Horatio Alger was a 19th century author who wrote short stories that all had the same universal theme: Every child in America is told at some point in their life that they can be anything they want to be.
He was also the descendant of Sylvanus Lazell, a Minuteman and brigadier general in the War ofand Edmund Lazella member of the Constitutional Convention in An invalid sister, Annie, was born inand a brother, Francis, in Edward Everett served as president.
He continued to write, submitting his work to religious and literary magazines, with varying success. When The Grange suspended operations inAlger found employment directing the summer session at Deerfield Academy.
An Autumn Sheaf, a collection of short pieces, was published inand his second book, Nothing to Do: A Tilt at Our Best Society, a lengthy satirical poem, was published in Loring in Boston the same year.
Church officials reported to the hierarchy in Boston that Alger had been charged with "the abominable and revolting crime of gross familiarity with boys". The officials were satisfied and decided no further action would be taken. He wrote "Friar Anselmo" at this time, a poem that tells of a sinning cleric's atonement through good deeds.
He became interested in the welfare of the thousands of vagrant children who flooded New York City following the Civil War. He attended a children's church service at Five Pointswhich led to " John Maynard ", a ballad about an actual shipwreck on Lake Eriewhich brought Alger not only the respect of the literati but a letter from Longfellow.
He fared better with stories for boys published in Student and Schoolmate and a third boys' book, Charlie Codman's Cruise.
The story, about a poor bootblack's rise to middle-class respectability, was a huge success.
It was expanded and published as a novel in After Ragged Dick he wrote almost entirely for boys,  and he signed a contract with publisher Loring for a Ragged Dick Series. He wrote serials for Young Israel  and lived in the Seligman home until Profits suffered, and he headed West for new material at Loring's behest, arriving in California in February Garfield  but filled the work with contrived conversations and boyish excitements rather than facts.
The book sold well. Alger was commissioned to write a biography of Abraham Lincolnbut again it was Alger the boys' novelist opting for thrills rather than facts. Alger continued to produce stories of honest boys outwitting evil, greedy squires and malicious youths.
His work appeared in hardcover and paperback, and decades-old poems were published in anthologies. He led a busy life with street boys, Harvard classmates, and the social elite. In Massachusetts, he was regarded with the same reverence as Harriet Beecher Stowe.
He tutored with never a whisper of scandal. In The Young Bank Messenger, for example, a woman is throttled and threatened with death—an episode that would never have occurred in his earlier work.
Inhe had what he called a "nervous breakdown"; he relocated permanently to his sister's home in South Natick, Massachusetts. He died on July 18,at the home of his sister in Natick, Massachusetts. His literary work was bequeathed to his niece, to two boys he had casually adopted, and to his sister Olive Augusta, who destroyed his manuscripts and his letters, according to his wishes.
Until the advent of the Jazz Age in the s, he sold about seventeen to twenty million volumes. Surveys in and revealed very few children had read or even heard of Alger.
Mayes, who later admitted the work was a fraud. In addition, Alger's books were offered as dramatic audiobooks by the same publisher. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. January Learn how and when to remove this template message Alger scholar Gary Scharnhorst describes Alger's style as "anachronistic", "often laughable", "distinctive", and "distinguished by the quality of its literary allusions".
Ranging from the Bible and William Shakespeare half of Alger's books contain Shakespearean references to John Milton and Cicerothe allusions he employed were a testament to his erudition.
Scharnhorst credits these allusions with distinguishing Alger's novels from pulp fiction. The first, the Rise to Respectability, he observes, is evident in both his early and his late books, notably Ragged Dick, whose impoverished young hero declares, "I mean to turn over a new leaf, and try to grow up 'spectable.
In Strong and Steady and Shifting for Himself, for example, the affluent heroes are reduced to poverty and forced to meet the demands of their new circumstances.
Alger occasionally cited the young Abe Lincoln as a representative of this theme for his readers. The third theme is Beauty versus Money, which became central to Alger's adult fiction.Oct 14, · Summary of Horatio Alger Essay – Words – Microtheme 1 In the essay “Horatio Alger” by Harlon L.
Dalton, Dalton argues that the Horatio Alger myth regarding commercial success is false and isHoratio Alger Harlon l Dalton Free Essays – StudyModeHoratio Alger Harlon L Dalton.
Horatio Alger Jr. (/ ˈ æ l dʒ ər /; January 13, – July 18, ) was an American writer, best known for his many young adult novels about impoverished boys and their rise from humble backgrounds to lives of middle-class security and comfort through hard work, determination, courage, and honesty.
His writings were characterized by the "rags-to-riches" narrative, which had a formative. Mar 18, · Response to "Horatio Alger" by Harlon L. Dalton I do agree with Dalton’s claim that American society is far from operating on a strictly merit-based system because there is prejudice that still exists in this country.
Harlon Dalton’s thesis is that Horatio Alger instills false hope in the impoverished by perpetuating the myth of unbiased equal opportunity. The Horatio Alger myth is one of the oldest myths in the history of the United States of America.
Horatio Alger was a 19th century author who wrote short stories that all had the same universal theme: a young man rising from a . Alger was born on January 13, , in the New England coastal town of Chelsea, Massachusetts, the son of Horatio Alger Sr., a Unitarian minister, and Olive Augusta Fenno.
  He had many connections with the New England Puritan aristocracy of the early 19th century: He was the descendant of Pilgrim Fathers Robert Cushman, .