American Renaissance: Art and Expression in the Age of Emerson and Whitman

Centering his discussion around five of its literary giants--Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Melville, and Whitman--Matthiessen elucidates their conceptions of nature and the function of literature, and the extent to which these were realized in their writings. The breadth of the book lies in the author's use of the five-year period from 1850 to 1855 as a focal point in interpreting what went before and what followed in the development of our prose and poetry.

By: F. O. Matthiessen