Presents a compararive investigation of colonial prose narratives in Spanish and British America from 1542 to 1800.
In this 2003 book, Ralph Bauer presents a comparative investigation of colonial prose narratives in Spanish and British America from 1542 to 1800. He discusses narratives of shipwreck, captivity and travel, as well as imperial and natural histories of the New World in the context of transformative early modern scientific ideologies and investigates the inter-connectedness of literary evolutions in various places of the early modern Atlantic world. Bauer positions the narrative models promoted by the 'New Sciences' during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries within the context of the geopolitical question of how knowledge can be centrally controlled in outwardly expanding empires. This important and highly original study of Early American literature brings into conversation with one another writers from various parts of the early modern Atlantic world including Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdes, Samuel Purchas, William Strachey, Mary Rowlandson, Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora, William Byrd and Hector St John de Crèvecoeur.
List of illustrations; Acknowledgements; 1. Prospero's progeny; 2. Mythos and epos: Cabeza de Vacas's empire of peace; 3. The geography of history: Samuel Purchas and 'his' pilgrims; 4. 'True histories': the captivities of Francisco Núñez de Pineda y Bascuñán and Mary White Rowlandson; 5. 'Friends and compatriots': Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora and the piracy of knowledge; 6. 'Husquenawing': William Byrd's 'Creolean humours'; 7. Dismembering the empira: Alonso Carrió de la Vandera and J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur; Notes; Index.