Horatio Alger Jr. The Erie Train Boy

ISBN 13: 9781551116549

The Erie Train Boy

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9781551116549: The Erie Train Boy
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From the publication of Ragged Dick in 1867 through to the 1930s, Horatio Alger’s tales of young boys overcoming adversity were part of the mainstream of American culture. The phrase “a Horatio Alger story” remains synonymous with the American ideal of struggling against adversity and finally achieving success, financial and otherwise―but especially financial.

As Michael Moore says in Dude, Where’s My Country?, “Alger was one of the most popular American writers of the late 1800s. ... Alger’s stories featured characters from impoverished backgrounds who, through pluck and determination and hard work, were able to make huge successes of themselves in this land of boundless opportunity. The message was that ‘anyone can make it in America, and make it big.’” Ironically, however, it is typically chance and good luck that is most instrumental in bringing success to the typical Horatio Alger hero, hardworking and deserving though he may be. And often the ideal of egalitarianism features just as prominently as that of rugged individualism.

In all these respects, The Erie Train Boy (1890) is typical of the genre. For a number of reasons, however, it is among the most interesting of Alger’s many novels. Fred Fenton is the Erie train boy, a young lad selling sundries on the trains traveling north from New York and through this work supporting his mother and siblings as the family struggles to survive in a New York tenement house. The story eventually unfolds in a more or less mechanical fashion, but along the way we are shown a world of confidence men and pickpockets, of cheap boarding houses and railway hotels, and of a good deal of the grit of life in late nineteenth-century America. We are given sensation―from Fenton rescuing a young woman whose dress has caught fire from the footlights in the midst of a performance, to a saga of stolen bonds secreted near a Quebec village, to an episode of thievery at Niagara Falls, and finally to a scheming uncle and a parcel of land in Colorado. We are given as well a great deal of detail about the social and economic life of the times; Alger pays attention to wages and prices perhaps more than any other writer of the period. All in all, The Erie Train Boy is among the most far-reaching and most interesting of Horatio Alger novels.

The different editions of Alger’s novels reflected as much as they shaped American culture in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Later editions of the novels were often shortened. This made them more of a “quick read,” but in many cases the material selected for excision was ideologically charged; descriptions explicitly or implicitly critical of the privileged classes were disproportionately likely to be cut. In this respect, too, The Erie Train Boy is an interesting example of the genre; later editions cut a considerable amount of material from the original.

In addition to providing the text itself, this Broadview reissue endeavors to make something of its cultural history available for readers. The copy text is that of the early edition published by M.A. Donahue & Company, collated against the A.L Burt Company edition from the 1890s; both of these include the complete Alger text. The text has also been collated, however, against the edition published by the Whitman Publishing Co. circa 1920―an edition that was considerably abridged, though no acknowledgment of this was made in the volume itself―and an appendix provides full information on the changes made for this later edition. Readers will thus be able to trace the ways in which the text was altered through abridgement. Also included as an appendix to the volume are cover illustrations and advertisements from all three editions.

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About the Author:

Born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, The United States January 13, 1832 Died on July 18, 1899 Genre: Children's, Young Adult Fiction Horatio Alger, Jr. (January 13, 1832 – July 18, 1899) was a prolific 19th-century American author, most famous for his novels following the adventures of bootblacks, newsboys, peddlers, buskers, and other impoverished children in their rise from humble backgrounds to lives of respectable middle-class security and comfort. His novels about boys who succeed under the tutelage of older mentors were hugely popular in their day. Born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, the son of a Unitarian minister, Alger entered Harvard University at the age of sixteen. Following graduation, he briefly worked in education before touring Europe for almost a year. He then entered the Harvard Divinity School, and, in 1864, took a position at a Unitarian church in Brewster, Massachusetts. Two years later, he resigned following allegations he had sexual relations with two teenage boys.[1] He retired from the ministry and moved to New York City where he formed an association with the Newsboys Lodging House and other agencies offering aid to impoverished children. His sympathy for the working boys of the city, coupled with the moral values learned at home, were the basis of his many juvenile rags to riches novels illustrating how down-and-out boys might be able to achieve the American Dream of wealth and success through hard work, courage, determination, and concern for others. This widely held view involves Alger's characters achieving extreme wealth and the subsequent remediation of their "old ghosts." Alger is noted as a significant figure in the history of American cultural and social ideals. He died in 1899. The first full-length Alger biography was commissioned in 1927 and published in 1928, and along with many others that borrowed from it later proved to be heavily fictionalized parodies perpetuating hoaxes and made up anecdotes that "would resemble the tell-all scandal biographies of the time."[2] Other biographies followed, sometimes citing the 1928 hoax as fact. In the last decades of the twentieth century a few more reliable biographies were published that attempt to correct the errors and fictionalizations of the past.

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Book Description Broadview Press Ltd, Canada, 2004. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English. Brand new Book. From the publication of Ragged Dick in 1867 through to the 1930s, Horatio Alger?s tales of young boys overcoming adversity were part of the mainstream of American culture. The phrase ?a Horatio Alger story? remains synonymous with the American ideal of struggling against adversity and finally achieving success, financial and otherwise?but especially financial.As Michael Moore says in Dude, Where?s My Country?, ?Alger was one of the most popular American writers of the late 1800s. ? Alger?s stories featured characters from impoverished backgrounds who, through pluck and determination and hard work, were able to make huge successes of themselves in this land of boundless opportunity. The message was that ?anyone can make it in America, and make it big.?? Ironically, however, it is typically chance and good luck that is most instrumental in bringing success to the typical Horatio Alger hero, hardworking and deserving though he may be. And often the ideal of egalitarianism features just as prominently as that of rugged individualism.In all these respects, The Erie Train Boy (1890) is typical of the genre. For a number of reasons, however, it is among the most interesting of Alger?s many novels. Fred Fenton is the Erie train boy, a young lad selling sundries on the trains traveling north from New York and through this work supporting his mother and siblings as the family struggles to survive in a New York tenement house. The story eventually unfolds in a more or less mechanical fashion, but along the way we are shown a world of confidence men and pickpockets, of cheap boarding houses and railway hotels, and of a good deal of the grit of life in late nineteenth-century America. We are given sensation?from Fenton rescuing a young woman whose dress has caught fire from the footlights in the midst of a performance, to a saga of stolen bonds secreted near a Quebec village, to an episode of thievery at Niagara Falls, and finally to a scheming uncle and a parcel of land in Colorado. We are given as well a great deal of detail about the social and economic life of the times; Alger pays attention to wages and prices perhaps more than any other writer of the period. All in all, The Erie Train Boy is among the most far-reaching and most interesting of Horatio Alger novels.The different editions of Alger?s novels reflected as much as they shaped American culture in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Later editions of the novels were often shortened. This made them more of a ?quick read,? but in many cases the material selected for excision was ideologically charged; descriptions explicitly or implicitly critical of the privileged classes were disproportionately likely to be cut. In this respect, too, The Erie Train Boy is an interesting example of the genre; later editions cut a considerable amount of material from the original.In addition to providing the text itself, this Broadview reissue endeavors to make something of its cultural history available for readers. The copy text is that of the early edition published by M.A. Donahue & Company, collated against the A.L Burt Company edition from the 1890s; both of these include the complete Alger text. The text has also been collated, however, against the edition published by the Whitman Publishing Co. circa 1920?an edition that was considerably abridged, though no acknowledgment of this was made in the volume itself?and an appendix provides full information on the changes made for this later edition. Readers will thus be able to trace the ways in which the text was altered through abridgement. Also included as an appendix to the volume are cover illustrations and advertisements from all three editions. Seller Inventory # AAN9781551116549

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Book Description Broadview Press Ltd, Canada, 2004. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English. Brand new Book. From the publication of Ragged Dick in 1867 through to the 1930s, Horatio Alger?s tales of young boys overcoming adversity were part of the mainstream of American culture. The phrase ?a Horatio Alger story? remains synonymous with the American ideal of struggling against adversity and finally achieving success, financial and otherwise?but especially financial.As Michael Moore says in Dude, Where?s My Country?, ?Alger was one of the most popular American writers of the late 1800s. ? Alger?s stories featured characters from impoverished backgrounds who, through pluck and determination and hard work, were able to make huge successes of themselves in this land of boundless opportunity. The message was that ?anyone can make it in America, and make it big.?? Ironically, however, it is typically chance and good luck that is most instrumental in bringing success to the typical Horatio Alger hero, hardworking and deserving though he may be. And often the ideal of egalitarianism features just as prominently as that of rugged individualism.In all these respects, The Erie Train Boy (1890) is typical of the genre. For a number of reasons, however, it is among the most interesting of Alger?s many novels. Fred Fenton is the Erie train boy, a young lad selling sundries on the trains traveling north from New York and through this work supporting his mother and siblings as the family struggles to survive in a New York tenement house. The story eventually unfolds in a more or less mechanical fashion, but along the way we are shown a world of confidence men and pickpockets, of cheap boarding houses and railway hotels, and of a good deal of the grit of life in late nineteenth-century America. We are given sensation?from Fenton rescuing a young woman whose dress has caught fire from the footlights in the midst of a performance, to a saga of stolen bonds secreted near a Quebec village, to an episode of thievery at Niagara Falls, and finally to a scheming uncle and a parcel of land in Colorado. We are given as well a great deal of detail about the social and economic life of the times; Alger pays attention to wages and prices perhaps more than any other writer of the period. All in all, The Erie Train Boy is among the most far-reaching and most interesting of Horatio Alger novels.The different editions of Alger?s novels reflected as much as they shaped American culture in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Later editions of the novels were often shortened. This made them more of a ?quick read,? but in many cases the material selected for excision was ideologically charged; descriptions explicitly or implicitly critical of the privileged classes were disproportionately likely to be cut. In this respect, too, The Erie Train Boy is an interesting example of the genre; later editions cut a considerable amount of material from the original.In addition to providing the text itself, this Broadview reissue endeavors to make something of its cultural history available for readers. The copy text is that of the early edition published by M.A. Donahue & Company, collated against the A.L Burt Company edition from the 1890s; both of these include the complete Alger text. The text has also been collated, however, against the edition published by the Whitman Publishing Co. circa 1920?an edition that was considerably abridged, though no acknowledgment of this was made in the volume itself?and an appendix provides full information on the changes made for this later edition. Readers will thus be able to trace the ways in which the text was altered through abridgement. Also included as an appendix to the volume are cover illustrations and advertisements from all three editions. Seller Inventory # AAN9781551116549

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