A Land without Castles

A Land without Castles : The Changing Image of America in Europe, 1780-1830

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Thomas K. Murphy explores the shifting history of European attitudes toward America, utilizing British and French writing from the late eighteenth through the middle of the nineteenth centuries. Murphy studies a rich collage of literary, philosophical, and political writing by Europeans during this era. The book covers four stages in the development of European attitudes: traditional theories and their modification in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the influence of early American diplomacy on European attitudes, the cultural iconography of the French Revolution and of England during this same period, and the genre of the travel journal. Murphy has created an interesting historiography that augments our understanding of American history, but also illuminates the role that these imaginative texts about the New World played in the formation of significant social and political developments in modern European history.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 155.96 x 234.19 x 18.8mm | 444.52g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739102192
  • 9780739102190

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Setting the Stage Chapter 3 Early Theories of America in Europe Chapter 4 Thomas Jefferson and French Society: Promoting America from Abroad Chapter 5 Symbols of America in France and England Chapter 6 The Voyage Chapter 7 The Travel Journal in Early America Chapter 8 Space and Land: The Aesthetic Dimension of America Chapter 9 The Issue of Slavery in America Chapter 10 Conclusion
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Review quote

In A Land without Castles, Thomas Murphy has accomplished a remarkable task: to the European literary discovery of the newly independent United States he brings Habermas' concept of an emerging public sphere in Europe, and finds that the conversation between Europeans and Americans both reflected and deepened that sphere. In the course of examining the process, this rich book not only reveals much about such matters as the European-and American-view of the existence of slavery in an egalitarian society but also explores the artistic and literary sensibilities of Europe as it refined itself in contemplation of "a land without castles," a landscape ungraced or uncontaminated by the presence of aged ruins. Intellectual, literary, and social historians alike can profit by a reading of Murphy. -- Thomas R. West, Catholic University of America
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About Thomas K. Murphy

Thomas K. Murphy is a lecturer in history and government at the University of Maryland, European Division.
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