Writing the Rebellion: Loyalists and the Literature of Politics in British America

Writing the Rebellion: Loyalists and the Literature of Politics in British America

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Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
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Binding: Paperback
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Traditional literary histories of Revolutionary-era America tend to privilege the works of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, and other ardent Patriots eager to see the thirteen colonies sever all ties with the British Crown. Yet the literature produced by Loyalists--the faction of colonists
opposed to severing ties with Britain--made up an equally important part of the nation's burgeoning literary culture. With ample attention to both Loyalists and Patriots, Writing the Rebellion reveals the complicated ways colonial Americans sought to reconstruct their English identities at a moment
of political crisis, when the British Empire was falling apart in North America.

Employing the methods of transatlantic literary studies, postcolonial theory, and the history of the book, Philip Gould considers how British Americans coped with what amounted to a cultural identity crisis. Each chapter addresses an important subject of literary history and literary form--sublime
writing, wit, balladry, satire and burlesque, questions of authorship, and regional identification--to show how the literature of politics operated simultaneously as the site where aesthetic and cultural matters were also contested and reconfigured. By re-mapping the literature of revolutionary
politics in this way, and accounting for the Loyalist presence in political debate, Writing the Rebellion offers a new literary and cultural history, not of the American Revolution but of an American Rebellion.