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When Peter Parley Met Natty Bumppo: Samuel Goodrich, James Fenimore Cooper, and the Invention of a Young Adult Frontier
James Fenimore Cooper Society Journal
  • Matthew Sivils, Iowa State University
Document Type
Article
Publication Version
Published Version
Publication Date
1-1-2015
Abstract
Dissatisfied with what he viewed as the grotesque and morally corrupt content of much children's literature available at the time—which were mostly reprints of European titles—the New England printer Samuel Griswold Goodrich set out to compose and market books expressly intended for a young American readership. He began in 1819 by creating a handful of rather unsophisticated chapbooks intended to impart historical and moral lessons. In 1827, Goodrich published the first of his so-called Peter Parley books, which are narrated by a fictional grandfatherly Bostonian of that name. These books became extremely popular on both sides of the Atlantic, and they would serve as a powerful influence upon the minds of young Americans and upon the development of the nation's literary culture. As A.S.W. Rosenbach—in his formative study of early American children's literature— contends, the advent of Goodrich's Peter Parley series was "one of the most momentous and influential events in the history of American children's literature in the nineteenth century" (xlviii).
Comments

This is an article from the James Fenimore Cooper Society Journal 26 (2015): 11. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner
James Fenimore Cooper Society
Language
en
File Format
application/pdf
Citation Information
Matthew Sivils. "When Peter Parley Met Natty Bumppo: Samuel Goodrich, James Fenimore Cooper, and the Invention of a Young Adult Frontier" James Fenimore Cooper Society Journal Vol. 26 Iss. 2 (2015) p. 11 - 13
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/matthew_sivils/8/