In this intricate exploration of literature and history, Salyer (United States Military Academy, West Point) illuminates the way politics and imperialism infect 18th- and 19th-century texts. Whereas literature is often analyzed in terms of postcolonial history, Salyer suggests that history and historical accounts of imperial adventures correspond to and create literary forms in novels at the same time that novels invoke the imperial enterprise. . . Readers will appreciate how Salyer weaves the somewhat haphazard British consciousness of imperial changes with historical fiction and tales of empire to examine American and British writers and writing, such as James Fenimore Cooper, Sir Walter Scott, Charles Brockden Brown, Blackwood’s Magazine, and Rudyard Kipling. Detailed and complex in argument, this critical text demands a careful academic reader. Those interested in how historical texts come to be mined for the historical-romance content of 19th-century novels will especially appreciate the work on Kipling’s late empire perspective as a counterpoint to Frederick Marryat’s lived naval experience, captured in works like the The Phantom Ship (1839). Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty.