Meredith L. McGill (Editor)
Rutgers University Press, 2008
The transatlantic crossing of people and goods shaped nineteenth-century poetry in surprising ways that cannot be fully understood through the study of separate national literary traditions. American and British poetic cultures were bound by fascination, envy, influence, rivalry, recognition, and piracy, as well as by mutual fantasies about and competition over the Caribbean.
Drawing on examples such as Felicia Hemans's elaboration of the foundational American myth of Plymouth Rock, Emma Lazarus's ambivalent welcome of Europe's cast-off populations, black abolitionist Mary Webb's European performances of Hiawatha, and American reprints of Robert Browning and George Meredith, the eleven essays in this book focus on poetic depictions of exile, slavery, immigration, and citizenship and explore the often asymmetrical traffic between British and American poetic cultures.