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Venus In Boston
     

Venus In Boston

by George Thompson
 
This book reprints for the first time since the 1850s three short works by George Thompson (1823—c. 1873), one of antebellum America's most successful and prolific authors of sensational fiction. Beginning in the 1840s, he wrote stories for sporting papers like "Life in Boston and New York," edited the humorous New York weekly "The Broadway Belle," and

Overview

This book reprints for the first time since the 1850s three short works by George Thompson (1823—c. 1873), one of antebellum America's most successful and prolific authors of sensational fiction. Beginning in the 1840s, he wrote stories for sporting papers like "Life in Boston and New York," edited the humorous New York weekly "The Broadway Belle," and contributed regularly to the sexually explicit "Venus' Miscellany." He also published dozens of novels, most of which were set in Northeastern cities. His writing blends entertainment and social protest, combining commentary on such issues as urbanization, poverty, race, and class with some of the era's most shocking depictions of sex and violence.

The three works in this volume offer a rich representative sample of Thompson's writing. The two novels-"Venus in Boston" and "City Crimes" — depict the American city as a place of dark mystery, bawdy humor, and near-universal corruption peopled with con artists and criminals of all kinds. In each novel, a complex narrative structure interweaves multiple stories of exploited labor, abuse of power, seduction, intrigue, and crime. Thompson's autobiography, "My Life," presents the author's life in terms nearly as lively as his fiction.

Thompson's zestful, unconventional writings fly in the face of the stereotypical view of Victorian America as strait-laced and sentimental. Ideal for use as a classroom text, this new edition includes a scholarly introduction and an extensive bibliography.

Editorial Reviews

Leon Jackson
I can think of no antebellum author more deserving of recovery than George Thompson.... This is a book that scholars,students,and teachers need to be reading. It will be welcomed by both critics and historians alike as an important and unique peek into the darker recesses of the antebellum underworld. The introduction to the volume constitutes the most thorough,accessible,and useful account of Thompson's life and work to date. The editors carefully reconstruct the author's world and do a remarkable job of bringing his books to life.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781406850963
Publisher:
Echo Library
Publication date:
06/01/2009
Pages:
116
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.28(d)

What People are Saying About This

Leon Jackson

I can think of no antebellum author more deserving of recovery than George Thompson. This is a book that scholars, students, and teachers need to be reading. It will be welcomed by both critics and historians alike as an important and unique peek into the darker recesses of the antebellum underworld. The introduction to the volume constitutes the most thorough, accessible, and useful account of Thompson's life and work to date. The editors carefully reconstruct the author's world and do a remarkable job of bringing his books to life.

Meet the Author

David S. Reynolds is Distinguished Professor of English at Baruch College, CUNY. His many books include Walt Whitman's America: A Cultural Biography, winner of the Bancroft Prize, and Beneath the American Renaissance, winner of the Christian Gauss Award.

Kimberly R. Gladman teaches English at New York University.

University of Massachusetts Press

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