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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Book and heart: essays on literature and life 2 0 Browse Search
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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Book and heart: essays on literature and life, Chapter 10: Favorites of a day (search)
this country the authors who have achieved the most astounding popular successes are, as a rule, now absolutely forgotten. I can remember when Sylvanus Cobb, Jr., received by far the largest salary then paid to any American writer, and Dr. J. H. Robinson spent his life in trying to rival him. The vast evangelical constituency which now reads Ben-Hur then read Ingraham's Prince of the House of David; the boys who now pore over Oliver Optic had then Mayne Reid. Those who enjoy Gunter and Albert Ross then perused, it is to be presumed, the writings of Mr. J. W. Buel, whose very name will be, to most readers of today, unknown. His Beautiful Story reached a sale of nearly 300,000 copies in two years; his Living World and The Story of Man were sold to the number of nearly 250,000 each, and were endorsed by Gladstone and Bismarck. This was only ten years ago, for in 1888 he received for copyright $33,000, and in 1889 $50,000; yet I have at hand no book of reference or library catalogue