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Philip Gould investigates the cultural politics of historical memory in the early American republic, specifically the historical literature of Puritanism. By situating historical writing about Puritanism in the context of the cultural forces of Republicanism and liberalism, his study reconsiders the emergence of the historical romance in the 1820s, before the work of Nathaniel Hawthorne. This 1997 book not only aids the Americanist recovery of this literary period, but also brings together literary studies of historical fiction and historical scholarship of early Republican political culture; in doing so, it offers a persuasive account of just what is at stake when one reads literature of and about the past.

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