L e g ac y P ro f i l e Mary Jane Holmes (18251907) earl yarington Cheyney University few days after her death, an obituary in the Nation recorded the irony of Mary Jane Holmes's life and work: It is an eternal paradox of our world of letters that the books which enjoy the largest sale are barely recognized as existing by the guardians of literary tradition. Mrs. Mary Jane Holmes, who died Sunday at Brockport, N.Y., wrote thirty-nine novels with aggregate sales, it is said, of more than two million copies, and yet she had not even a paragraph devoted to her life and works in the histories of American Literature. ("The Week") An irony indeed, especially considering that Holmes, who engaged in the class, gender, and race struggles that encompassed nineteenth-century social politics, took her writing very seriously. Through sentimental romances, short stories, and novellas, Holmes created characters who influence readers toward more equal relations with men and women of all races. In short, positive characters, both minor and major, form, renew, and strengthen bonds with one legacy, vol. 25, no. 1, 2008. pp. 142150. copyright © 2008 the university of nebraska press another, and
Legacy – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Jun 13, 2008
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