Roget's Int'l Thesaurus
Fowler's King's English
The King James Bible
Brewer's Phrase & Fable
Frazer's Golden Bough
Shelf of Fiction
Carl Van Doren
The American Novel
> Page 57
Carl Van Doren
The American Novel.
largeness these novelists could hardly have possessed the rough narrative enegy which is their highest quality.
Only a few of them need to be specially characterized. John Neal of Maine, the first obvious and confessed imitator of Cooper, when
appeared took fire at the example. Neals real master, however, was Byron, whom he followed with a fury of rant and fustion which would have made him, had he been gifted with taste and humor as well, no mean follower.
(1833), though promising at first to be a real picture of native life and character, soon runs amuck into raving melodrama. The Rev. Sylvester Judd in 1845 published a novel,
which Lowell declared had the soul of Down East in it; but the soul of the book has not proved immortal. Written to show that the Unitarians could produce imaginative literature as well as the more orthodox sects,
is badly constructed and it wanders, toward the close, into a region of misty transcendentalisms where characters and plot are lost; and yet it has genuine merits in its vivid fidelity to the life of rural Massachusetts just after the Revolution, in its thorough, loving familiarity with the New England temper and scene, and in a kind of spiritual ardor which pervades it throughout. Judge Daniel Pierce Thompson knew the Vermont frontier as Cooper knew that of New York. After many struggles with the bitterest poverty he got to college, studied law, became a prominent official of his native state, and somewhat accidentally took to fiction. Of his half dozen novels, which all possess a good share of honest realism,
(1847) gives perhaps the most truthful