G. F. Emerson, "Notes on Gilbert Imlay, Early American Writer," PMLA 39 (1924) 406-39

1924

G. F. Emerson, "Notes on Gilbert Imlay, Early American Writer," PMLA 39 (1924) 406-39

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The American circle in Paris: Joel Barlow and wife, Crevecoeur, Paine, the Brissots, Nicholas Bonneville, the Rolands. Imlay knew Crevecoeur, and this may explain the likenesses between is TOPOGRAPHICAL DESCRIPTION (1792) and LETTERS FROM AN AMERICAN FARMER (1782). G. F. Emerson, "Notes on Gilbert Imlay, Early American Writer," PMLA 39 (1924):406-39.

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    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
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1924

G. F. Emerson, "Notes on Gilbert Imlay, Early American Writer," PMLA 39 (1924) 406-39

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Born circa 1754. Died on the island of Jersey, in the English Channel in 1828, 74 years old. G. F. Emerson, "Notes on Gilbert Imlay, Early American Writer," PMLA 39 (1924):406-39.

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    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
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1924

G. F. Emerson, "Notes on Gilbert Imlay, Early American Writer," PMLA 39 (1924) 406-39

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IMLAY was actively involved in the conspiracies to disconnect the West from the US, an associate of Wilkinson; wrote letter to the French directorate proposing a military campaign against the Spanish in New Orleans to regain Louisiana for France. G. F. Emerson, "Notes on Gilbert Imlay, Early American Writer," PMLA 39 (1924):406-39.

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1924

G. F. Emerson, "Notes on Gilbert Imlay, Early American Writer," PMLA 39 (1924) 406-39

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A rogue. Affair with Mary Wollstonecraft; fathered her baby girl Fanny. They were together in France and England between 1793 and 1796, when he left her for another woman; MW tried to commit suicide by drowning, and he left for Paris with the woman. G. F. Emerson, "Notes on Gilbert Imlay, Early American Writer," PMLA 39 (1924):406-39.

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    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
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1924

G. F. Emerson, "Notes on Gilbert Imlay, Early American Writer," PMLA 39 (1924) 406-39

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THE EMIGRANTS helped to inspire the "pantisocracy" scheme among English romantics: to retire to the woods of America, where they would construct a utopian colony. As Robert Southey wrote, "to seek that happiness in solitude which he could not find in society." Imlay wrote: "the bulk of mankind have been the mere machines of states -- and they have acted with a blind zeal for the promotion of the objects of tyrants which has desloated empires, while the once laughing vineyards have been changed into scenes of butchery; and the honest and industrious husbandmen, those supporters of all our wealth and all our comfort, have mourned for the sad havock of their cruel depredations." One British reviewer dismissed Imlay's philosophical views but raved about a scene late in the book where the novel's heroine is rescued from the Indians. G. F. Emerson, "Notes on Gilbert Imlay, Early American Writer," PMLA 39 (1924):406-39.

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    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
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1924

G. F. Emerson, "Notes on Gilbert Imlay, Early American Writer," PMLA 39 (1924) 406-39

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Americans: characterized by "that simplicity of manners natural to a people in a state of innocence." Wants "an opportunity of contrasting the simple and rational life of the Americans in these back settlements with the distorted and unnatural habits of the Europeans." In the second edition (1793) he added Filson's KENTUCKE (along with the Boone narrative) as an appendix. A British review: Imlay represents "the western parts of America as an elysium." G. F. Emerson, "Notes on Gilbert Imlay, Early American Writer," PMLA 39 (1924):406-39.

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1924

G. F. Emerson, "Notes on Gilbert Imlay, Early American Writer," PMLA 39 (1924) 406-39

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Parkman on "Leatherstocking Tales": "The hybrid offspring of civilization and barbarism" (151). "Civilization has a destroying as well as a creating power. . . . It must eventually sweep before it a class of men, its own precursors and pioneers, so remarkable both in their virtues and their faults that few will see their extinction without regret. Of these men Leatherstocking is the representative" (151). "Cooper's fiction wears the aspect of solid fact." (153)

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