Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
American Renaissance (literature)
In American literature, the American Renaissance was the mid-19th century, and especially the period roughly from 1850 to 1855, during which many of the works most widely considered American masterpieces were produced. These included Melville's Moby-Dick, Whitman's first edition of Leaves of Grass, Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables, Thoreau's Walden, and Emerson's Representative Men (though most of Emerson's best-known texts preceded the period slightly). The period was first named and critically discussed by F.O. Matthiessen in his 1941 book American Renaissance: Art and Expression in the Age of Emerson and Whitman. It continues as a central term in American studies.
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