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Together by Accident

American Local Color Literature and the Middle Class

by Stephanie C. Palmer


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This fascinating account of the regional travel accident motif within American local color literature offers a reassessment of the cultural work done by authors writing during the Gilded Age. Stephanie C. Palmer shows how events like broken carriage wheels and missed trains were used by local color authors to bring together bourgeois and lower-class characters, thus giving readers the opportunity to see modernity coming into contact with both rural and urban life. Using the works of Sarah Orne Jewett, Bret Harte, William Dean Howells, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, and others, Palmer traces the use of the regional travel accident motif and how local color writers employed it to give critiques on class, society, and modern life. Exploring the themes of regionalidentity, modernity, and interpersonal relationships, Together by Accident offers an intriguing evaluation of the innovations and inconveniences associated with life during the industrializing Gilded Age in America.

Publication Details

Lexington Books
Lexington Books
Publication Date:


  • Adobe PDF eBook 1.4 MB

Stephanie C. Palmer (Author)

Stephanie C. Palmer is assistant professor in the department of American culture and literature at Bilkent University in Turkey.

More about Stephanie C. Palmer
Together by Accident
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