The Viper on the Hearth: Mormons, Myths, and the Construction of Heresy
Place Published: New York and Oxford
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Date Published: 1997
Edition: First edition
Book Id: 48367
205pp. Octavo [24 cm] in blue-green cloth. Light shelfwear to jacket; boards are crisp and unworn; interior in clean, tight, and bright.
From the book: "Nineteenth-century American writier frequently cast the Mormon as a stock villain in such fictional genres as mysteries, westerns, and popular romances. THe Mormons were depicted as a violent and perverse people--the "'viper on the hearth"'--who sought to violate the domestic sphere of the mainstream. Givens examines these caricatures to reveal how a uniquely threatening cultural Other has prompted particular patterns of misrepresentation. These patterns, he argues, reveal a great deal about sources of the nineteenth-century Mormon conflict, the malleability of such categories as heresy and orthodoxy, and the extent to which group identity, of both Americans and marginal groups, is a product of literary fashioning."