Tag: Early American Popular Culture

Gunter Biosnip: Trade in Desires

Archibald Clavering Gunter’s life exhibits the marks of a new breed of author—one that in turn exemplifies an emerging species of individual. Homo Economicus, or ‘economic man’: a term coined initially in reaction to John Stuart Mill’s utilitarianist theory and the eminently sensible-sounding principle that “actions are right […]

Gunter Biosnip: Curse of Popularity

The word “unenthusiastic” well encapsulates Gunter’s critical reception. Observe his appearance in a number of overviews of the history of American letters and theatre. In his Dictionary of American Authors (1899), Adams pronounces Gunter’s “popular sensational romances” as “quite destitute of literary merit” (161). In American Authors, 1600-1900 […]

A.C. Gunter’s Baron Montez of Panama and Paris

Prepare to embark on an idiosyncratic taste thrill, another foray into the paradoxically expanding universe of vanishing literature. This bestselling author-playwright, said to have been better known in his day than his contemporary, Mark Twain (1835-1910), is now reduced to fragments, trivial contributions to popular culture: Played middle-man […]