Mr. Penrose

Mr. Penrose : The Journal of Penrose, Seaman

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Long neglected as the first American novel, Mr. Penrose narrates the adventures of a British youth who flees an unhappy home life to seek his fortune on the high seas. Having learned the sailor's trade, Penrose survives a series of nautical mishaps, only to be cast adrift on the Mosquito Coast. When rescue finally comes, Penrose refuses to abandon the new home he has made among the Indians. Equal parts travel narrative, adventure tale, and natural history, the novel reflects on some of the most pressing moral and social issues of its time: imperialism, racial equality, religious freedom, and the nature of ethical, responsible government. Mr. Penrose contains the first unequivocal critique of slavery in a transatlantic novel and the most realistic portrayals of Native Americans in early American fiction. In the afterword to this paperback edition, Sarah Wadsworth imparts new research on the author and his career, shedding light on the novel's subjects and timely themes, and situating Mr. Penrose at the forefront of the American literary more

Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 139.7 x 203.2 x 33.02mm | 476.27g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 3 b&w illus., 2 maps
  • 0253010470
  • 9780253010476
  • 2,018,867

Review quote

"Sarah Wadsworth expertly positions Williams's novel to contribute to current transnational and postnational scholarship. In this timely edition, she demonstrates that including Mr. Penrose in the conversation about the earliest American novels helps to reveal the rich, complicated nature of their history." -Cristine Levenduski, Associate Professor of English, Emory University "This new paperback edition of Williams's novel makes a significant contribution to early American literary and cultural studies. It is well suited to contribute to new scholarly trends, which are moving solidly in the direction of transatlantic study, colonialism, ecocriticism, and indigenous people studies." -Paul Gutjahr, Professor of English, Indiana University "The novel itself is a fascinating and detailed account of how Penrose, an English castaway in the Americas, survives-and finally flourishes in a multiethnic society. Dickason's editorial intrusions are sparse but judicious: they provide necessary explanations, and they allow readers to immerse themselves in the story... Recommended." -Choiceshow more

About William Williams

William Williams (1727-1791) was a professional painter and landscape artist who tutored a young Benjamin West. Williams primarily resided in Philadelphia and New York and is thought to have written Mr. Penrose shortly before the Revolutionary War. David Howard Dickason (1907-1974) was Professor of English at Indiana University and a specialist in American literature. He discovered William Williams's original manuscript at Indiana University's Lilly Library.Sarah Wadsworth is Associate Professor of English at Marquette University. She is author of In the Company of Books: Literature and Its "Classes" in Nineteenth-Century America and (with Wayne A. Wiegand) of Right Here I See My Own Books: The Woman's Building Library at the World's Columbian more

Table of contents

Editor's Original AcknowledgementsIntroductionChapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4. Second Year of My Lonely ConditionChapter 5. Third Year of My ResidenceChapter 6. Fourth Year of my ResidenceChapter 7. Fifth Year of my ResidenceChapter 8. Chapter 9. Sixth Year of My ResidenceChapter 10. Seventh YearChapter 11. Chapter 12. Eight YearChapter 13. Chapter 14. Chapter 15. Ninth YearChapter 16. Tenth YearChapter 17. Eleventh YearChapter 18. Twelfth YearChapter 19. Chapter 20 Thirteenth YearChapter 21. Chapter 22. Fourteenth YearChapter 23. Chapter 24. Fifteenth YearChapter 25. Sixteenth YearChapter 26. Chapter 27. Seventeenth YearChapter 28. Chapter 29. Eighteenth YearChapter 30. Chapter 31. Nineteenth YearChapter 32. Chapter 33. Twentieth YearChapter 34. Twenty First YearChapter 35. Twenty Second YearChapter 36. Twenty Third YearChapter 37. Twenty Fourth YearChapter 38. Twenty Fifth YearChapter 39. Twenty Sixth YearChapter 40. Twenty Seventh YearChapter 41. Twenty Eighth YearAfterword by Sarah Wadsworthshow more

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