Table of Contents
I. Introduction
II. Definition of Romantisisim
III. Nathaniel Hawthowrne
IV. Herman Meleville
V. Edgar Allan Poe
VI. Links


I. American intellectuals were painfully aware of the low regard in which Europeans held their artistic and intellectual life, and in the middle decades of the nineteenth century they continued to work for both an elevation and a liberation of their nation's culture - for the creation of an American artistic world independent of Europe, one that would express their nation's virtues. This was made possible by the spirit of romanticism, in literature, philosophy, art, and economics.
The new literary concern with the unleashing of human emotions did not always produce such optimistic works as the work of Herman Melville suggests. Born in New York in 1819, Melville ran away to sea as a youth and spent years sailing the world before returning home to become the greatest American novelist of his era. The most important of his novels was Moby Dick, published in 1851 his portrayal of Ahab, the powerful driven captain of a vessel, was a story of courage and of strength of individual will; but it was also a tragedy of pride and revenge. Ahab's maniacal search for Moby Dick, a great whites whale that had maimed him, suggested how the search for personal fulfillment and triumph could not only liberate but destroy. The result of Ahab's great quest was his own annihilation, reflecting Melville's conviction that human spirit was a troubled often self-destructive force.
Similarly bleak were the works of one of the few southern writers of the time to embrace the search for the essence of the human spirit: Edgar Allan Poe. In the course of his short unhappy life, Poe produced stories and poems that were primarily macabre. His first book, Tamerlane and other Poems (1827), received little recognition. But later works, including his most famous poem, "The Raven" (1845), established him as a major, if controversial, literary figure. Poe evoked images of individuals rising above the narrow confines of intellect and exploring the deeper world of the spirit and emotions. American writers were contemptuous of Poe's work and his message, but he was ultimately to have a profound effect on European poets such as Baudelaire. Poe, however, was something of an exception in the world of southern literature. Like the North, the South experienced a literary flowering in the mid-nineteenth century, and produced writers and artists who were concerned with defining the nature of American Society and of the American Nation. But white southerners tened to produce different images of what the society was and should be.

II. Romanticism - An artistic and intellectual movement originating in Europe in the late 18th century and characterized by a heightened interest in nature, emphasis on the individual's expression of emotion and imagination, departure from the attitudes and forms of classicism, and rebellion against established social rules and conventions.

III. Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804 – 1864)
Primary works - Twice-Told Tales, 1837; Mosses from an Old Manse, 1846; The Scarlet Letter, 1850; The House of Seven Gables , 1851; The Blithedale Romance, 1852; The Life of Franklin Pierce, 1852; The Marble Faun , 1860; The Centenary Edition of the Works of Hawthorne, 18 vols. ed. W. Charvat et al., 1962-1987.

Nathaniel Hathorne was born in 1804 in the city of Salem, Massachusetts to Nathaniel Hathorne and Elizabeth Clarke Manning Hathorne. He later changed his name to "Hawthorne", adding a "w" to dissociate from relatives including John Hathorne, a judge during the Salem Witch Trials. Hawthorne attended Bowdoin College, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 1824,[1] and graduated in 1825; his classmates included future president Franklin Pierce and future poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Hawthorne anonymously published his first work, a novel titled Fanshawe, in 1828. He published several short stories in various periodicals which he collected in 1837 as Twice-Told Tales. The next year, he became engaged to Sophia Peabody. He worked at a Custom House and joined Brook Farm, a transcendentalist community, before marrying Peabody in 1842. The couple moved to The Old Manse in Concord, Massachusetts, later moving to Salem, the Berkshires, then to The Wayside in Concord. The Scarlet Letter was published in 1850, followed by a succession of other novels. A political appointment took Hawthorne and family to Europe before their return to The Wayside in 1860. Hawthorne died on May 19, 1864, leaving behind his wife and their three children.
Much of Hawthorne's writing centers around New England, many works featuring moral allegories with a Puritan inspiration. His fiction works are considered part of the Romantic movement and, more specifically, dark romanticism. His themes often center on the inherent evil and sin of humanity, and his works often have moral messages and deep psychological complexity. His published works include novels, short stories, and a biography of his friend Franklin Pierce

IV. Herman Melville (1819-1891)
Primary works - Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life, 1846; Omoo, 1847; Redburn, 1849; Mardi, 1849; White-Jacket; or, the World in a Man-of-War, 1850; Moby-Dick, or the Whale, 1851; Pierre, or The Ambiguities 1852; "Bartleby the Scrivever"Israel Potter, 1855; The Confidence-Man, 1857; Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War, 1866; Clarel: A Poem and a Pilgrimage,1876; Billy Budd, Sailor, 1924
Herman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist and poet who is often classified as part of dark romanticism. He is best known for his novel Moby-Dick and novella Billy Budd, the latter which was published posthumously.
His first three books gained much attention, the first becoming a bestseller, but after a fast-blooming literary success in the late 1840s, his popularity declined precipitously in the mid-1850s and never recovered during his lifetime. When he died in 1891, he was almost completely forgotten. It was not until the "Melville Revival" in the early 20th century that his work won recognition, most notably Moby-Dick which was hailed as one of the chief literary masterpieces of both American and world literature.

V. Edgar Allan Poe(1809-1849)
Primary Works - Berenice, 1835; Ligeia, 1838; The Fall of the House of Usher, 1839; Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, 1939; Murders in the Rue Morgue, 1841; The Black Cat, 1843; The Tell-Tale Heart, 1843; The Purloined Letter, 1845; The Cask of Amontillado, 1846; The Oval Portrait, 1850; The Narrative of Arthut Gordon Pym of Nantucket, 1850; Tamerlane and Other Poems, 1827; Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane, and Minor Poems, 1829; Poems, 1831; The Raven and Other Poems, 1845; Eureka: A Prose Poem, 1848

Edgar Allan Poe was an American writer, poet, editor and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.
He was born as Edgar Poe in Boston, Massachusetts; his parents died when he was young. Poe was taken in by John and Frances Allan, of Richmond, Virginia, but they never formally adopted him. After enlisting in the Army and later failing as an officer's cadet at West Point, Poe parted ways with the Allans. Poe's publishing career began humbly, with an anonymous collection of poems, Tamerlane and Other Poems (1827), credited only to "a Bostonian".
Poe switched his focus to prose and spent the next several years working for literary journals and periodicals, becoming known for his own style of literary criticism. His work forced him to move between several cities, including Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. In Baltimore in 1835, he married Virginia Clemm, his 13-year-old cousin. In January 1845, Poe published his poem "The Raven" to instant success. His wife died of tuberculosis two years later. He began planning to produce his own journal, The Penn (later renamed The Stylus), though he died before it could be produced. On October 7, 1849, at age 40, Poe died in Baltimore; the cause of his death is unknown and has been variously attributed to alcohol, brain congestion, cholera, drugs, heart disease, rabies, suicide, tuberculosis, and other agents.

VI. Links

VII. Sources

Sources: Wikipedia, American History (Brinkley),