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[403] of Susan Coolidge, have a similar excellence for children somewhat older, but also outlast their material.

When the object of juvenile writing became, in the sixties, wholesome amusement rather than instruction, a result at once evident was that far more books were written for boys than for girls. ‘Simple, lively books for girls are much needed,’ wrote Miss Alcott in her journal; and seemed to fear that her liveliness was more suitable for the youthful male. Women apparently combated more than men the idea that mere entertainment was harmless. But the respectable of the sterner sex so shared it at first that it was seized upon only by the concoctors of lurid melodrama, shameless persons who hid under such pseudonyms as ‘Nick Carter.’ A rage for these dime dreadfuls swept the country, and perhaps it was the tardy desire not ‘to leave all the good tunes to the devil’ which energized the next group of writers for boys. Some of them at any rate were ministers, and the books of others were still too much under the compulsion of preaching, even if by story rather than by precept. Chief among these writers (who wrote solely for children) were Elijah Kellogg 1 (1813-1900), William Taylor Adams (1822-97), and Horatio Alger, Jr. (1832-99). Their careers began about 1860. Kellogg's several series of stories of Maine deal with the adventures of fishermen and farmers. Though more carefully written than were the other two, they have no merit of literary form beyond the great one of telling a straightforward story unimpeded by inessentials, but their pictures of a sturdy and rugged people are vivid and unaffected. Pictures of equal local value and interest F. R. Goulding was giving at the same time in stories of boy-life on the Southern seaboard. The young Marooners (1852) has decided merit. Adams's pseudonym, ‘Oliver Optic,’ speedily became as profitable as Goodrich's, and it also was placed at the head of a magazine. He wrote over one hundred volumes besides innumerable short stories, and their popularity has never since been equalled. Principal of a public school and Sunday School superintendent, he lived to hear his books called trashy by a more exacting age. Their style is, it is true, slovenly, and their smart heroes are given to cheap declamation; but their material

1 His sounding declamatory piece Spartacus to the Gladiators was long familiar to every school boy.

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