When the Frost is on the Punkin
It was the era of Denman Thompson
's plays, Joshua Whitcomb
and The Old homestead
Both the homely and the exotic marched under this banner of local color: Hamlin Garland
barnyards and cornfields, Helen Hunt Jackson
dreamed the romance of the Mission Indian
, and Lafcadio Hearn
, Irish and Greek
by blood, resident of New Orleans and not yet an adopted citizen of Japan
, tantalized American readers with his Chinese Ghosts
A fascinating period it seems, as one looks back upon it, and it lasted until about the end of the century, when the suddenly discovered commercial value of the historical novel and the ensuing competition in best sellers misled many a fine artistic talent and coarsened the public taste.
The New South then played the literary market as recklessly as the New West.
Let us glance back to “the abandoned farm of literature,” as a witty New Yorker once characterized New England
The last quarter of the nineteenth century witnessed a decline in the direct influence of that province over the country as a whole.
Its strength sapped by the emigration of its more vigorous sons, its typical institutions sagging under the weight of immense immigrations