Nineteenth Century Sensational Fiction: Dime Novels Essays
In the late nineteenth century, a new form of sensational fiction emerged. Called dime novels because of the five to twenty-five cent sale price, these pocket-sized books told short stories of American frontier adventure. Often formulaic, these stories centered on macho heroes and damsels in distress, never venturing far beyond plotlines of capture and rescue, pursuit and escape. Violence and lewdness became the impetus for the popularity of this form which, because of its cheapness, was often passed along to friends and neighbors upon completion. The serial nature of these stories, which featured a set number of identifiable characters such as Deadwood Dick and Calamity …show more content…
Bishop laments the fact that these throwaway novels have begun to take the place of proper literature. His elitism and upholding of canon however falter slightly when he recognizes that at least the youth have found something to read rather than nothing at all. His only pity is that the devolving form of dimes makes little effort to instill morals or realistic goals in youth.
The dime novel brought a new commercialism