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Archive: "american literature" Tag

Louisa May Alcott’s “Work” at 150

150 years ago this week, Louisa May Alcott’s novel Work: A Story of Experience first appeared in print. Work was revised from an earlier draft of a novel which Alcott began in 1861. Work is Alcott’s most autobiographical novel. In it, heroine Christie Devon faces many trials as she tries to earn an independent living, …

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Jack London

100 years ago today, Jack London, American author and activist, died at age 40 in California. London is best known for his tales of the Klondike Gold Rush, including the novel The Call of the Wild and the oft-anthologized short story “To Build a Fire.” He was a prolific writer who wrote nearly two dozen …

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Religious poetry exhibit

In conjunction with the English Department symposium Illuminating the Word: the Devotional Tradition and the Future of Poetry, Special Collections is displaying the work of major poets working in the genre of religious poetry. Highlights include first editions of poets like Gerard Manley Hopkins, Emily Dickinson, and T.S. Eliot, as well as rare editions of …

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Edgar Allan Poe in Special Collections

Poe is a perennial literary favorite at Halloween time, and Special Collections is a great place to come if you’re looking for your fill of his creepy tales and poems. The Rare Book Collection contains first printings of tales like “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Tell-tale Heart” in our 19th century …

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O. Henry

Tuesday, Sept. 11 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of American writer William Sydney Porter (1862-1910), best known by his pen name O. Henry.  Porter is famous for witty short stories like “The Ransom of Red Chief” and “The Gift of the Magi,” which often feature surprise twists at the end. Porter was a …

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Transcendentalism in Special Collections

L. Tom Perry Special Collections contains many early publications by the Transcendentalists, from works by major figures of the movement like Ralph Waldo Emerson (including his seminal essay, Nature), Henry David Thoreau (a first edition of Walden is pictured here), and Theodore Parker; to lectures given at the Concord School of Philosophy. These works are …

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Civil War nursing

Two of the newest acquisitions in the Rare American Literature collection are memoirs by Civil War-era nurses.  These books complement the memoirs of more famous Civil War nurses in Special Collections, including Louisa May Alcott and Walt Whitman. Notes of Hospital Life is an anonymous work which relates the experience of a Union nurse working …

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Civil War Stories

The United States Civil War period has inspired many writers of fiction, and has provided a rich setting for novels as diverse as Little Women, Gone With the Wind, Rifles for Watie, and The Killer Angels.  Special Collections contains an array of important Civil War-related fiction, including literature by those who experienced the war firsthand …

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Harriet Beecher Stowe

2011 is an excellent year for literary anniversaries.  One to mark in the month of June is the 200th birthday of American novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe, best known for “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” on 14 June.  Stowe was the daughter of a minister and her family was very active in education and social and religious causes.  …

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Gone With the Wind

Speaking of Civil War-related literature, fans of Margaret Mitchell’s epic novel “Gone With the Wind” celebrated the 75th anniversary of its publication earlier this month.  Special Collections owns two copies of the first edition of this Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, though both lack the highly collectible dust jacket.  “Gone With the Wind” was made into a …

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