Southern Literature of the Reconstruction Criticism: Reconstruction Literature: The Consequences Of War - Essay

J. V. Ridgely (essay date 1980)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Ridgely, J. V. “The Confederacy and the Martyred South.” In Nineteenth-Century Southern Literature, pp. 77-88. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1980.

[In the following essay, Ridgely studies the literature of a culturally-isolated South during the Reconstruction era.]

Hath not the morning dawned with added light?
And shall not evening call another star
Out of the infinite regions of the night,
To mark this day in Heaven? At last, we are
A nation among nations; and the world
Shall soon behold in many a distant port
                    Another flag unfurled!

The lines are from “Ethnogenesis,” by Henry Timrod, the Charleston poet...

(The entire section is 4661 words.)

John M. Grammer (essay date 1996)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Grammer, John M. “Conclusion: After the Lost War.” In Pastoral and Politics in the Old South, pp. 159-67. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1996.

[In the following essay, Grammer examines the myth of the pastoral South as it is represented in the literature of the Civil War period and after.]

In June, 1862, as northern troops menaced Richmond, the Confederate cavalry commander J. E. B. Stuart led his command on their famous four-day “reconnaissance in force” all the way around George B. McClellan's Army of the Potomac. The ride was instantly transformed into legend (as Stuart no doubt hoped it would be), but the most memorable thing about...

(The entire section is 2949 words.)

Lisa A. Long (essay date 1997)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Long, Lisa A. “‘The Corporeity of Heaven’: Rehabilitating the Civil War Body in The Gates Ajar.American Literature 69, no. 4 (December 1997): 781-811.

[In the following essay, Long contends that Elizabeth Stuart Phelps's 1868 novel The Gates Ajar offers an early symbolic analysis of “the inadequacy of traditional belief systems” in the post-Civil War era.]

In July 1866 a remarkable short story appeared in the Atlantic Monthly.1 The anonymous author, young Army surgeon S. Weir Mitchell, would later attain fame—and infamy—as the inventor and implementor of the “Rest Cure” for turn-of-the-century neurasthenics....

(The entire section is 12318 words.)

Edward L. Ayers and Bradley C. Mittendorf (essay date 1997)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Ayers, Edward L., and Bradley C. Mittendorf. “The Civil War and Its Consequences.” In The Oxford Book of the American South: Testimony, Memory, and Fiction, edited by Edward L. Ayers and Bradley C. Mittendorf, pp. 111-12. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

[In the following essay, Ayers and Mittendorf consider the effects of the Civil War on the lives of Southerners and the literature of the American South.]

The Civil War was the most important event in the history of the South. Free or slave, black or white, male or female, rich or poor, the war changed the landscape of people's lives. From the moment it began, the war unleashed changes few could...

(The entire section is 741 words.)

Karen Tracey (essay date 2000)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Tracey, Karen. “Britomarte, the Man-Hater: Courtship during the Civil War.” In Plots and Proposals: American Women's Fiction, 1850-90, pp. 132-47. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000.

[In the following essay, Tracey explicates E. D. E. N. Southworth's novel Britomarte, the Man-Hater as it portrays social and ideological disruptions in gender roles caused by the Civil War.]

E. D. E. N. Southworth's post-Civil War serial Britomarte, the Man-Hater, published in two volumes as Fair Play; or, The Test of the Lone Isle (1868) and How He Won Her (1869), includes the typical features of Southworth's best-selling novels:...

(The entire section is 7364 words.)