Two Ways of Living in The World
We breathe the same air, are subject to the same bounty, and we shall, each lie down upon the bosom of our common mother. It is not becoming, then, that brother should hate brother; it is not proper that friend should deceive friend; it is not right that neighbour should deceive neighbour. More
Timothy Shay Arthur — known as T.S. Arthur — was a popular 19th-century American author. He is most famous for his temperance novel Ten Nights in a Bar-Room and What I Saw There, which helped demonize alcohol in the eyes of the American public.
1820: Born just outside Newburgh, New York, Arthur lived as a child in nearby Fort Montgomery, New York By 1820, Arthur's father, a miller, had relocated to Baltimore, Maryland, where Arthur briefly attended local schools.
1838: In 1838 he co-published The Baltimore Book, a giftbook that included a short tale contributed by Poe called "Siope."
1840: In 1840 he wrote a series of newspaper articles on the Washingtonian Temperance Society, a local organization formed by working-class artisans and mechanics to counter the life-ruining effects of drink.
1842: Toward the end of the decade, Arthur published in ephemeral format a novel called Insubordination that in 1842 appeared in hardcover.
1852: Interested in publishing a magazine under his own name, he launched (after several aborted efforts) the monthly Arthur’s Home Magazine in 1852.
1854: In 1854, for example, Arthur published, apparently with permission, Charles Dickens’ Hard Times.
Timothy Shay Arthur (June 6, 1809 – March 6, 1885) — known as T.S. Arthur — was a popular 19th-century American author. He is most famous for his temperance novel Ten Nights in a Bar-Room and What I Saw There (1854), which helped demonize alcohol in the eyes of the American public.
He was also the author of dozens of stories for Godey's Lady's Book, the most popular American monthly magazine in the antebellum era, and he published and edited his own Arthur's Home Magazine, a periodical in the Godey's model, for many years. Virtually forgotten now, Arthur did much to articulate and disseminate the values, beliefs, and habits that defined respectable, decorous middle-class life in antebellum America.
Arthur attained great popularity while he lived, but was not well regarded by the era’s literati. His old acquaintance Poe, for example, wrote in Graham's Magazine that Arthur was "uneducated and too fond of mere vulgarities to please a refined taste." Conscious of his own lack of brilliance, Arthur thought stories should impart beneficial life lessons by means of plainly written, realistically depicted scenes. Though often marked by strident moralism and pious sentimentalism, Arthur's writing at its best—as in Ten Nights in a Bar-Room—can be both brisk and poignant. Arthur's ideas may seem simplistic or even oppressive today, but many readers in his time found him relevant, helpful, reassuring, and compelling.
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