Captivity Narratives Criticism: Influence On American Literature - Essay

David T. Haberly (essay date 1976)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Haberly, David T. “Women and Indians: The Last of the Mohicans and the Captivity Tradition.” American Quarterly 28, no. 4 (autumn 1976): 431-44.

[In the essay below, Haberly outlines the influence of captivity narratives on James Fenimore Cooper's creation of The Last of the Mohicans.]

Despite considerable new interest in narratives of Indian captivity, this large genre remains somewhat isolated within American literary history—more interesting to bibliographers and ethnohistorians than to critics.1 Some recent studies of captivity narratives have ably elaborated basic ideas first presented by Roy Harvey Pearce a generation ago; new and...

(The entire section is 6303 words.)

Gary L. Ebersole (essay date 1995)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Ebersole, Gary L. “Capturing the Audience: Sentimental Literature and the New Reading Covenant.” In Captured by Texts: Puritan to Postmodern Images of Indian Captivity, pp. 98-128. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1995.

[In the excerpt below, Ebersole traces the emergence of the sentimental novel format in eighteenth-century captivity narratives, focusing on Edward Kimber's novel The History of the Life and Adventures of Mr. Anderson.]

Though our brother is upon the rack, as long as we ourselves are at our ease, our senses will never inform us of what he suffers. They never did, and never can, carry us beyond our own person,...

(The entire section is 14285 words.)