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American SympathyMen, Friendship, and Literature in the New Nation$
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Caleb Crain

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780300083323

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300083323.001.0001

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In the Pear Grove: The Romance of Leander, Lorenzo, and Castalio

In the Pear Grove: The Romance of Leander, Lorenzo, and Castalio

(p.16) 1 In the Pear Grove: The Romance of Leander, Lorenzo, and Castalio
American Sympathy

Caleb Crain

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses the relationship between James Gibson (1769–1856) and John Fishbourne Mifflin (1759–1813), which provided a detailed and extensive glimpse of passion between men in early America. Using the monikers Leander and Lorenzo, Mifflin and Gibson wrote for each other and about each other in their diaries. These diaries tell a story of affection between American men at a crucial moment: at the acme of the culture of sentiment and sensibility, when individuals first considered following the unruly impulse of sympathy as far as it would go. The men's writings also sensitively register the changing ideal of literary beauty: the diaries begin as gestures of refinement, but they gradually become exposures of the self—attempts to let out something unexpected.

Keywords:   James Gibson, John Fishbourne Mifflin, men, early America, diaries

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