Home  »  Volume XVIII: American LATER NATIONAL LITERATURE: PART III  »  § 1. The Three Modes of American Scholarship

The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
VOLUME XVIII. Later National Literature, Part III.

XXV. Scholars

§ 1. The Three Modes of American Scholarship

THERE seem to be three external modes conditioning the production of our scholarly literature. Until the Revolution, it was produced by scattered individuals. Thereafter literary coteries and learned societies supervened upon individual production, which continued, but with a more definite tone and focus. Finally, with the nineteenth century in its second quarter, the universities supervened upon the other two modes, and were added to them, as stimulus and audience, outlet and patron. Then all three modes continued together, and were compounded. Speaking generally and tentatively, the individualism of the first mode may be called British; the urbane social tone of the second, French; the organized institutionalism of the third, German.