SUSAN CHEEVER
American Bloomsbury
Even the most devoted readers of nineteenth-century American literature often assume that the men and women behind the masterpieces were as dull and staid as the era's static daguerreotypes. Susan Cheever's latest work, however, brings new life to the well-known literary personages who produced such cherished works as The Scarlet Letter, Moby-Dick, Walden, and Little Women. Rendering in full color the tumultuous, often scandalous lives of these volatile and vulnerable geniuses, Cheever's dynamic narrative reminds us that, while these literary heroes now seem secure of their spots in the canon, they were once considered avant-garde, bohemian types, at odds with the establishment. These remarkable men and women were so improbably concentrated in placid Concord, Massachusetts, that Henry James referred to the town as the "biggest little place in America." Among the host of luminaries who floated in and out of Concord's "American Bloomsbury" as satellites of the venerable intellect and prodigious fortune of Ralph Waldo Emerson were Henry David Thoreau -- perpetual second to his mentor in both love and career; Louisa May Alcott -- dreamy girl and ambitious spinster; Nathaniel Hawthorne -- dilettante and cad; and Margaret Fuller -- glamorous editor and foreign correspondent. Perhaps inevitably, given the smallness of the place and the idiosyncrasies of its residents, the members of the prestigious circle became both intellectually and romantically entangled: Thoreau serenaded an infatuated Louisa on his flute. Vying with Hawthorne for Fuller's attention, Emerson wrote the fiery feminist love letters while she resided (yards away from his wife) in his guest room. Herman Melville was, according to some, ultimately driven mad by his consuming and unrequited affection for Hawthorne. Far from typically Victorian, this group of intellectuals, like their British Bloomsbury counterparts to whom the title refers, not only questioned established literary forms, but also resisted old moral and social strictures. Thoreau, of course, famously retreated to a plot of land on Walden Pond to escape capitalism, pick berries, and ponder nature. More shocking was the group's ambivalence toward the institution of marriage. Inclined to bend the rules of its bonds, many of its members spent time at the notorious commune, Brook Farm, and because liberal theories could not entirely guarantee against jealousy, the tension of real or imagined infidelities was always near the surface. Susan Cheever reacquaints us with the sexy, subversive side of Concord's nineteenth-century intellectuals, restoring in three dimensions the literary personalities whose work is at the heart of our national history and cultural identity.
List Price: $11.99 (Final bulk discount pricing is based on quantity)
ISBN: 9780743298704
Uh oh. It looks like this title is out of stock.
Did you know eBooks never run out? It's true. We have millions of titles available right now. You can download an eBook in seconds.

Why eBooks are the Smart Way to Go

Deep bulk discounts and $0 in shipping costs means you save big with bulk eBooks. Plus, eBooks are typically cheaper than print books.
Distribute your eBooks via text message, email, social media, and more using redeemable eBook codes. Users can get their eBook instantly.
Receive Readership Analytics & Redemption Reports for proven engagement and user data, including name and email address.
Read from the convenience of our web reader or download the BookShout app on your favorite smart device to read anywhere.
Want to make the smart switch to eBooks? CLICK HERE
Not convinced yet? No problem. We can still get you the print books you need. Fill out the request form below and a member of our sales team will be in touch quickly.

Request Bulk Purchase:
Book Format*
Book Quantity*
How will the books get used?*


Interested in Gift Cards?
9780743298704 medium Bulk gift card c973c6294bb562c572cc09448c6304915953cb77b337c63c74b0d98ee2f3afc7
Benefits
Plastic Cards are standard Gift Card Size (3.375” x 2.125”). Cards can include scratch-offs over the redemption code. Cost less than distributing/shipping Print books. Great for Events, Churches, Schools, Authors, etc.