First published in 1886-1888, this was the first large-scale history of American literature. The author traced its roots all the way back to Anglo-Saxon literature and was among the first writers to identify the whole range of American literary output and set out the great writers from Emerson to Hawthorne who have since become known as the founders and greats of American letters. Richardson also was the first to identify the main genres of American writing, including political literature, essays, theological writings, etc. Volume 1 traces the development of American thought; volume 2 treats of American poetry and fiction. This title is cited and recommended by the Catalogue of the Lamont Library, Harvard College.