Women's Indian Captivity Narratives (Penguin Classics)

Penguin Classics

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  • Publish Date: 1998-11-01
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Author: Various

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Enthralling generations of readers, the narrative of capture by Native Americans is arguably the first American literary form dominated by the experiences of women. The ten selections in this anthology span the early history of this country (1682-1892) and range in literary style from fact-based narrations to largely fictional, spellbinding adventure stories. The women are variously victimized, triumphant, or, in the case of Mary Jemison, permantently transculturated. This collection includes well known pieces such as Mary Rowlandson's A True History (1682), Cotton Mather's version of Hannah Dunstan's infamous captivity and escape (after scalping her captors!), and the Panther Captivity, as well as lesser known texts. As Derounian-Stodola demonstrates in the introduction, the stories also raise questions about the motives of their (often male) narrators and promoters, who in many cases embellish melodrama to heighten anti-British and anti-Indian propaganda, shape the tales for ecclesiastical purposes, or romanticize them to exploit the growing popularity of sentimental fiction in order to boost sales.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.


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