Date of Award
Master of Arts
The sentimental novel was highly successful in America at the time Hawthorne was preparing The Scarlet Letter for publication. Five years later, after Hawthorne had gained recognition as an author, the continuing supremacy or sentimentality provoked him, his irritation appeared in a letter to Ticknor, his publisher. "America is now wholly given over to a d--d mob of scribbling women, and I should have no chance of success while the public taste is occupied with their trash–and should be ashamed of myself if I did succeed. What is the mystery of these innumerable editions of the "Lamplighter," and other books neither better nor worse?---Worse they could not be, and better they need not be, when they sell by the 100,000... A comparison of the sales of Hawthorne's novel to Ih! Lamplighter's sales illustrates why Hawthorne was concerned about his economic success. The Scarlet Letter sold 6000 copies in two years–Hawthorne's royalties totaling $450.00. The Lamplighter, however, sold 40,000 copies within eight weeks.
Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu
Verna De Jong
June 21, 2013
De Jong, Verna, "Nineteenth century fictional children: how typical is Pearl?" (1971). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 121.