When in ancient times men heeded John Masefield's call to set out to sea again, the business they did on great waters was serious stuff, in the words of the Psalmist to "see the works of the Lord: and his wonders in the deep." These last included Le [...]
In 1807, there were simultaneously launched in the United States Robert Fulton's first successful steamboat, the Clermont, and Joel Barlow's last attempt at an epic, The Columbiad. With the launching of the Clermont, there began a transportation a [...]
From Cotton Mather's Magnalia to Charles Olson's Maximus, American writers have produced works which qualify—for the most part self-consciously—as epics, and a preponderance of these works deals with the unfolding imperial diagram that became [...]
Longfellow survives largely as a bad example, not a poète maudit but a maudlin poet, afloat on the lachrymose seas of a sentimental age. Still, he does prevail even if his poetry has not endured, and few critics who even now discuss his work are ab [...]
The Diaries of George Washington. Volume I, 1748—65; Volume II, 1766-70. Edited by Donald Jackson. Virginia. $15.00 per volume.
WE have here the first fruits of a harvest begun in 1968, the bringing in of George Washington's papers for a monument [...]
History is mostly, as the feminists lament, his story," being in the words of Carlyle "the biography of great men." It is also an anatomy of error, a great book of mistakes from which today's great man may learn the lesson of the past. History is the [...]
Along with the idea of the Great American Novel, the notion of America as a Melting Pot has passed out of fashion, the both because of the increasing futility of imposing homogeneity on a complex, ethnically and regionally diverse culture. Ironicall [...]