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Genteel rhetoric : writing high culture in nineteenth-century Boston

Author: Dorothy C Broaddus
Publisher: Columbia, S.C. University of South Carolina Press, ©1999.
Series: Studies in rhetoric/communication.
Edition/Format:   Book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Situated in mid-nineteenth-century Boston culture, Genteel Rhetoric combines history and cultural studies to examine the shaping of nineteenth-century North American rhetoric and aesthetics. The practitioners of genteel rhetoric included many of the writers who belonged to the New England school: Ralph Waldo Emerson, James Russell Lowell, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Charles Eliot Norton, and Thomas Wentworth Higginson.
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Details

Named Person: Thomas Wentworth Higginson; Oliver Wendell Holmes; James Russell Lowell; Ralph Waldo Emerson
Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Dorothy C Broaddus
ISBN: 1570032440 9781570032448
OCLC Number: 38936721
Description: xiii, 136 p. ; 24 cm.
Contents: Preface --
Introduction: rhetoric and culture --
Teaching and preaching culture and character --
Authorizing high culture, authorizing self --
Elevation and degradation --
Rhetoric and war --
Works cited --
Index .
Series Title: Studies in rhetoric/communication.
Responsibility: Dorothy C. Broaddus.

Abstract:

Situated in mid-nineteenth-century Boston culture, Genteel Rhetoric combines history and cultural studies to examine the shaping of nineteenth-century North American rhetoric and aesthetics. The practitioners of genteel rhetoric included many of the writers who belonged to the New England school: Ralph Waldo Emerson, James Russell Lowell, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Charles Eliot Norton, and Thomas Wentworth Higginson. Harvard graduates and students of Edward T. Channing, Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory from 1819 to 1851, these men were also influenced by the Unitarian rhetoric of Channing's brother, William Ellery Channing, as well as by orators such as Edward Everett.

They were part of a larger North American refinement movement - a movement interrupted by the Civil War. Broaddus argues that the genteel and coherent voices with which these writers discuss literature and high culture break apart when they begin to write about material issues related to slavery, abolition, and war against the background of growing dissent between North and South. Genteel Rhetoric examines the writers as they live through and write about the Civil War - Emerson and Lowell from a safe distance, Holmes searching for his wounded son in Maryland, and Higginson in the thick of action as colonel of the First South Carolina Volunteers, the first regiment of former slaves in the Union army.

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