Arts, Culture, and Intellectual Life of America

When the first permanent colonies were established in British North America, the colonists brought with them aspects of the culture they had left behind in England, but the colonial experience demanded extraordinary efforts to maintain an approximation of the cultural values of their old home. Two examples suggest the directions these efforts might take. George Sandys, the youngest son of the archbishop of York, came to Virginia in 1621 as the colony’s treasurer, and while there, he completed his important translation into heroic couplets of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. This was published in London in 1626, a year after his return from Virginia, manuscript in hand, and it influenced English poets for generations to come. Sandys stands at the head of a long classical tradition in American verse and prose that reaffirmed the values of European civilization in the New World. Sandys’s work also initiated a long tradition of poets, diarists, letter writers, and other men and women of letters, who worked in relative isolation on literary projects. Unlike Sandys’s Ovid, however, much of this work remained unpublished until the nineteenth or twentieth century. If Sandys had enjoyed less powerful connections and had stayed in Virginia, his translation might have become a part of this extensive manuscript culture that included some of the best literature produced in colonial America. William Byrd’s writing remained mostly in manuscript until the nineteenth century, Edward Taylor’s poetry was not published until the mid-twentieth century, and Dr. Alexander Hamilton’s comic masterpiece, The History of the Ancient and Honorable Tuesday Club, appeared only in 1990. In colonial America, however, manuscript writings often circulated among friends and relatives as a central part of a thriving literary culture. When print culture emerged in later years, it operated in parallel with this manuscript culture, feeding from it and offering a public alternative to its private expression, but at the same time reflecting its preferences for anonymity and for personal experience and address. Arts and Culture in the Kennedy White House – John F. Kennedy … Mapq8A Life In Painting: An Interview With America Martin Los Angeles … Mapq8The 35 Best College Art Museums – Best College Reviews Mapq8

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