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Discoverers, Explorers, Settlers

The Diligent Writers of Early America

"Send those on land that will show themselves diligent writers." So urged the "sailing instructions" prepared for explorer Henry Hudson. With distinctive command of the primary texts created by such "diligent writers" as Columbus, William Bradford, and Thomas Jefferson, Wayne Franklin describes how the New World was created from their new words. The long verbal discovery of America, he asserts, entailed both advance and retreat, sudden insights and blind insistence on old ways of seeing. The discoverers, explorers, and settlers depicted America in words—or via maps, tables, and landscape views—as a complex spatial and political entity, a place where ancient formula and current fact were inevitably at odds.

266 pages | 30 halftones | 6.00 x 9.00 | © 1979

Literature and Literary Criticism: American and Canadian Literature

Table of Contents

List of Plates
Acknowledgments
Prologue
Introduction: Language and Event in New World History
1. Discovery Narrative
An Adventure of the Eye Alone
2. Exploratory Narrative
Many Goodly Tokens
3. Settlement Narrative
Like an Ancient Mother
Conclusion
Epilogue: A Wilderness of Books
Notes
Index

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