Frontmatter

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Contents

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Chronology

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pp. ix-xi

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Introduction

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pp. xiii-xxx

The narrator of Ned Buntline’s novelette, Magdalena, The Beautiful Mexican Maid, captures the impulse of Empire and the Literature of Sensation: it is a collection of nineteenth-century popular fiction that reminds us of the early history of U.S. empire-building in the Americas before 1898. ...

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A Note on the Texts

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p. xxxi

Extant copies of the titles included here are housed in libraries across the country either as bound pamphlets or in serial newspapers. The most readily available copies of the texts, however, are found in the Wright American Fiction microfilm collection. ...

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The Female Warrior

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pp. 1-19

Published in New York in 1843 by E. E. & G. Barclay, The Female Warrior is an example of a popular literary genre—the first-person account of a cross-dressed female soldier—that circulated in the United States as early as the Revolutionary War and continued through the Civil War. ...

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Magdalena, The Beautiful Mexican Maid

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pp. 21-106

Ned Buntline is one of Edward Zane Carroll Judson’s (1821–1886) pseudonyms. Judson was one of the most prolific writers of popular literature in the nineteenth century, and his life reflects those turbulent times. Judson served in the navy as a midshipman, fought in the Second Seminole War and for the Union in the Civil War, and following his trek west in 1869, he made Buffalo Bill Cody a popular literary figure. ...

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’Bel of Prairie Eden

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pp. 107-200

George Lippard was one of the most popular writers of the 1840s and 1850s. During the early 1840s, he worked as a journalist and fiction writer for the Philadelphia Spirit of the Times and the Citizen Soldier, but after his first novel The Quaker City; or The Monks of Monk Hall became a phenomenal best-seller he was able to support himself as an author without writing for other papers. ...

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A Thrilling and Exciting Account of the Sufferings and Horrible Tortures Inflicted on Mortimer Bowers and Miss Sophia Delaplain

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pp. 201-227

In 1851, E. E. Barclay, along with M. B. Crosson, published A Thrilling and Exciting Account of the Sufferings and Horrible Tortures Inflicted on Mortimer Bowers and Miss Sophia Delaplain. The author remains unknown. The story is set in New York but ostensibly published in Charleston, South Carolina, suggesting that Barclay understood the Narciso L

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The Prisoner of La Vintresse

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pp. 229-285

Mary Andrews Denison’s (1826–1911) The Prisoner of La Vintresse; or, the Fortunes of a Cuban Heiress was published in 1860 and was one of the first of Beadle’s dime novels. Denison was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a center of antislavery sentiments, and she married the Reverend Charles Wheeler Denison, who edited a New York antislavery journal called the Emancipator. ...

Explanatory Notes

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pp. 287-297

About the Editors

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p. 299