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Joan Varnum Ferretti Publishes in the 2013 Annual Edition of Literature in the Early American Republic

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Joan Varnum Ferretti’s article “Religious Apostasy and Market Rebellion: The Early Republic’s Crises of Authority in Catharine Maria Sedgwick’s A New-England Tale; or Sketches of New-England Character and Manners (1822)” has been published in the 2013 annual edition of Literature in the Early American Republic, Annual Studies on Cooper and His Contemporaries. Varnum Ferretti’s essay is only one of five articles published this year.

 

Catharine Maria Sedgwick originally intended to use A New-England Tale; or Sketches of New-England Character and Manners (1822) as a tract. Although the piece took on other literary dimensions as America’s first domestic novel, it retains several fundamental traits of the tract genre in the way that it posits the ideological power struggle between two worlds: the spiritual/religious world of America’s Second Great Awakening and the material world of the Market Revolution. As dramatized on the stage of the everyday domestic life of young Jane Elton, the novel’s representation of these two converging and conflicting American worlds tells the tale of the hegemonic battle over the soul and moral conscience of the early republic.

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