Friday, January 31, 2014

Vintage cover: Horatio Alger Jr.'s "Risen from the Ranks"

Risen from the Ranks; or, Harry Walton's Success was written by Horatio Alger Jr. (1832-1899) and first published in 1874. It was one of the volumes in the Luck and Pluck Series.1

This cover is from the edition that was published by the John C. Winston Company. (Many companies published and republished Alger's works.)

Chapter XIII concerns the Clionian Society and its elections.2 Our hero, Harry Walton, has just been elected Secretary of the society. Here's an excerpt of the discussion that follows:
Fitzgerald Fletcher did not vote for him. Indeed, he expressed it as his opinion that it was a shame to elect a "printer's devil" Secretary of the Society.

"Why is it?" said Oscar. "Printing is a department of literature, and the Clionian is a literary society, isn't it?"

"Of course it is a literary society, but a printer's devil is not literary."

"He's as literary as a tin-pedler," said Tom Carver, maliciously.

Fletcher turned red, but managed to say, "And what does that prove?"

"We don't object to you because you are connected with the tin business."

"Do you mean to insult me?" demanded Fletcher, angrily. "What have I to do with the tin business?"

"Oh, I beg pardon, it's your cousin that's in it."

"I deny the relationship," said Fletcher, "and I will thank you not to refer again to that vulgar pedler."

1. Some of the other Alger series included the Ragged Dick Series, the Tattered Tom Series, the Brave and Bold Series and the Way to Success Series.
2. There have been at least three U.S. colleges with a literary club known as the Clionian Society. According to Wikipedia, the one at McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois, is still active. Clionian, I believe, is a reference to Clio, the muse of history in Greek mythology.

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