Romanticism

Mid 1800s

These writers infused their writing with “fancy, imagination, emotion, nature, individuality and exotica” (The American Experience). Transcendentalism and anti-transcendentalism are hallmarks of this era as many of these writers explored man’s relationship to nature and his desire to reach a higher consciousness outside traditional theology.

Featured author for this period...

Walt Whitman

    • The Walt Whitman Archive - an impressive site form the University of Virginia with many e-texts of Whitman's works and so much more!

    • Walt Whitman's World: America Still Needs His Poetry- great editorial piece from the Boston Globe and a must-read if you're research Whitman!

    • Prentice Hall Literature: The American Experience - Selected Textbook Resources:

        • Excerpt from Nonfiction: "Preface to the 1855 Edition of Leaves of Grass" -p. 440

        • Excerpt from Poem: "Song of Myself" -p. 442

        • Poem: "When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer" -p. 446

        • Poem: "By the Bivouac’s Fitful Flame” -p. 447

        • Poem: "I Hear America Singing" -p. 448

        • Poem: "A Noiseless Patient Spider" -p. 450

        • Academy of American Poets: "Oh Captain! My Captain!" by Whitman


Even more to explore...

Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott- learn about the author of Little Women and the Alcott family from the Louisa May Alcott Memorial Association.

Hospital Sketches- a compilation of four short stories inspired by Alcott's own experiences.


William Cullen Bryant

    • William Cullen Bryant- great resource with links to many etexts of Bryant's works from Washington State University

    • Prentice Hall Literature: The American Experience - Selected Textbook Resources:

        • Poem: "Thanatopsis" -p. 277


Emily Dickinson

    • Emily Dickinson - biographical information and e-text of some of her most famous poems from the Academy of American Poets.

    • Visit the Emily Dickinson Museum with this link.

    • Here's an interesting article on Dickinson from The Atlantic.

    • Prentice Hall Literature: The American Experience - Selected Textbook Resources:

        • Poem: "Because I could not stop for Death" -p. 426

        • Poem: "I heard a Fly buzz - when I died" -p. 428

        • Poem: "There’s a certain slant of light" -p. 430

        • Poem: "My life closed twice before its close" -p. 430

        • Poem: "The Soul selects her own Society" -p. 431

        • Poem: "The Brain – is wider than the Sky" -p. 432

        • Poem: "There is a solitude of space " -p. 433

        • Poem: "Water, is taught by thirst" -p. 434

Ralph Waldo Emerson

    • Ralph Waldo Emerson - click here and connect to the Academy of American Poets' page on Emerson.

    • Prentice Hall Literature: The American Experience - Selected Textbook Resources:

        • Excerpt from Essay: “Nature” –p. 390

        • Excerpt from Essay: "Self-Reliance" -p. 393

        • Poem: "Concord Hymn" -p. 395

        • Poem: "The Snowstorm" -p. 396

Audio Book/MP3

    • "Concord Hymn" - you'll have to scroll down a bit but it's here for you to listen to along with a link to the e-text.

    • Ralph Waldo Emerson at Librivox- this link will lead you to all the Ralph Waldo Emerson works available as MP3 files at Librivox.


Margaret Fuller

Margaret Fuller was America's "first true feminist" and a colleague of Emerson, Thoreau and the Alcotts. Click here to learn more about her and explore some of her works.


Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter


Oliver Wendell Holmes


Washington Irving

    • Read Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" - e-text from Project Gutenberg

    • Prentice Hall Literature: The American Experience - Selected Textbook Resources:

        • Short Story: "The Devil and Tom Walker" -p. 258

Audio Book/MP3


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - a collection of his works and some biographical information as well from the Academy of American Poets

    • "Paul Revere's Ride" - connect to the full e-text of Longfellow's famous poem.

    • Prentice Hall Literature: The American Experience - Selected Textbook Resources:

        • Poem: "The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls" -p. 275

Audio Book/MP3


Herman Melville


Edgar Allan Poe

    • The Edgar Allan Poe Museum - cool virtual tour and lots of link to great sites to the father of science fiction/horror.

    • Edgar Allan Poe - biographical information and e-text of some of his most famous poems from the Academy of American Poets.

    • The Raven: An Interactive Study Resource- great site from www.teachersfirst.com. Thanks to Mrs. Currier for letting us know about this cool site!

    • Prentice Hall Literature: The American Experience - Selected Textbook Resources:

        • Short Story: "The Fall of the House of Usher" -p. 312

        • Poem: "The Raven" -p. 330

Audio Book/MP3


Harriet Beecher Stowe


Henry David Thoreau


John Greenleaf Whittier

    • John Greenleaf Whittier- biography and links to some Whittier poems from The American Academy of Poets.

    • Prentice Hall Literature: The American Experience - Selected Textbook Resources:

        • Excerpt from Poem: "Snowbound" -p. 282


Overall "Text to World" & "Text to Text" Connections for this Literary Period

    • American Memory Timeline - from the Learning Page at The Library of Congress, this link will help you connect American history to American literature.