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[318] him much less read than he deserves, though few competent judges will put him far below Cooper, at least as regards strength and vigour, in the type of romance in which no third American name can be associated with theirs.

West of the Alleghanies the growth of fiction during the life of Cooper was, of course, scanty. It consisted less of novels than of tales and sketches, which, produced for the most part by writers of Eastern birth dwelling for a time in the new settlements, were chiefly concerned with the representation of manners not known to the seaboard. The wittiest of these writers was Mrs. Caroline Matilda Stansbury Kirkland (1801-64), a native of New York who took advantage of a three years stay in Michigan to produce A New Home-Who'll Follow (1839), a volume of keen and sprightly letters on the frontier avowedly in the manner of Miss Mitford, and a continuation, Forest life (1842), which is less piquant only because it was not the first. In the later Western Clearings (1846) she was somewhat more regular but not so racy and natural. A more representative Western author was James Hall (1793-1868),1 who, born in Philadelphia, went west in search of adventure, lived in Illinois and Ohio, edited an annual and a magazine, and served as interpreter between West and East much as Irving did between America and Europe. Hall's manner, indeed, is like Irving's in its leisurely, genial narrative, its abundant descriptions, and its affection for supernatural legends which could be handled smilingly. He had real powers of fidelity, the only merit he claimed, to the life he knew, but he had also a florid style and a vein of romantic sentiment which too seldom rings true. Legends of the West (1832), Tales of the border (1834), and The wilderness and the War path (1846) contain his best stories; he is perhaps better known, not quite justly, for such books as Sketches of history, life and manners, in the West (1835), wherein he published his wide knowledge of a section then becoming important in the national life. It is as traveller and observer, too, not as romancer, that Timothy Flint (1780-1840) has come to be remembered, though he essayed fiction as well as nearly every other type of authorship in the days when he and Hall divided the West between them as a province to be worked by their

1 See also Book II, Chap. XX.

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