Cather Studies, Volume 10


Cather Studies, Volume 10

Willa Cather and the Nineteenth Century

Edited by Anne L. Kaufman and Richard H. Millington

Cather Studies Series

438 pages
5 photographs


August 2015


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eBook (EPUB)
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August 2015


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eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

August 2015


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About the Book

Willa Cather and the Nineteenth Century explores, with textual specificity and historical alertness, the question of how the cultures of the nineteenth century—the cultures that shaped Willa Cather’s childhood, animated her education, supplied her artistic models, generated her inordinate ambitions, and gave embodiment to many of her deeply held values—are addressed in her fiction.

In two related sets of essays, seven contributors track within Cather’s life or writing the particular cultural formations, emotions, and conflicts of value she absorbed from the atmosphere of her distinct historical moment; their ten colleagues offer a compelling set of case studies that articulate the manifold ways that Cather learned from, built upon, or resisted models provided by particular nineteenth-century writers, works, or artistic genres. Taken together with its Cather Studies predecessor, Willa Cather and Modern Cultures, this volume reveals Cather as explorer and interpreter, sufferer and master of the transition from a Victorian to a Modernist America.

Author Bio

Anne L. Kaufman teaches mathematics at Milton Academy and is a visiting lecturer in English at Bridgewater State University. Her work has appeared in Western American Literature, Canadian Literature, Western Historical Quarterly, and elsewhere. Richard H. Millington is Helen and Laura Shedd Professor of English at Smith College. He is the author of essays on Cather’s modernism and of Practicing Romance: Narrative Form and Cultural Engagement in Hawthorne’s Fiction, and he is the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Nathaniel Hawthorne and the Norton Critical Edition of Hawthorne’s The Blithedale Romance.


"A valuable contribution to Cather studies."—CHOICE

"Cather lovers in general, and especially those intrigued by Cather biography, will enjoy the ambitious plunge into the archive by many of these authors."—Kristen R. Egan, Western American Literature

"A major contribution to Cather scholarship."—Peter Betjemann, American Literary Realism

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations


Anne L. Kaufman and Richard H. Millington

Part 1. Contexts

1. Willa Cather, Sarah Orne Jewett, and the Historiography of Lesbian Sexuality

Melissa J. Homestead

2. Cather’s Readers, Traditionalism, and Modern America

Charles Johanningsmeier

3. Time Out of Place: Modernity and the Rise of Environmentalism in Willa Cather’s O Pioneers!

Leila C. Nadir

4. Contamination, Modernity, Health, and Art in Edith Wharton and Willa Cather

Susan Meyer

5. From Sentimentality to Sex: The Circus Motif in Willa Cather’s Writing

Steven B. Shively

6. Daughter of a War Lost, Won, and Evaded: Cather and the Ambiguities of the Civil War

Janis Stout

7. A [Slave] Girl’s Life in Virginia before the War: Willa Cather and Antebellum Nostalgia

John Jacobs

Part 2. Precursors and Influences

8. Cather’s Jewett: Relationship, Influence, and Representation

Deborah Carlin

9. Willa Cather and the Example of Henry James

Elsa Nettels

10. Kindred Spirits: Willa Cather and Henry James

John J. Murphy

11. The Rise of Godfrey St. Peter: Cather’s Modernism and the Howellsian Pretext

Joseph C. Murphy

12. Echoes of Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage in Willa Cather’s One of Ours

Ann Moseley

13. Thackeray’s Henry Esmond and The Virginians: Literary Prototypes for My Mortal Enemy

Richard C. Harris

14. "One Knows It Too Well to Know It Well": Willa Cather, A. E. Housman, and A Shropshire Lad

Robert Thacker

15. Following the Lieder: Cather, Schubert, and Lucy Gayheart

David Porter

16. Pompeii and the House of the Tragic Poet in A Lost Lady

Matthew Hokom

17. Making It New: O Pioneers! as Modernist Bildungsroman

Sarah Stoeckl



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