as still to retain its hold on English farmhouses?
They were no better than the works of “a native author named Roe
,” and probably not so good.
In 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
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 that contains his name.
Is it not better to be unknown in one's lifetime, and yet live forever by one poem, like Blanco