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BEYOND UNDERSTANDING:
APPEALS TO THE IMAGINATION, PASSIONS, AND WILL
IN MID-NINETEENTH-CENTURY AMERICAN WOMEN'S FICTION
by Martha L. Henning, Ph.D.

mhenning@pcc.edu

7430 SW 76th Avenue
Portland, OR 97223
United States

Available from Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. 1(800)770-LANG

To appreciate how and why America's first best-sellers so gripped the American soul, current readers need to recapture the era's cognitive paradigm. In *Beyond Understanding*, Dr. Henning introduces us to the nineteenth-century mind, influenced, in large part by eighteenth-century Scottish philosopher and rhetorician, George Campbell. Guiding current readers to utilize their faculties of imagination, passions, and will, Dr. Henning explores four prominent works of the "feminine fifties": the first American million-seller, Susan Warner's *The Wide, Wide, World*; America's second million-seller & fastest selling piece, Harriet Beecher Stowe's *Uncle Tom's Cabin*; the prize-winning & scandalized Ann S. Stephens's *Mary Derwent*; and the hilarious trend-setter, E.D.E.N. Southworth's *The Hidden Hand*. Reading these works in light of Campbell's faculty psychology helps reveal why this fiction so inspired its original readers; further, acknowledging and reevaluating marginalized reading methods supports an expanding literary canon. Finally, revisiting Campbell's "philosophy of rhetoric" encourages current lovers of discourse to experience literature and life holistically--beyond understanding. With original sketches of Campbell, Warner, Stowe, Stephens, and Southworth. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

They say ---


"Martha L. Henning's *Beyond Understanding* is a very smart book. It steps beside literary interpretation to recognize that rhetoric organized nineteenth-century fiction and that women writers knew and deployed rhetorical theory, easily and successfully." --Dr. Susan Miller, Univ. of Utah.

"*Beyond Understanding* puts current readers in touch with the nineteenth-century mind-set in ways that eluded earlier critics. Henning's use of George Campbell's rhetorical theory, which 'urges us to change our minds, enabling us to reread more holistically,' opens up familiar texts to fresh readings and uncovers some previously marginalized literary gems."
--Dr. Lucy Freibert, Professor Emerita, Univ. of Louisville.

". . .Found it one of the best syntheses of lit-crit and rhetoric that I have read. I also simply learned a great deal of positive information about a group of very productive and talented writers that I had often heard about in negative terms while I was in graduate school in the late sixties." --Dr. Joe Comprone, Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, Arizona State University, West.

Martha L. Henning holds a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition. She currently teaches writing and literature at Portland Community Collge, Oregon, and co-chairs the annual Young Rhetoricians' Conference.

*Beyond Understanding* is available through Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. Customer Service: 1-800-770-LANG ~~ Fax: (212)647-7707 ~~ Address: Peter Lang Publishing, 275 Seventh Avenue, 28th Floor, New York, NY 10001
Or request information from the author by email address above.

Thanks for your interest!


Related Sites

To Place an Order Directly with the Publisher
To Place an Order with the Amazon On-Line Bookstore
The Cover and Publisher's Info
A Celebration of Women Writers
Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.
The Young Rhetoricians' Conference


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