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Frontier Fiction.

The first great figure to write fiction about the frontier was <IR> JAMES FENIMORE COOPER </IR> , whose own early days were spent on a disappearing frontier, for which he shows a sentimental nostalgia. Several of <IR> JAMES KIRKE PAULDING's </IR> novels portray frontier life. Among other books, occasionally autobiographical, that deal with frontier life are Timothy Flint, George Mason, the Young Backwoodsman (1829); Robert Montgomery Bird, <IR> NICK OF THE WOODS </IR> (1837); Emerson Bennett, The Bandits of the Osage (1847) and Forest and Prairie, or, Life on the Frontier (1860); Joseph G. Baldwin, <IR> FLUSH TIMES OF ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI </IR> (1853); Edward Eggleston, <IR> THE HOOSIER SCHOOLMASTER </IR> (1871); Ralph Connor, The Sky Pilot (1899); Winston Churchill, <IR> THE CROSSING </IR> (1904); Willa Cather, <IR> O PIONEERS </IR> (1913), <IR> MY ANTONIA </IR> (1918), and <IR> DEATH COMES FOR THE ARCHBISHOP </IR> (1927); Hamlin Garland, They of the High Trails (1916); Emerson Hough, The Covered Wagon (1922); Johan Bojer, The Emigrants (1925); Ole Rolvaag, <IR> GIANTS IN THE EARTH </IR> (1924) and <IR> PEDER VICTORIOUS </IR> (1932); <IR> ZANE GREY </IR> , The Thundering Herd (1925); Thomas Boyd, Shadow of the Long Knives (1928); Vardis Fisher, Toilers of the Hills (1928) and Dark Bridwell (1931); Maud Hart Lovelace, Early Candlelight (1929); James Boyd, The Long Hunt (1930); Edna Ferber, Cimarron (1930); Elizabeth Madox Roberts, <IR> THE GREAT MEADOW </IR> (1930); Stewart Edward White, The Long Rifle (1932); Rose Wilder Lane, The Hurricane (1933); Stephen Vincent Benet, James Shore's Daughter (1934); Harold L. Davis, <IR> HONEY IN THE HORN </IR> (1935) and Beulah Land (1949); Conrad Richter, Early Americana (1936) and The Fields (1946); Walter Van Tilburg Clark, The Ox-Bow Incident (1940); A.B. Guthrie, Jr., The Big Sky (1947); Felix Holt, The Gabriel Horn (1951); H.M. Drummond, Hoot Owls and Orchids (1956); Oakley Hall, Warlock (1958), The Bad Lands (1978), and Apaches (1986); and Larry McMurtry, Lonesome Dove (1985). The foregoing are representative of some of the best. From the <IR> DIME NOVEL </IR> to the modern Western, the titles are far too numerous for comprehensive listing. Direct personal experience bulks large as well, including as one of the classics Mark Twain's Roughing It (1872). The distinctive humor of the frontier has been studied by such specialists as Walter Blair, Franklin J. Meine, and Constance Rourke. ( <IR> See WESTERNS </IR> and <IR> POETS AND POETRY OF THE WEST </IR> .)

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Publication:Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia of American Literature
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1991
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