University of Virginia Library University of Virginia
Early American Fiction Collection

Study Resources for Early American Fiction

Subsets Arranged Around a Theme

1) Edgar Allan Poe:
The Literati of New York City: Some Honest Opinions at Random Respecting Their Autorial Merits, with Occasional Words of Personality.

The Literati has given us one of many potential frameworks around which we can arrange our Early American Fiction editions: one that will highlight both prominent and lesser-known authors and demonstrate how such a collection could be used for study and teaching.

Advantages of a Searchable Collection

1) First Usage of American Vocabulary:
EAF/OED first usage comparison

Although the Oxford English Dictionary claims to provide the earliest quoted usage of a word, a comparison search with the EAF collection shows that in fact, many words were quoted prior to the OED's citation. This type of searching across two collections also gives scholars and students an idea of "who was reading whom" in the early American literary community.

Early American Fiction and Biography

Nineteenth-Century Biographies:
From Oscar Fay Adams, A Dictionary of American Authors (1901)
From Samuel Austin Allibone, A Critical Dictionary of English Literature (1900)
From Evert A. Duyckinck, Cyclopaedia of American Literature (1856)

Early American Fiction and Textual Scholarship

Early American Fiction in Studies in Bibliography: Available online through the Electronic Text Center, Studies in Bibliography has published a number of articles on early American authors and publishing.

Early American Fiction and Manuscript Guides from UVa Special Collections

EAD Guides: Many EAF authors also have manuscript collections at UVa. The guides to these collections are searchable and browseable online as part of the University of Virginia Library's Special Collections Guides and Finding Aids.

Electronic Editions

1) Donald Grant Mitchell (pseud. Ik. Marvel):
"Smoke, Flame and Ashes" An edition by Lisa Spiro

Lisa Spiro presents an electronic edition of Mitchell's "Smoke, Flame and Ashes," the first reverie in his Reveries of a Bachelor (1850). Mitchell, one of the authors included in the EAF collection, was enormously popular in mid-nineteenth century America. This edition reconstructs the text's transformations in print, including historical and textual commentary. Spiro also allows her readers to compare five different versions of Mitchell's text.

Teaching Resources

Resources for ENAM982: The Transatlantic 1790s