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CACTUSWENDY
12-13-2006, 12:06 AM
Cheap, sensational novels, costing a dime. The frist dime novel, published in 1860, was Malaeska; The Indian Wife of the White Hunter, by Mrs. Anna Sophia Stepehens. It sold 300,000 copies in its' first year alone.

This was followed in the same year by Seth Jones, or Captives of the Wild Frontier, by Edward Ellis, which sold 450,000 copies.

Published in orange covers, the novels featured such characters as Calamity Jane, Deadwood Dick and Kit Carson among others, involving tales of Indians, gunfighters, pioneers, hunters and so on.

They were widely read by Civil War soldiers and adolescents.

(Taken from * Everyday Life in the 1800s, A guide for Writers, Stucents & Historians, by Marc McCutcheon)

Just a bit of history that I find very interesting. Do the math...not bad for that day. Wonder if they had as much trouble getting them in print as we all seem to be having? Now you know where that term came from.

Silver King
12-13-2006, 01:57 AM
That's VERY interesting, Wendy. And considering the value of an 1860 dollar was worth nearly twenty times what it is today, the first book generated about $600,000 in sales, and the second, $900,000.

WildScribe
12-13-2006, 02:53 AM
Why is that in this section? Just curious.

Silver King
12-13-2006, 03:33 AM
Good question, Wild One. As usual, I didn't notice where the thread came from before tossing in a reply.

We can always make a game out of it. Wendy started with two well known dime novels. Maybe we can list more. Each poster has to name one by title, but the first letter of the author's last name would follow in alphabetical order from the previous post.

If that doesn't sound like fun, or if Wendy disagrees, the Roundtable forum might be a suitable place to discuss dime novels.

jamiehall
12-13-2006, 04:09 AM
That's VERY interesting, Wendy. And considering the value of an 1860 dollar was worth nearly twenty times what it is today, the first book generated about $600,000 in sales, and the second, $900,000.

I should also be remembered that the book industry was VERY small in those days. Each book sold more copies on average, but there were very few books to chose from. Today, there are more books, there are more book buyers (NOT solely due to population increase), there are more bookstores, and the average person buys more books. All these are good trends.

CACTUSWENDY
12-13-2006, 06:01 AM
:) Place this where ever it is suppose to be. Was not sure......

Silver King
12-13-2006, 06:27 AM
:) Place this where ever it is suppose to be.
Looks like we got transported to a different dimension that features a round table where folks will have plenty to say about dime novels.

jamiehall
12-13-2006, 06:39 AM
I really like looking at dime novel covers. They are so old-fashioned and full of character. See a google image search for dime novels (http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&q=dime+novel&btnG=Search+Images).

TwentyFour
12-13-2006, 06:57 AM
Taken from * Everyday Life in the 1800s, A guide for Writers, Stucents & Historians, by Marc McCutcheon I HAVE THAT BOOK! I love the dirty word section, it's funny seeing the terms forbidden then and now...some are the same, others are long gone.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
12-13-2006, 07:00 AM
National Police Gazette, started in 1845, was one of the most popular publications during that same period. People eagerly awaited every issue. It and dime novels, as well as penny dreadfuls, helped establish the reputations - some largely undeserved - of some of the biggest names of the time: Jesse and Frank James, Belle Starr, and Billy the Kid.

Can you tell I'm researching the era? :)

TwentyFour
12-13-2006, 07:22 AM
You should research how prostitutes had secret passages for their rogue helpers...that is wild!

Maryn
12-13-2006, 01:54 PM
You should research how prostitutes had secret passages for their rogue helpers...that is wild!Cough! I'm unable to comment on any sentence that contains both prostitutes and secret passages, at least until I stop choking because I was taking a sip when I read it.

Maryn, who imagines it's interesting

PeeDee
12-13-2006, 06:11 PM
You should research how prostitutes had secret passages for their rogue helpers...that is wild!

I've read about it, in passing. It fascinates me without any of the choking Maryn gets from it.... :)

My favorite weird-subject at the moment (until I find a copy of this book you're talking about, which sounds really cool ) are the illegial gin joints and bars which sprung up in little caves along the lower banks of the Mississippi around Minneapolis during the prohibition. They do tours of them, and I really wanna go on one...!

TwentyFour
12-14-2006, 12:58 AM
The book is available from Writers Digest, it has encyclopedia type entries of slavery and terms, cowboy and indians and terms, prairie people and terms...so on...very interesting. They give you some wild ideas for historicals and westerns.

arrowqueen
12-14-2006, 01:39 AM
We had 'Penny Dreadfuls' and 'Penny Bloods'.

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.collectingbooksandmagazines.com/penny.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.collectingbooksandmagazines.com/penny.html&h=319&w=196&sz=30&hl=en&start=29&tbnid=y1sYSYpWekwgCM:&tbnh=118&tbnw=73&prev=/images%3Fq%3DPenny%2BDreadfuls%2B%252B%2Bimages%26 start%3D18%26ndsp%3D18%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr %3D%26sa%3DN

CACTUSWENDY
12-14-2006, 03:53 AM
:) Wow Arrow, that is interesting. Neat link. Thanks.