100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Issued July 24, 1912

The first “dime novel” was 1860 – Beadle & Adam’s Beadle’s Dime Novel series featuring the story “Maleaska, the Indian Wife of the White Hunter” by Ann S Stephens. It was a reprint of Stephens’s earlier serial that appeared in the Ladies’ Companion magazine in 1839. Beadle’s Dime Novels were immediately popular among young, working-class audiences and was derided by higher brow critics. The term ‘dime novel’ quickly came to represent any form of cheap, sensational fiction. Many imitators arose and soon specific genres were features such as frontier stories in WILD WEST WEEKLY or BUFFALO BILL STORIES and detective stories in NICK CARTER WEEKLY or NEW YORK DETECTIVE LIBRARY. With improved printing techniques printed on cheaper paper, dime novels gave way to “pulp” magazines, geared more for adult fiction. In 1912 pulps such as THE ARGOSY, WILD WEST MAGAZINE and DETECTIVE STORY MAGAZINE dominate the fiction market but dime novel titles such as PLUCK AND LUCK still publish at the reduced price of five cents.

Pluck and Luck
July 24, 1912

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