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The Ohio State University Press
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Secretary to the Salem witch trials, Cotton Mather is the most reviled of our national historians. Yet James Russell Lowell admitted that “with all his faults, that conceited old pedant contrived to make one of the most entertaining books ever written on this side of the water.” In America’s Gothic Fiction, Dorothy Z. Baker investigates the ways in which nineteenth-century authors Edgar Allan Poe, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Nathaniel Hawthorne, among others, look to Mather’s Magnalia Christi Americana at critical moments in their work and refashion his historical accounts as gothic fiction. Cotton Mather’s 1702 Magnalia captured the imagination of its readers more than any other colonial history and impressed Americans with its message of American exceptionalism and God’s dramatic intervention on behalf of the country and its citizens. Poe, Stowe, and Hawthorne, who are rarely grouped together in literary studies, have radically divergent responses to Mather’s theology, historiography, and literary forms. However, each takes up Mather’s themes and forms and, in distinct ways, interrogates the providence tales in Magnalia Christi Americana as foundational statements about American history and identity.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
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  1. Table of Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. 1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-13
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  1. 2. "We have seen Strange things to Day:" The History and Artistry of Cotton Mather's Remarkables
  2. pp. 14-36
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  1. 3. "A Wilderness of Error:" Edgar Allan Poe's Revision of Providential Tropes
  2. pp. 37-64
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  1. 4. Cotton Mather as the "old New England grandmother:" Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Female Historian
  2. pp. 65-86
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  1. 5. Nathaniel Hawthorne and the "Singular Mind" of Cotton Mather
  2. pp. 87-118
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  1. 6. "The story was in the gaps:" Catharine Maria Sedgwick and Edith Wharton
  2. pp. 119-144
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  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 145-156
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 157-161
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780814272039
Related ISBN
9780814291443
MARC Record
OCLC
1228476232
Pages
161
Launched on MUSE
2021-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
Yes
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