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Ragged Dick: Or, Street Life in New York with the Boot Blacks (Signet Classics)by Horatio, Jr. Alger
Synopses & Reviews
I aint knocked round the city streets all my life for nothin,” proclaims Ragged Dick, the fast-talking boy hero of Horatio Algers classic rags-to-riches tale. Dick is a plucky street boy who smokes, gambles, and speaks ungrammatically—but he is also honest and hardworking, striving not for wealth and status, but for a steady job, a decent place to sleep, and respectability. A quintessential boys novel of adventure, romance, and coming of age, Ragged Dick brings to life the drama and perils of living among other young outcasts in the crowded streets of lower Manhattan. It is at the same time an exhilarating tale of one boys metamorphosis from a dirty street urchin to a handsome, self-respecting gentleman.
With an Introduction by Michael Meyer
and a New Afterword
A plucky street boy who smokes, gambles, and speaks ungrammatically, Dick is also honest and hardworking. A quintessential novel of adventure, romance, and coming-of-age, it is also an exhilarating tale of one boy's metamorphosis from dirty street urchin to gentleman.
This quintessential novel of adventure, romance, and coming of age is also an exhilarating tale of one boy's metamorphosis from dirty street urchin to gentleman. Reissue.
About the Author
Horatio Alger, Jr. was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts in 1832, the son of a Unitarian minister. He received a strict upbringing and was educated for a life in the church, graduating from Harvard in 1852.
After leaving Harvard, Alger, to his father's disappointment, took a job as a historian in Middlesex County, Massachusetts and later worked as a teacher at a boys' boarding school in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. He traveled in Europe for a year, and then returned to the United States in 1857 to complete his studies at the Cambridge Divinity School.
In 1864 Alger was ordained a minister at the First Parish Unitarian Church of Brewster on Cape Cod. Sixteen months later, however, he was dismissed from the pulpit after being accused of engaging in homosexual relations with two boys. After his dismissal, Alger began to focus on his writing career, which spanned more than three decades and 110 books. He wrote mainly children's books about boys and girls who rise from rags to riches through hard work and faith in the American dream. His first major success came with the publication of his eighth novel, Ragged Dick in 1868. Other popular novels include Luck and Pluck (1869), Tattered Tom (1871), and Strive and Succeed (1872). Alger also wrote several adult novels, including A Fancy of Her's (first publihsed as The New Schoolma'am in 1877) and The Disagreeable Woman (1895).
Alger, who never married, spent the last decades of his life living at his family home in South Natick, Massachusetts, where he died in 1899.
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