Dime Novels Criticism: Major Figures And Influences - Essay

Ralph Admari (essay date 1933)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “Ballou, the Father of the Dime Novel,” in The American Book Collector, September-October, 1933, pp. 121-29.

[In the essay below, Admari provides an overview of publisher, writer, and editor Maturin Murray Ballou's career and his contribution to American literature and periodicals in the nineteenth century.]

In the years to come when the popular literature of the United States shall have been thoroughly explored many disputes will arise as to whom should go the credit for having brought about the dime novel. As early as 1872, Frederic Hudson in his remarkable history of Journalism stated that Park Benjamin, who was responsible for the first sensational...

(The entire section is 5429 words.)

Gregory M. Pfitzer (essay date 1994)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “‘Iron Dudes and White Savages in Camelot’: The Influence of Dime-Novel Sensationalism on Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court,” in American Literary Realism, 1870-1910, Vol. 27, No. 1, Fall, 1994, pp. 42-58.

[In the essay below, Pfitzer argues that Twain transformed the formulaic components of dime novels into a masterpiece of literature.]

In the summer of 1884, Mark Twain was enjoying a rare moment of self-satisfaction. Having just finished writing the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn after long delays, he was hard at work on a sequel which by contrast seemed to be writing itself—a western novel tentatively entitled...

(The entire section is 7649 words.)