Fall 2017 catalog cover

The Penn Press list for fall 2017 includes hardcover releases, first-time paperbacks, and ebook editions intended for scholars, students, and serious general readers worldwide. Click here to explore our forthcoming books, grouped by subject area.

American Novelists in Italy
The Discoverers, Allston to James

Nathalia Wright

288 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
Cloth 1965 | ISBN 9781512809268 | Buy from De Gruyter $79.95 | €69.95 | £70.50
Ebook 2016 | ISBN 9781512809275 | Buy from De Gruyter $79.95 | €69.95 | £70.50
This book is available under special arrangement from our European publishing partner De Gruyter.
An Anniversary Collection volume

This is a study of the effect of their travels in Italy on thirteen American writers, among them Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Beecher Stowe, W. D. Howells, and Henry James. Nathalia Wright's thesis is that Italy was a major influence on the American writers of fiction who visited that country. Some of these writers went to Italy for reasons of health. others because they were dissatisfied with the status of artists in the United States and wished the pleasure and adventure of living in a country permeated with artistic sensibility. They all had in common a love for the Italian countryside, even if their opinions of the Italian personality varied.

American Novelists in Italy is concerned with those writers who wrote between 1804 and 1870 or had begun to write by 1870. It deals with their travels in Italy and discusses in detail the treatment of Italian material in their subsequent writing. From their Italian experience issued such diverse novels as Cooper's The Water-Witch, the most lighthearted and imaginative of all Cooper's novels, Hawthorne's The Marble Faun, and James's The Golden Bowl. In addition, Dr. Wright views in detail numerous works by lesser-known authors.

Illustrated with works of nineteenth-century artists who also travelled in Italy, this book should be of interest to all students of American literature, especially since it is the first book to deal in depth with the influence of Italy on the American novel.

Nathalia Wright was Professor of English at the University of Tennessee. She is the author of The Inner Room, Melville's Use of the Bible, and Horatio Greenough: The First American Sculptor, the last also published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.

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