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Literary Precedents for World Enough and Time

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The short Confession of the historical Jeroboam Beauchamp and the court records of the trial provided Warren with material for the story of Beauchamp, Ann Cook, and Colonel Solomon Sharp. Other American writers had been drawn to the "Kentucky Tragedy," notably Edgar Allan Poe in his drama Politian and William Gilmore Simms, the antebellum imitator of Walter Scott for the Old South in his novel, Beauchampe (1842). But such earlier treatments of the material probably gave Warren little more than an awareness of mistakes to avoid, especially the moralizing emotionalism of Simms.

The example of some of William Faulkner's stubbornly romantic young men, such as Quentin Compson in The Sound and the Fury (1929), and Charles Bon and Henry Sutpen in Absalom, Absalom! (1936), may have been an influence on Warren in the creation of Beaumont. The name "Beaumont," though close to that of the historical Beauchamp, also suggests...

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This section contains 234 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our World Enough and Time Short Guide
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