General Bibliography of American Literature

[This is taken from William J. Long's Outlines of English and American Literature.]

Books dealing with individual writers and with limited periods are named elsewhere, in the special bibliographies that supplement each of the preceding chapters. The following works, selected from a much larger number, will be found useful for reference during the entire course of study.

AMERICAN LITERATURE. There is unfortunately no series of scholarly volumes covering the whole field, and nothing that approaches a standard history of the subject. One of the best general surveys is Richardson, American Literature, 2 vols. (Putnam, 1887). This is a critical work, containing no biographical material, and the historical sequence is broken by studying each type of literature (fiction, poetry, etc.) by itself. Other general surveys, containing a small amount of biography sadly interwoven with critical matter, are Trent, American Literature (Appleton); Cairn, History of American Literature (Oxford University Press); Wendell, Literary History of America (Scribner); and the Cambridge American Literature, 2 vols. (announced, 1916, Putnam). There are also a score of textbooks dealing briefly with the subject.

Among histories dealing with selected authors in groups or with the writers of some particular section of the country are National Studies in American Letters (Macmillan), which includes Higginson’s Old Cambridge, Nicholson’s The Hoosiers, Addison’s The Clergy in American Letters, etc.; Fulton, Southern Life in Southern Literature; Moses, Literature of the South; Holliday, History of Southern Literature; Wauchope, Writers of North Carolina; Lawton, The New England Poets; Painter, Poets of Virginia; Venable, Beginnings of Literary Culture in the Ohio Valley.

POETRY. Stedman, Poets of America; Onderdonck, History of American Verse; Collins, Poetry and Poets of America.

FICTION. Loshe, The Early American Novel; Erskine, Leading American Novelists; Smith, The American Short Story; Baldwin, American Short Stories; Perry, A Study of Prose Fiction; Howells, Criticism in Fiction; James, The Art of Fiction; Crawford, The Novel: What It Is.

MISCELLANEOUS TYPES. Jameson, History of Historical Writing in America; Payne, Leading American Essayists; Brownell, American Prose Masters; Haweis, American Humorists; Payne, American Literary Criticisms; Sears, History of Oratory; Fuller and Trueblood, British and American Eloquence; Seilhamer, History of the American Theater; Hudson, Journalism in the United States; Thomas, History of Printing in America.

A very useful little book is Whitcomb, Chronological Outlines of American Literature (Macmillan), in which all important works are arranged, first, in chronological order, year by year, and then according to authors.

BIOGRAPHY. The best series of literary biographies is American Men of Letters (Houghton). A few American authors are included in English Men of Letters, Great Writers, the brief Beacon Biographies and other series. Biographical collections are Adams, Dictionary of American Authors; Cyclopedia of American Biography, 6 vols. (Appleton); Allibone, Dictionary of English Literature and British and American Authors, 6 vols. (Lippincott); Howes, American Bookmen; Fields, Biographical Notes and Personal Sketches.

SELECTIONS. Calhoun and MacAlarney, Readings from American Literature, containing selections from all important authors in one volume (Ginn and Company); Stedman and Hutchinson, Library of American Literature, 11 vols. (Webster); Duyckinck, Cyclopedia of American Literature, 2 vols. (Scribner); Bronson, American Poems and American Prose, 2 vols. (University of Chicago Press);

Lounsbury, American Poems (Yale University Press); Stedman, An American Anthology, supplementing the same author’s Poets of America (Houghton); Page, Chief American Poets, with very full selections from our nine elder poets (Houghton); The Humbler Poets, newspaper and magazine verse, 2 vols. (McClurg); Golden Treasury of American Songs and Lyrics (Macmillan); Rittenhouse, Little Book of Modern Verse (Houghton); Carpenter, American Prose (Macmillan); Johnson, American Orations, 3 vols. (Putnam); Harding, Select Orations (Macmillan).

Library of Southern Literature, 16 vols., a monumental work, edited under supervision of the University of Virginia (Martin and Holt Co., Atlanta); Trent, Southern Writers; Mims and Payne, Southern Poetry; Kent, Southern Poets.

SCHOOL TEXTS. For the works of minor writers some of the anthologies named above are necessary; but the major authors may be read to better advantage in various inexpensive texts edited for class use. Such, for example, are Standard English Classics (Ginn and Company); Riverside Literature (Houghton); Pocket Classics (Macmillan); Lake Classics (Scott); Maynard’s English Classics (Merrill); Silver Classics (Silver, Burdett); Johnson’s English Classics (Johnson); English Readings (Holt); Eclectic Classics (American Book Co.); Everyman’s Library (Dutton). There are nearly a score more of these handy little editions, lists of which may be obtained by writing to the various publishing houses, especially to those that make a specialty of schoolbooks.

AMERICAN HISTORY. In studying our literature a good textbook of history should always be at hand; such as Montgomery, Student’s American History, or Muzzey, American History, or Channing, Students’ History of the United States. More extended works are much better, if the student has time or inclination to consult them.

A useful reference work in connection with our early literature is American History Told by Contemporaries, edited by Hart, 4 vols.  (Macmillan). The American History Series, 6 vols. (Scribner), tells the story of America by epochs, the different epochs being treated by different authors. Another good history of the same kind is Epochs of American History, 3 vols. (Longmans). The most complete history is The American Nation, 27 vols. (Harper).

Political and party history in Stanwood, History of the Presidency (Houghton), and Johnston, American Political History, 2 vols.  (Putnam).

Biographies of notable characters in American Statesmen (Houghton), Makers of America (Dodd), Great Commanders (Appleton), True Biographies (Lippincott), and various other series. National Cyclopedia of American Biography, 15 vols. (White).

Bibliography of the subject in Channing, Hart and Turner, Guide to the Study and Reading of American History, revised to 1912 (Ginn and Company); and in Andrews, Gambrill and Tall, Bibliography of History (Longmans).





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