Michael Dirda…superb essays…Repplier interleaves personal reminiscence, striking literary and historical allusions and sharp thinking…Throughout American Austen one pauses over sentences worth copying into a notebook.
—The Washington Post
In these pages, Repplier (1855-1950) emerges as perhaps the wittiest female author in the history of American letters—Dorothy Parker not excepted. Lukacs has gleaned from Repplier's work the finest essays on her hometown of Philadelphia; excerpts from her biographies of figures such as Junipero Serra; insightful reflections on Puritanism, the suburbs, and writers from Horace to Thackeray; and various other pieces brimming with Repplier's characteristically pungent commentary on American life. Agnes Repplier's engaging style, good-natured skepticism, and realistic appreciation of the genuine accomplishments of Western civilization should win for her a new and appreciative audience in the twenty-first century.