Notes, summaries, synopsis, analysis of Huck Finn, Young Goodman Brown and other books we’ve read. Articles and information that delve deeper into the themes, motifs and images of the classic books we discuss. Need to write a paper, find something to start you on further research here.

Jul 182011
An Video Extra: Twain vs. Sir Walter Scott

Check out this video extra. We read you chapter forty-six of Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain. In this chapter, Twain takes on the “Romantics” — and, in particular, Sir Walter Scott. He does not find much to recommend in their “girly-girly” romance.   Twain published Life on the Mississippi in 1883. It is more »

Jul 102011
Minstrel Shows: Jim Between Tambo and Bones

Thomas Dartmouth Rice hustled through Cincinnati’s crowded streets, likely toward the theater where he plied his trade. Rice, a stage performer, had a show to put on. He had tread the boards for a couple of years, but hadn’t achieved extraordinary success, wasn’t a giant of the stage. Not yet, anyway. As he rounded a more »

Jul 052011
Slavery's Sentimentalists and Apologists

The three arch-apologists — John Esten Cooke, George Bagby, and Thomas Nelson Page, all of whom were Virginians — set out to defend the antebellum society of their state from the attacks of others. They were quick to master the techniques of exaggeration and revision of historical fact. With ingenious, but, from our perspective, at more »

Jul 052011
Page's Marse Chan

Marse Chan by Thomas Nelson Page ONE afternoon, in the autumn of 1872, I was riding leisurely down the sandy road that winds along the top of the water-shed between two of the smaller rivers of eastern Virginia. The road I was travelling, following “the ridge” for miles, had just struck me as most significant more »

Jul 052011
Deshler's Glimpse of Modern Dixie

In 1878 Charles D. Deshler published a reminiscence of a trip through the American South in Harper’s Magazine. Deshler, a Northerner, traveled through the South  sometime after the close of the Civil War. The full text is set out below. Deshler’s account, with it’s casual racism, it’s sentimental recollection of the relationships between slaves and more »