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Description - Democracy, Revolution, and Monarchism in Early American Literature by Paul Downes

Paul Downes combines literary criticism and political history in order to explore responses to the rejection of monarchism in the American revolutionary era. Downes' analysis considers the Declaration of Independence, Franklin's Autobiography, Crevecoeur's Letters From An American Farmer, and the works of America's first significant literary figures including Brockden Brown, Washington Irving and James Fennimore Cooper. He claims that the new democratic American state and citizen inherited some of the complex features of absolute monarchy, even as they were strenuously trying to assert their difference from it. In chapters that consider the revolution's mock execution of George III, the Elizabethan notion of the 'king's two bodies', and the political significance of the secret ballot, Downes points to the traces of monarchical political structures within the practices and discourses of early American democracy. This is an ambitious study of an important theme in early American culture and society.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521813396
ISBN-10: 0521813395
Format: Hardback
(228mm x 152mm x 16mm)
Pages: 252
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 15-Aug-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Paul Downes

Paul Downes is an Associate Professor in the department of English at the University of Toronto. He is the author of a number of articles on eighteenth and nineteenth century American literature.