The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 45, July 1941 - April, 1942

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

It is to be hoped that this author will soon study the part of
the common man and business leaders in the life of Nashville,
the effect of the city upon Middle Tennessee, and the results
of the careers of persons trained in the schools. With studies
of Pittsburgh and Memphis in print it may not be long before
comparisons between five inland river towns of 1860 may be
made with the five coastal "cities of the wilderness" of the
1740's as described by Bridenbaugh. Some of these were about
the same age and size as the Nashville of 1860. Within the
narrow limits where comparison is now possible it appears
that Nashville's leaders had provided decided improvements in
high-class entertainment; they had done as well in state capitol
and church building; and the city was exceptional in medical
and library facilities. Another segment of the South has been
pictured enjoying cultural prosperity in the fifties. Frontier
and rural cultures were transformed as the city consummated
its role irrespective of section.
ROBERT C. COTNER.
The University of Texas.
The Sentimental Novel in America, 1789-1860. By Herbert
Ross Brown.
Durham, N. C.: Duke University Press, 1940. Pp. ix, 407. $3.00.
The novel began its career in America in 1744, when Benjamin
Franklin, intent on public piety and private profit, reprinted
Samuel Richardson's Pamela. It is with this date that Herbert
Ross Brown really begins his history of the sentimental novel,
and continues it to the Civil War, attempting to trace some mani-
festations of the American mind in the very abundant out-
pouring of sentimental fiction.
In a chapter headed "Richardson and Seduction," Mr. Brown
first treats the development of the American novel through its
early decades, when to be detected reading a novel was almost
as disreputable as betting at a cock fight, in spite of the fact
that the "refined treble" of the female novelists dominated the
opening chorus of American fiction. Then, as he quite logically
shows, the authors of the much maligned fiction, evidently in
self-defense, insisted that their work was based upon truth and
that its purpose was always to inculcate virtue. Such famous
effusions as Rowson's Charlotte Temple (American edition,

224

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 45, July 1941 - April, 1942. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146053/. Accessed June 2, 2015.