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[324] later years of Cooper was the religious romance, of which, though many essayed it, the chief writers were William Ware (1797-1852), and Sylvester Judd (1813-53). Ware, a clergyman and fair classical scholar, wrote three novels, Letters from Palmyra (1837), later called Zenobia, Probus (1838), a sequel now known as Aurelian, and Julian (1841), which, though strongly biased in favour of the creed Ware preached, and often diffuse and monotonous, had still enough force and charm to have continued to be read by those to whom all books dealing with the origins of Christianity are an equal duty and delight. Judd has not been so widely read as Ware, though generally considered a novelist of superior truth and subtlety. His first novel, Margaret (1845), was born of a desire to show that Unitarians could produce imaginative literature. Its special merits are its vivid fidelity to the life of rural Massachusetts just after the Revolution, its thorough, loving familiarity with the New England temper and scene, and a kind of spiritual ardour which pervades the whole book; but it is badly constructed and it runs, toward the close, into a region of misty transcendentalisms where characters and plot are lost. Richard Edney (1850), a companion piece with its hero a boy and its setting contemporary, suffers, either as narrative or sense, from the same theological obsession, which appears in Judd's poems as little less than pathological.

By 1851 there were, or had been, many novelists whose names could find place only in an extended account of American fiction1: writers of adventure stories more sensational than Simms's or of moral stories more obvious than Miss Sedgwick's and Mrs. Child's, authors for children, authors preaching causes, authors celebrating fashionable or Bohemian life in New York. Not only regular novels and romances but briefer tales multiplied. The period which could boast in Cooper but one novelist of first rank could show three such tale-tellers as Irving, Hawthorne, and Poe. The annuals and magazines met the demand for such amusement and fostered it,2 but the novel was encouraged more than it was hurt by the new type. Prose fiction, in fact, though somewhat late in starting,

1 See Northrup, C. S., The novelists, in A Manual of American Literature, ed. Stanton, T., 1909.

2 See Book II, Chap. XX.

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