Catalogue

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New world, known world : shaping knowledge in early Anglo-American writing /
David Read.
imprint
Columbia : University of Missouri Press, c2005.
description
x, 177 p.
ISBN
0826216005, 9780826216007
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Columbia : University of Missouri Press, c2005.
isbn
0826216005
9780826216007
abstract
"Examines the works of four writers from the early period of English colonization: John Smith's Generall Historie of Virginia, William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation, Thomas Morton's New English Canaan, and Roger Williams's A Key into the Language of America (in conjunction with The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution)"--Provided by publisher.
catalogue key
5568749
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2006-06-01:
Also author of Temperate Conquests: Spencer and the Spanish New World (CH, Nov'00, 38-1435), Read (English, Univ. of Missouri, Columbia) argues that the works of early English Colonial writers reflect the dissonance between the resources for understanding available in the writers' culture and the knowledge they wished to convey. He contends that individual writers adapted familiar forms to novel circumstances, producing unique "knowledge projects." Consciously focusing on the role of the author and of literary structures in shaping knowledge projects, the author relies on the tools of literary interpretation as he invokes careful, close reading as a significant means of understanding the English Colonial period. He devotes a chapter each to John Smith's The Generall Historie of Virginia, William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation, Thomas Morton's New English Canaan, and Roger Williams's A Key into the Language of America. Read identifies the places where the texts' literary structures are disrupted by internal contradictions, accommodate the information they contain, or adapt to reflect the author's knowledge and ignorance. This careful analysis provides a welcome and cogent, if necessarily limited, perspective on English Colonial writing. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. G. D. MacDonald Virginia State University
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, February 2006
Choice, June 2006
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Library of Congress Summary
"Examines the works of four writers from the early period of English colonization: John Smith's Generall Historie of Virginia, William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation, Thomas Morton's New English Canaan, and Roger Williams's A Key into the Language of America (in conjunction with The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution)"--Provided by publisher.
Main Description
New World, Known Worldexamines the works of four writers closely associated with the early period of English colonization, from 1624 to 1649: John Smith's Generall Historie of Virginia,William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation,Thomas Morton's New English Canaan, and Roger Williams's A Key into the Language of America(in conjunction with another of Williams's major works, The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution). David Read addresses these texts as examples of what he refers to as "individual knowledge projects"- the writers' attempts to shape raw information and experience into patterns and narratives that can be compared with and assessed against others from a given society's fund of accepted knowledge. Read argues that the body of Western knowledge in the period immediately before the development of well-defined scientific disciplines is primarily the work of individuals functioning in relative isolation, rather than institutions working in concert. The European colonization of other regions in the same period exposes in a way few historical situations do both the complexity and the uncertainty involved in the task of producing knowledge. Read treats each work as the project of a specific mind, reflecting a high degree of intentionality and design, and not simply as a collection of documentary evidence to be culled in the service of a large-scale argument. He shows that each author adds a distinct voice to the experience of North American colonization and that each articulates it in ways that are open to analysis in terms of form, style, convention, rhetorical strategies, and applications of metaphor and allegory. By applying the tools of literary interpretation to colonial texts, Read reaches a fuller understanding of the immediate consequences of English colonization in North America on the culture's base of knowledge. Students and scholars of early modern colonialism and transatlantic studies, as well as those with interests in seventeenth-century American and English literature, should find this book of particular value.
Main Description
New World, Known Worldexamines the works of four writers closely associated with the early period of English colonization, from 1624 to 1649: John Smith'sGenerall Historie of Virginia,William Bradford'sOf Plymouth Plantation,Thomas Morton'sNew English Canaan, and Roger Williams'sA Key into the Language of America(in conjunction with another of Williams's major works,The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution). David Read addresses these texts as examples of what he refers to as "individual knowledge projects"- the writers' attempts to shape raw information and experience into patterns and narratives that can be compared with and assessed against others from a given society's fund of accepted knowledge. Read argues that the body of Western knowledge in the period immediately before the development of well-defined scientific disciplines is primarily the work of individuals functioning in relative isolation, rather than institutions working in concert. The European colonization of other regions in the same period exposes in a way few historical situations do both the complexity and the uncertainty involved in the task of producing knowledge. Read treats each work as the project of a specific mind, reflecting a high degree of intentionality and design, and not simply as a collection of documentary evidence to be culled in the service of a large-scale argument. He shows that each author adds a distinct voice to the experience of North American colonization and that each articulates it in ways that are open to analysis in terms of form, style, convention, rhetorical strategies, and applications of metaphor and allegory. By applying the tools of literary interpretation to colonial texts, Read reaches a fuller understanding of the immediate consequences of English colonization in North America on the culture's base of knowledge. Students and scholars of early modern colonialism and transatlantic studies, as well as those with interests in seventeenth-century American and English literature, should find this book of particular value.
Main Description
New World, Known Worldexamines the works of four writers closely associated with the early period of English colonization, from 1624 to 1649: John Smith’s Generall Historie of Virginia,William Bradford’s Of Plymouth Plantation,Thomas Morton’s New English Canaan, and Roger Williams’s A Key into the Language of America(in conjunction with another of Williams’s major works, The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution). David Read addresses these texts as examples of what he refers to as “individual knowledge projects”- the writers’ attempts to shape raw information and experience into patterns and narratives that can be compared with and assessed against others from a given society’s fund of accepted knowledge. Read argues that the body of Western knowledge in the period immediately before the development of well-defined scientific disciplines is primarily the work of individuals functioning in relative isolation, rather than institutions working in concert. The European colonization of other regions in the same period exposes in a way few historical situations do both the complexity and the uncertainty involved in the task of producing knowledge. Read treats each work as the project of a specific mind, reflecting a high degree of intentionality and design, and not simply as a collection of documentary evidence to be culled in the service of a large-scale argument. He shows that each author adds a distinct voice to the experience of North American colonization and that each articulates it in ways that are open to analysis in terms of form, style, convention, rhetorical strategies, and applications of metaphor and allegory. By applying the tools of literary interpretation to colonial texts, Read reaches a fuller understanding of the immediate consequences of English colonization in North America on the culture’s base of knowledge. Students and scholars of early modern colonialism and transatlantic studies, as well as those with interests in seventeenth-century American and English literature, should find this book of particular value.
Unpaid Annotation
Examining the works of four writers closely associated with the early period of English colonization, the author addresses these texts as examples of what he refers to as "individual knowledge projects" the writers' attempts to transform raw information and experience into patterns and narratives that can be compared with others.
Unpaid Annotation
New World, Known World examines the works of four writers closely associated with the early period of English colonization, from 1624 to 1649: John Smith's Generall Historie of Virginia, William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation, Thomas Morton's New English Canaan, and Roger Williams's A Key into the Language of America (in conjunction with another of William's major works, the Bloudy Tenent of Persecution). David Read addresses these texts as examples of what he refers to as "individual knowledge projects"-the writers' attempts to transform raw information and experience into patterns and narratives that can be compared with and assessed against others from a given society's fund of accepted knowledge. Read argues that the known body of knowledge in the period immediately before the development of well-defined scientific disciplines is primarily the work of individuals functioning in relative isolation, rather than institutions working in concert. Thus the European colonization of other regions in the same period exposes in a way few historical situations do both the complexity and the uncertainty that attach to the task of producing knowledge. Read treats each work as the project of a specific mind, reflecting certain degrees of intentionality and design, and not as a collection of documentary evidence to be culled in the service of a large-scale argument. He shows that each author had a distinct voice to add to the experience of North American colonization and that each articulates convention, rhetorical strategies, and applications of metaphor and allegory.
Table of Contents
The incoherent colonist : troubled knowledge in John Smith's Generall historie of Virginiap. 17
Silent partners : historical representation in William Bradford's Of Plymouth plantationp. 43
Importing the metropolis : the poetics of urbanity in Thomas Morton's New English Canaanp. 71
American consciences : Roger Williams's field of inquiryp. 95
Conclusion : chains of knowledgep. 131
Perry Miller on Roger Williamsp. 137
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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