The Oxford Handbook of Early American Literature is a major new reference work that provides the best single-volume source of original scholarship on early American literature. Comprised of twenty-seven chapters written by experts in their fields, this work presents an authoritative, in-depth, and up-to-date assessment of a crucial area within literary studies. Organized primarily in terms of genre, the chapters include original research on key concepts, as well as analysis of interesting texts from throughout colonial America. Separate chapters are devoted to literary genres of great importance at the time of their composition that have been neglected in recent decades, such as histories, promotion literature, and scientific writing. New interpretations are offered on the works of Benjamin Franklin, Jonathan Edwards and Dr. Alexander Hamilton while lesser known figures are also brought to light. Newly vital areas like print culture and natural history are given full treatment. As with other Oxford Handbooks, the contributors cover the field in a comprehensive yet accessible way that is suitable for those wishing to gain a good working knowledge of an area of study and where it's headed.