Saturday, January 22, 2022

What Were They Reading?

 Post by Doris McCraw

writing as Angela Raines

Photo Property of the Author

Have you ever wondered what they read in the 1800s?  There are times when I see a book mentioned and I wonder, was that book even written then? We know not everyone could read, but that doesn't preclude telling others about the story. Since I wondered, I thought, why not try to find out. Below is a list of books that you might not know were around in the 1800s when the west was opening up. Some of the books listed began as a serial in a magazine prior to book publication. 

 "The Corps of Discovery - The Lewis and Clark Expedition" Two volumes

"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"  by Washington Irving

"Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass" by Fredrick Douglass

"Candide" by Voltaire ( written in the 1700s )

"Robinson Crusoe" by Daniel Defoe (written in the 1700s )

"The House of Seven Gables " by Nathanial Hawthorne

"The Prairie Traveler" by Randolph B. Marcy - Captain U.S. Army

"Walden; or Life in the Woods" by Henry David Thoreau

Photo Property of the Author

Additional books that they may or may not have read that were published in the 1800s

"On the Origin of the Species" by Charles Darwin

"Communist Manifesto" by Karl Marx

"The Life of Samuel Johnson" by James Boswell

"On Liberty" by John Stuart Mill

"Two Years Before the Mast" by Richard Henry Dana

Photo Property of the Author

I've not included poetry although it was popular. What do you think these travelers were reading or sharing stories about? How many who may have been snowbound perhaps learned to read from some of these works. 

The 1800s were a time of growth and change. Of the books we read now, how many were influenced by these early works? It does make one think.

Until next time, happy reading and writing! Doris

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for an interesting helpful post and offering food for thought!


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