The Indian heroes of William Hickling Prescott : reflection of the nineteenth century's view of the Indian

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dianne Lee Keck (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Donald Darnell

Abstract: William Hickling Prescott is one of America's best known romantic historians. Writing in the early nineteenth century, Prescott not only attempted to approach his subjects with the objectivity of a historian relying on major sources of fact, but also with the artistry of a writer who wishes to create interest and genuine concern for his subject. It is the hypothesis of this paper that Prescott approached the characters in his works from a romantic viewpoint which reflected the temper of his times, particularly in his concept of the dark or Indian characters in The Conquest of Mexico and The Conquest of Peru. In order to determine the extent to which the romanticism of the nineteenth century influenced Prescott, one must examine several factors. Among these factors are the nineteenth century view of the Indian, Prescott's sources, and Prescott's concept of the Indian as reflected in his work. First, it is important to determine the general attitude toward the Indian prevalent in the nineteenth century and the extent to which this attitude is reflected in the drama and literature of the period. Prescott, as a well-educated man, was probably aware of the major literature on the American aborigine at this time. Close examination of these works should indicate the attitude of the public toward the Indian of the nineteenth century.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1973
Prescott, William Hickling, $d 1796-1859 $x Criticism and interpretation
Prescott, William Hickling, $d 1796-1859. $t Conquest of Mexico
Prescott, William Hickling, $d 1796-1859. $t Conquest of Peru
Indians in literature

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