notions of national space, informing visual perception, animating literary imagination, and structuring the political history of Anglo- and Ibero-America.

The contributors are:
Martin Bruckner, University of Delaware
Michael J. Drexler, Bucknell University
Matthew H. Edney, University of Southern Maine
Jess Edwards, Manchester Metropolitan University
Junia Ferreira Furtado, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil
William Gustav Gartner, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Gavin Hollis, Hunter College of the City University of New York
Scott Lehman, independent scholar
Ken MacMillan, University of Calgary
Barbara E. Mundy, Fordham University
Andrew Newman, Stony Brook University
Ricardo Padron, University of Virginia
Judith Ridner, Mississippi State University

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Early American Cinema in Transition

Story, Style, and Filmmaking, 1907–1913

Charlie Keil

The period 1907–1913 marks a crucial transitional moment in American cinema. As moving picture shows changed from mere novelty to an increasingly popular entertainment, fledgling studios responded with longer running times and more complex storytelling. A growing trade press and changing production procedures also influenced filmmaking. In Early American Cinema in Transition, Charlie Keil looks at a broad cross-section of fiction films to examine the formal changes in cinema of this period and the ways that filmmakers developed narrative techniques to suit the fifteen-minute, one-reel format.
    Keil outlines the kinds of narratives that proved most suitable for a single reel’s duration, the particular demands that time and space exerted on this early form of film narration, and the ways filmmakers employed the unique features of a primarily visual medium to craft stories that would appeal to an audience numbering in the millions. He underscores his analysis with a detailed look at six films: The Boy Detective; The Forgotten Watch; Rose O’Salem-Town; Cupid’s Monkey Wrench; Belle Boyd, A Confederate Spy; and Suspense.

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Early American Literature

Vol. 35, no. 3 (2000) through current issue

The journal of the Modem Language Association's American Literature Division 1, Early American Literature publishes the finest work of scholars examining American literature from its inception through the early national period, about 1830. Founded in 1965, EAL invites work treating Native American traditional expressions, colonial Ibero-American literature from North America, colonial American Francophone writings, Dutch colonial, and German American colonial literature as well as writings in English from British America and the US. http://earlyamlit.nd.edu/index.html

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Early American Literature

A Comparatist Approach

Alfred Owen Aldridge

A. Owen Aldridge shows that early American literature is not an isolated phenomenon, but one affected by the same influences which operated upon other literatures of the period.

Originally published in 1982.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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Early American Poetry

Selections from Bradstreet, Taylor, Dwight, Freneau, and Bryant

Edited by Jane Donahue Eberwein

Here is the first major-figure anthology of American poetry of the colonial and early national periods, an indispensable volume for both students and scholars of American literature and civilization.
    Five major literary figures are spotlighted: Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672), Edward Taylor (1642?"-1729), Timothy Dwight (1752-1817), Philip Freneau (1752-1832), and William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878). An introduction to each chapter summarizes the life of the poet, reviews his or her literary career, describes and evaluates artistic achievement, and places the poet in an intellectual context. The writer's relationship to changing religious, philosophical, political, and cultural patters is established. The contemporary perspective is augmented by the inclusion of an appendix which presents three important poems by other writers: Micheal Wigglesworth's "God's Controversy with New England," Ebenezer Cook's The Sot-Weed Factor, and Joel Barlow's "Hasty Pudding."
    Eberwein goes beyond the most popular and familiar works to include those of unrecognized literary merit, presenting a thoroughly unique approach which illuminates the full range of the writers' themes, forms and poetic voices.

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Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal

Vol. 1 (2003) through current issue

Early American Studies is a semiannual publication sponsored by The McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Early American Studies is dedicated to publishing original research on a broad range of topics. Each issue is organized with the goal of fostering research and scholarly inquiry into the histories and cultures of North America in the Atlantic world before 1850. Special emphasis is focused on topics and issues centered in the mid-Atlantic region.

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