The Satiric Poems of John Trumbull: The Progress of Dulness and M'Fingal

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John Trumbull, the colonial American satiric poet, is one of the most readable, and certainly one of the most amusing, of our early men of letters. His poems, with all their wit and bite, bring back to life again the days of the Revolutionary War-powdered wigs, flirting belles, political quarrels, town meetings, brawling mobs, inept generals, flaming national purpose, and all. And if the colonial period seems a long way back in time, his satiric poem on the Progress of Dulness in education will show that time-or at least time in the colleges-has not moved so fast after all. Trumbull's two long poems, so important to the beginnings of America's national poetry and to an understanding of America's literary heritage, were out of print for a number of years and had, in fact, never before been accurately reprinted from the original versions. Here they are available, complete with the original biting prefaces, in a dependable text for the scholar, annotated for the general reader interested in the literature and history of the American eighteenth century. The annotation is inclusive but kept to a minimum.