The American Puritan Elegy: A Literary and Cultural Study (Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture)

The American Puritan Elegy: A Literary and Cultural Study (Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture)

  • £20.39
  • Save £56

Jeffrey A. Hammond
Cambridge University Press, 6/1/2000
EAN 9780521662451, ISBN10: 0521662451

Hardcover, 282 pages, 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.9 cm
Language: English

Jeffrey Hammond's study takes an anthropological approach to the most popular form of poetry in early New England - the funeral elegy. Hammond reconstructs the historical, theological and cultural contexts of these poems to demonstrate how they responded to a specific process of mourning defined by Puritan views on death and grief. The elegies emerge, he argues not as 'poems' to be read and appreciated in a post-romantic sense, but as performative scripts that consoled readers by shaping their experience of loss in accordance with theological expectation. Read in the framework of their own time and place, the elegies shed light on the emotional dimension of Puritanism and the important role of ritual in Puritan culture. Hammond's book reassesses a body of poems whose importance on their own time has been obscured by almost total neglect in ours. It represents the first full-length study of its kind in English.

1. Monuments enduring and otherwise
2. Toward an anthropology of Puritan reading
3. Weep for yourselves
the Puritan theology of mourning
4. This potent fence
the holy sin of grief
5. Lord, is it I?
Christic saints and apostolic mourners
6. Diffusing all by pattern
the reading of saintly lives
aestheticising loss
Works Cited

"Although one scarcely expects contemporary readers to show much interest in the multitude of formulaic death poems left behind by dead white (and mostly male) Puritans, Jeffery A. Hammond's study offers an impressively innovate approach to this subject matter." John Gatta Christianity and Literature

"Never has thid body of peoms read so intensely and so well." Early American Literature: Volume 36

"Hammond's rich, erudite text is clearly addressed to academic peers...Hammond's achievement is considerable." American Literature