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Carl Van Doren (1885–1950).  The American Novel.  1921.


Page 114

enter fiction, and the states further north after sixty years still await their novelist, though the Canadian wilderness just across the border has been the scene of dozens of popular romances.
  But Hawthorne and Cooke and Winthrop were not the characteristic novelists on the eve of the Civil War. It was the domestic sentimentalists who held the field. A brief decade endowed the nation with its most tender, most tearful classics. Then flowered Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth with The Curse of Clifton (1853), and subsequently with scores more to the very end of the century. Mary Jane Holmes with Tempest and Sunshine (1854) and Lena Rivers (1856); Augusta Jane Evans Wilson with Beulah (1859) and the slightly belated but no less characteristic St. Elmo (1866)—all of these ladies more or less in the Charlotte Temple tradition; Susan Warner with The Wide Wide World (1850) and Maria S. Cummins with The Lamplighter (1854), pious histories of precocious, flirtatious young girls; and—not so far above them—Donald Grant Mitchell with Reveries of a Bachelor (1850) and Dream Life (1851) and George William Curtis with Prue and I (1856), these two being, however, young men who thought of themselves as essayists rather than as novelists and who afterwards took themselves to sterner tasks. Professor Ingraham gave up his blood-and-thunder, became a clergyman, and wrote the long popular Biblical romance The Prince of the House of David (1855). T. S. Arthur in Ten Nights in a Bar Room (1855) mingled weak tears with the strong drink against which his lurid romance was aimed. And these particular successes emerge from a ruck of smaller undertakings



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