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Nineteenth Century American Literature

The "American Renaissance" of the mid-nineteenth century was the first great flowering of American art and literature, and during that time many of the works today considered as the American canon were produced, such as Melville’s Moby-Dick (published first in England as The Whale), Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, and Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. The Library is particularly strong in these collections, and holds two copies of the extremely rare first edition of Leaves of Grass, printed and published by Whitman himself at his expense in very limited numbers.

  • Louisa May Alcott, 1832-1888.
    Little women, or, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. Boston: Roberts, 1868.
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1804-1864.
    The Scarlet Letter. Boston: Ticknor, Reed and Fields, 1850.
  • Washington Irving, 1783-1859.
    The sketch book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. New York: Printed by C.S. Van Winkle, 1819.
  • Herman Melville, 1819-1862.
    The Whale. London: R. Bentley, 1851.
  • Henry David Thoreau, 1817-1862.
    Walden, or, Life in the woods. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1854.
  • Walt Whitman, 1819-1892.
    Leaves of Grass. Brooklyn: [the author], 1855.
Leaves of Grass
Leaves of Grass, 1855.

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