Mon, 26 Sep 2005 13:24:18 -0500
Thanks to the responses so far on this admittedly odd query.
As one poster noted, however, Tourgee probably does deserve at least a bit
more attention than he gets these days. After Cable, he was probably the
most radical and pugnacious voice against much of the Lost Cause, Jim Crow,
and other southern ideology during Twain's lifetime--I write about him a
little in my forthcoming book.
In case anyone is interested, I have found in my campus office,
serendipitously, some of the material I had in mind. It was sort of by
accident-- but it is in a still fairly useful book called THE RISE OF THE
AMERICAN NOVEL (1951) by Alexander Cowie. I have marked extensively the
chapter on Tourgee and DeForest (which is remarkably good and filled with
important information about these 2 relative unknowns these days), which was
a little surprising. I also recommend Cowie's book, by the way, should you
discover it in some second hand bookstore for a couple bucks.
It turns out that Tourgee was quite taken with the so-called "Christian
Socialist" ideas, and wrote about them explicitly. One place is in one of
his late novels (which is today almost completely unknown): MURVALE EASTMAN.
That novel came on the heels of more famous Christian socialist stories,
most prominently Howells's THE MINISTER'S CHARGE and Bellamy's LOOKING
Harold K. Bush, Jr.
Saint Louis University