Home  »  Volume XVIII: American LATER NATIONAL LITERATURE: PART III  »  § 11. Charles Sealsfield

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

XXXI. Non-English Writings I

§ 11. Charles Sealsfield

Foremost among them was the Austrian Charles Sealsfield (”Karl Postl”), proud to call himself “Bürger von Nordamerika,” who held up to view virile, reckless, self-reliant types of American manhood as objects for emulation to enthralled Europeans. Longfellow was especially fond of Sealsfield’s depictions of the Red River country and its Creole inhabitants. The Cabin Book (Das Cajütenbuch) has for its historical setting the Texan war of independence against Mexican misrule. Morton oder die grosse Tour presents a view of Stephen Girard’s money-power and personal eccentricities. Lebensbilder aus der westlichen Hemisphäre introduces the lure of pioneer life, with its gallery of Southern planters, hot-tempered Kentuckians, Eastern belles and dandies, alcaldes, squatters and desperadoes, American types as they appeared between 1820–1840. Sealsfield’s Mexican stories (Virey, Nord und Süd) contain nature pictures in wonderful colours, a striking instance of which is found also in the Cabin Book, in the chapter called “The Prairie of St. Jacinto.”