Thomas Bailey Aldrich Essay - Thomas Bailey Aldrich Long Fiction Analysis

Thomas Bailey Aldrich Long Fiction Analysis

In The Rise of the American Novel (1948), Alexander Cowie calls Thomas Bailey Aldrich an “Indian Summer writer.” By this he means that Aldrich’s art represents a late and pleasantly light blooming of the genteel New England literary tradition. It is an easygoing, entertaining, and edifying art that attempts to break no new ground and usually does not disturb its readers. Cowie’s description is apt because it points to the conservatism and optimism resting at the heart of Aldrich’s novels. Always ready to defend the traditional way, Aldrich reacts against the forces that threaten the established, secure order. Thus he nostalgically celebrates the idyllic, old-fashioned New England village while looking with...

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