NEH banner [Return to Query]

Products for grant RA-20215-00

Long-term fellowships at a center for advanced study specializing in the history of the Americas before ca. 1825
Margot Nishimura, John Carter Brown Library

Grant details:

The Novel and the Sea (Book) [show prizes]
Title: The Novel and the Sea
Author: Margaret Cohen
Abstract: Examining works across two centuries, The Novel and the Sea recounts the novel's rise, told from the perspective of the ship's deck and the allure of the oceans in the modern cultural imagination. Cohen explores how Robinson Crusoe competed with the best-selling nautical literature of the time by dramatizing remarkable conditions, from the wonders of unknown lands to storms, shipwrecks, and pirates. She considers James Fenimore Cooper's refashioning of the adventure novel in postcolonial America, and a change in literary poetics toward new frontiers and to the maritime labor and technology of the nineteenth century. Cohen shows how Jules Verne reworked adventures at sea into science fiction; how Melville, Hugo, and Conrad navigated the foggy waters of language and thought; and how detective and spy fiction built on sea fiction's problem-solving devices. She also discusses the transformation of the ocean from a theater of skilled work to an environment of pristine nature and the sublime.
Year: 2012
Primary URL:
Secondary URL:
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 9780691140650