English, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in American Literature 81 (2009): 392-4 Copyright 2009 Duke University Press. Used by permission.


Literary historians writing biographies have increasingly shifted from critical biography (the author’s life as a means to interpret his or her literary works) to cultural biography (an author’s life and works in various cultural contexts). As literary historians whose biographical subjects (both nineteenth-century American women) are not primarily literary figures, Bergland and Scharnhorst represent a further step away from critical biography.