joins the growing number of literary scholars who, following the lead of historians, have shifted their focus away from local tradition to the transatlantic arena . . . With By Nature and By Custom Cursed, the paradigm shift in colonial literary studies takes a significant advance, and anyone who wants to arrive at a fully transatlantic understanding of colonial culture will need to reckon with Round's
book.", William and Mary Quarterly
Book CoverA major reexamination of New England's cultural society, in which Puritans share the stage with many other discourses.
In a major interdisciplinary reinterpretation of first-generation New England cultural formation, Phillip H. Round
demonstrates that Puritanism was only one ingredient in the creation of a new American civil society.
"Offer[s] subtle and penetrating explorations of the contours and mechanisms of the writing that crossed and recrossed the Atlantic during the course of the seventeenth century . . . through the rubrics of 'nature' and 'custom,' Round
puts an eclectic group of sources into a coherent model linking the concerns of Old and New England . . . By Nature and By Custom Cursed suggests a variety of new perspectives on New England history and literature."-- New England Quarterly
"Forces us to explore in more sophistication the ways in which New England's self-image was developed and promulgated by men and women who by 1660 were still learning how to be English in America, and how to speak of it. [Round's] book is particularly successful in how it pushes us in such new directions even as we enjoy the novelty of readings of material we thought familiar."-- American Historical Review
"The strength of this book lies in its transatlantic perspective.Each of Round's civil discourses is situated in its larger English setting, showing how its conventions drew on metropolitan traditions.Round
convincingly demonstrates that those discourses were self-consciously deployed to appeal to English political authority and mercantile interests . . . help[s] broaden and enrich our understanding of early New England's cultural production."-- Journal of American History
...PHILLIP H. ROUND is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Iowa.