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

Paperback | April 26, 2016

byPhilip Gould

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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 colonistsopposed 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 momentof 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--sublimewriting, 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 revolutionarypolitics 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."

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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 colonistsopposed to severing ties with Britain--made up ...

Philip Gould is Nicholas Brown Professor of Oratory and Belles Lettres at Brown University. He is the author of Covenant and Republic: Historical Romance and the Politics of Puritanism and Barbaric Traffic: Commerce and Antislavery in the 18th-Century Atlantic World.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:232 pages, 0.12 × 0.12 × 0.12 inPublished:April 26, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190494468

ISBN - 13:9780190494469

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"Writing the Rebellion refocuses attention on the losers of the American Revolution--and on the experience of loss itself. Gould's Loyalists dissented from critical categories we now invoke to evaluate American political literature. Severing virtue from politics, suspicious of the seductionsof language, Loyalists did not believe there was an American 'public' in revolutionary America. By carefully recovering their intellectual world, Gould gives us a timely reminder of the history of a divided country." --Eric Slauter, author of The State as a Work of Art: The Cultural Origins of theConstitution