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Alger, Horatio(ăl`jər), 1834–99, American writer of boys' stories, b. Revere, Mass. He wrote over 100 books for boys, the first, Ragged Dick, being published in 1867. By leading exemplary lives, struggling valiantly against poverty and adversity, Alger's heroes gain wealth and honor. His works were all extremely popular. Silas Snobden's Office Boy, which ran serially in the Argosy magazine in 1889–90, was not published as a book until 1973.
See H. R. Mayes, Alger (1928, repr. 1978); study by E. P. Hoyt (1983); bibliography by G. Scharnhorst and J. Bales (1981).
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author of a series of rags-to-riches stories. [Am. Lit.: Ragged Dick]
(1834–1899) writer of boys’ stories where young men are instantly rewarded for honesty, perseverance, etc. [Am. Hist.: Hart, 19]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Alger, Horatio(1834–99) author; born in Revere, Mass. He graduated from Harvard Divinity School (1860), and became a Unitarian minister (1864), but resigned and settled in New York City (1866). His inspirational novels such as Ragged Dick (1867) made his name synonymous with the American ideal of young men gaining success through hard work. He died impoverished after giving his wealth to the poor.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.