The Chronology of American Literature:
America's Literary Achievements from the Colonial Era to Modern Times
by Daniel S. Burt (Editor)
JANE ANDREWS (18331887): The Seven Little Sisters Who Live on a Round Ball That Floats in the Air. The most popular of the Massachusetts schoolteacher's books for children, which teach geography, history, and natural history through stories. Her other popular titles include The Boys Who Lived on the Road from Long Ago to Now (1885) and The Stories Mother Nature Told Her Children (1888).
GEORGE WILLIAM CURTIS: Trumps. First published in Harper's Weekly between 1859 and 1860, the only novel by the Rhode Islandborn Near Eastern correspondent for the New York Tribune combines a romantic story with a realistic depiction of New York society and politics. According to the North American Review, "It seems to us the best of Mr. Curtis's works and among the very best of American novels." Curtis became the editor of Harper's Weekly in 1863.
REBECCA HARDING DAVIS (18311910): "Life in the Iron Mills." Based on Davis's experiences among mill workers in Wheeling, Virginia (later West Virginia), the story highlights the horrific conditions endured by the workers and contrasts their virtue to the self-serving attitude of the mill owners. First published in the Atlantic Monthly, it wins acclaim for Davis and is considered one of the first works of American realism, in which she invited her readers, "Come right down with me here in the thickest fog and mud and effluvia."
OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES: Elsie Venner: A Romance of Destiny. Holmes's first novel, a controversial and popular work, had been originally published in the Atlantic Monthly serially beginning in 1859. Drawing on new ideas about genetics and serving as an allegory of original sin and family heritage, the work concerns the title character, who is born with serpentlike qualities because her mother had been bitten by a snake while pregnant.
THEODORE WINTHROP (18281861): Cecil Dreeme. The Connecticut writer's first published manuscript after he gained posthumous fame as reputedly the first Union soldier killed in the Civil War. The gothic story, about a girl who disguises herself as a man to avoid marriage, immediately becomes popular and goes through three printings in one week and nineteen printings by 1866.