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By Michelle Burnham

In a brand new interpretation and synthsis of hugely renowned 18th and nineteenth century ganres, Burnham examines the literature of captivity and gives a useful redescription of the ambivilent origins of the united states nationwide narrative.

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Additional info for Captivity and Sentiment: Cultural Exchange in American Literature, 1682-1861 (Reencounters with Colonialism: New Perspectives on the Americas)

Example text

What brings together the colonial American captivity narratives, Anglo-American sentimental novels, and African American slave narratives studied here is their mutual engagement in a project much like the one Cotton Mather invokes in the epigraph above: provoking their readers to cry for their captive heroines. " It is ator more precisely, acrosssuch intersections that I locate the sentimentalism of these texts, for their "moving" qualities are inextricably linked to the movements in and by the texts themselves across various borders.

Read therefore, Peruse, Ponder, and from hence lay by something from the experience of another against thine own turn comes, that so thou also through patience and consolation of the Scripture mayest have hope" (117). In Mather's view, the vivid details offered in scenes like the opening description of Indian attack would, if read properly, inspire this edifying result.  Mary Rowlandson (Boston, 1771).  Ayer Collection, The Newberry Library. It is difficult to know, however, whether readers responded as Mather insisted they should.

The Friction of Exchange Rowlandson acknowledges her commodity status as a captive, her simultaneous use value and exchange value for her captors, when she observes that her mistress, Weetamoo, a Pocasset Indian married to the Narragansett sachem Quinnapin, refused to lend her to another Indian for fear of losing "not only my service, but the redemption-pay also" (151). The practice of captive-taking predates European contact, when, as Colin Calloway notes, captives were usually either adopted or tortured to death as a way of replacing or avenging the death of a family member lost in war.

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