When Peter Parley Met Natty Bumppo: Samuel Goodrich, James Fenimore Cooper, and the Invention of a Young Adult FrontierJames Fenimore Cooper Society Journal
Publication VersionPublished Version
AbstractDissatisfied 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).
Copyright OwnerJames Fenimore Cooper Society
Citation InformationMatthew 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/