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Popular American Literature of the 19th Century

Edited by Paul C. Gutjahr

Publication Date - 22 February 2001

ISBN: 9780195141405

1248 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock


This unique collection captures some of the excitement and diversity of the immensely prolific print culture that formed and framed nineteenth-century American life and thought. Gathering popular stories that tap into a variety of nineteenth-century American self-perceptions, fears, dreams, and longings, this resurrectionist work makes available material that is not readily available today but which was vital to the culture and daily conversations of the period.
Popular American Literature of the 19th Century collects examples of a wide range of literature including tracts, plays, poems, gift books, dime novels, school books, and serialized newspaper novels. Featuring twenty-five works in their entirety and several more in extensive excerpts, it includes works by the American Tract Society, Catharine Esther Beecher, Bret Harte, Ik Marvel, William Holmes McGuffey, Maria Monk, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, E. D. E. N. Southworth, Mason Locke Weems, and many others. The selections cover many important themes including singleness and marriage, domesticity and gender roles, masculinity, proper conduct, social reform, temperance, religion, urban and rural life, race, slavery, class, science, business, and more. Ideal for courses in nineteenth-century American literature, surveys of American literature, and introductory courses in American studies, Popular American Literature of the 19th Century is also a rich resource for anyone interested in American popular culture.

Table of Contents

    Thematic Connections
    1. Mason Locke Weems (1759-1825)
    The Life of Washington; with Curious Anecdotes, Equally Honorable to Himself and Exemplary to His Young Countrymen (1800)
    Chapter I
    Chapter II. Birth and Education
    Chapter III
    Chapter XIII. Character of Washington
    *Hymen's Recruiting Sergeant; Or the New Matrimonial Tat-too, for the Old Bachelors. With Some Elegant Songs (1805)
    2. American Tract Society (1825-Present)
    *Tract No. 92: "The Forgiving African: An Authentic Narrative"
    *Tract No. 128: "Poor Sarah: or, The Indian Woman"
    *Tract No. 175: "To Mothers"
    *Tract No. 493: "Beware of Bad Books"
    *Tract No. 512: "Murderers of Fathers, and Murderers of Mothers," by Rev. Edward Hitchcock, D.D., President of Amherst College
    *Tract No. 515: "Novel-Reading"
    3, Gift Books
    *The Pearl, or Affection's Gift. A Christmas and New Year's Present (1833)
    4. Maria Monk (1816-1849?)
    Awful Disclosures, by Maria Monk, of the Hotel Dieu Nunnery of Montreal (1836)
    Chapter I. Early Recollections
    Chapter II. Congregational Nunnery
    Chapter VI. Taking the Veil
    Chapter VIII. Description of Apartments
    Chapter XVII. Treatment of Young Infants
    Chapter XIX. The Priests of the District
    Chapter XX. More Visits
    5. Robert Montgomery Bird (1806-1854)
    Sheppard Lee, Written By Himself (1836)
    Book I. Containing Instructions How to Spend and How to Retrieve a Fortune
    Book VI. Containing a History and a Moral
    6. Catherine Esther Beecher (1800-1878)
    A Treatise on Domestic Economy for the Use of Young Ladies at Home and at School (1841)
    Chapter I. The Peculiar Responsibilities of American Women
    Chapter XII. On Domestic Manners
    Chapter XIV. On Habits of System and Order
    Chapter XVI. On Economy of Time and Expenses
    7. George Lippard (1822-1854)
    The Quaker City: or, The Monks of Monk Hall. A Romance of Philadelphia Life, Mystery, and Crime (1845)
    Preface to This Edition
    Book the First. The First Night
    8. Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth (1819-1899)
    *"The Wife's Victory" (1847)
    *"The Married Shrew: A Sequel to The Wife's Victory" (1847)
    9. Orson Squire Fowler and Lorenzo Niles Fowler (1809-1887 and 1811-1896)
    The Illustrated Self-Instructor in Phrenology and Physiology with One Hundred Engravings, and a Chart of the Character (1849)
    Section I. Physiological Conditions as Affecting and Indicating Character
    Section II. Phrenological Conditions as Indicating Character
    10. Donald Grant Mitchell (1822-1908)
    *Reveries of a Bachelor: or, A Book of the Heart, by Ik Marvel (1850)
    11. George Aiken (1850-1876)
    *Uncle Tom's Cabin: or, Life Among the Lowly. A Domestic Drama in Six Acts (1852)
    12. Timothy Shay Arthur (1809-1885)
    *Ten Nights in a Bar-Room and What I Saw There (1854)
    13. Antiabolition Tracts
    *The Six Species of Men (1866)
    14. Bret Harte (1836-1902)
    *"John Jenkins; or, The Smoker Reformed, by T.S.A-TH-R" (1867)
    *"Muck-a-Muck: A Modern Indian Novel. After Cooper" (1867)
    *"The Luck of Roaring Camp" (1868)
    *"Miggles" (1869)
    *"Plain Language from Truthful James" ("The Heathen Chinee") (1870)
    *"Further Language from Truthful James" (1870)
    *"The Latest Chinese Outrage" (1878)
    15. Elizabeth Stuart Phelps (1844-1911)
    *The Silent Partner (1871)
    16. William Holmes McGuffey (1800-1873)
    *McGuffey's First Electric Reader: Revised Edition (1879)
    17. Thomas C. Harbaugh (1849-1924)
    *Plucky Phil, of the Mountain Trail; or, Rosa, the Red Jezebel. A Tale of Siouxdom (1881)
    18. Laura Jean Libbey (1862-1925)
    *The Master Workman's Oath: or, Coralie, the Unfortunate. A Love Story, Portraying the Life, Romance, and Strange Fate of a Beautiful New York Working-Girl (1892)
    19. Charles Monroe Sheldon (1857-1946)
    In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do? (1897)
    Chapter I
    Chapter II
    Chapter III
    Chapter IV
    Chapter V
    Chapter VI