Places Discussed

(Critical Guide to Settings and Places in Literature)

*St. Louis

*St. Louis. Major Mississippi River port city and principal city of Missouri, a border state that was occupied by Union troops before it could declare itself for the Confederacy when the Civil War began in 1861. Union generals Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman spent many years in St. Louis before the war. South St. Louis had a large proabolition population of Germans, who had left Germany after the failure of the revolutions of 1848. However, St. Louis was also a city in which many southern aristocrats lived, along with others who had relocated from the South. St. Louis was also the birthplace of author Winston Churchill.

Mrs. Crane’s boardinghouse

Mrs. Crane’s boardinghouse. St. Louis establishment where many of the novel’s major characters, such as Eliphalet Hopper, the Brices, and the Cranes, visit or reside. The house is a center of considerable debate bordering on “mad delirium.” It is here that Stephen Brice, who has relocated from Boston to St. Louis in order to have a better chance in a legal career, brings a female slave he has just purchased with his last dollars, to free her from the horrors of slavery.

Carvel house

Carvel house. St. Louis home of Colonel Carvel and his daughter Virginia. Located on Locust Street, this family house and its possessions are seized over Christmas in 1861, along with the possessions of other secessionist families. Judge...

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(Great Characters in Literature)

Knight, Grant C. The Strenuous Age in American Literature. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1954. Classic study of American literature covering the period 1900 to 1910, largely coinciding with the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. Successfully integrates the authors, including Churchill, and their works with the times.

Pattee, Fred Lewis. The New American Literature, 1890-1930. New York: Century, 1930. Although dated, the work has valuable comments on Churchill’s The Crisis as being in the Romantic tradition of the Waverley novels of Sir Walter Scott.

Schneider, Robert W. Five Novelists of the Progressive Era. New York: Columbia University Press, 1965. Compares Churchill with the other major authors of the period: William Dean Howells, Stephen Crane, Frank Norris, and Theodore Dreiser. Concludes with the argument that Churchill’s liberalism was fundamentally affected by the events of World War I.

Schneider, Robert W. Novelist to a Generation: The Life and Thought of Winston Churchill. Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green University Popular Press, 1976. This biographical study by an eminent scholar is the most satisfactory work about Winston Churchill. Combines a discussion of his life with an analysis of his novels.

Titus, Warren Irving. Winston Churchill. New York: Twayne, 1963. Combines biography and literary analysis. Was the major study of Churchill until the appearance of Schneider’s analytical biography.