surely predicts the judgment of posterity?
Consider the companion instances.
Next to ‘Uncle Tom's Cabin’ ranked for a season, doubtless, in European
favor, that exceedingly commonplace novel ‘The Lamplighter
,’ whose very name is now almost forgotten at home.
It is impossible to say what law enters into such successes as this last; but one of the most obvious demands made by all foreign contemporary judgment is, that an American book should supply to a jaded public the element of the unexpected.
demands from America
not so much a new thought and purpose, as some new dramatis personoe; that an author should exhibit a wholly untried type,—an Indian, as Cooper
; a negro, as Mrs. Stowe
; a mountaineer, as Miss Murfree
; a California gambler, as Bret Harte
; a rough or roustabout, as Whitman
There are commonly two ways to eminent social success for an American in foreign society,—to be more European
than Europeans themselves, or else to surpass all other Americans
in some amusing peculiarity which foreigners suppose to be American.
It is much