The History of the Dividing Line | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 25 pages of analysis & critique of The History of the Dividing Line.
This section contains 7,128 words
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Buy the Critical Essay by Donald T. Siebert, Jr.

SOURCE: Siebert, Donald T., Jr. “William Byrd's Histories of the Line: The Fashioning of a Hero.” American Literature 47, no. 4 (January 1976): 535-51.

In the following essay, Siebert argues that the portrait of Byrd painted by most critics fails to appreciate his complexities, and he examines Byrd's Histories of the Line to understand the contrast between the author's private and public personas and his struggle to present a heroic image of himself.

Among colonial writers, William Byrd of Westover appears most deserving of lapidary inscription and idealizing portrait. He is the earliest and perhaps only American type of “the well-bred gentleman and polite companion,” as his epitaph itself would tell us. We see him now gazing out at us in the portrait hanging in Williamsburg, easy and confident, sprightly wit under the control of judgment, Restoration sensuality made over into Epicurean moderation. The impression is elegant and grand, an early...

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This section contains 7,128 words
(approx. 24 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Donald T. Siebert, Jr.
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