The Nightmare of a Victorian Bestseller: Martin Tupper's 'Proverbial Philosophy'

Brian Thompson


The Nightmare of a Victorian Bestseller: Martin Tupper's 'Proverbial Philosophy'

The Nightmare of a Victorian Bestseller: Martin Tupper's 'Proverbial Philosophy'

  • Title: The Nightmare of a Victorian Bestseller: Martin Tupper's 'Proverbial Philosophy'
  • Author: Brian Thompson
  • ISBN: 9781904095170
  • Page: 287
  • Format: Paperback



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Recent Comments "The Nightmare of a Victorian Bestseller: Martin Tupper's 'Proverbial Philosophy'"

I had never heard of Mr Martin Tupper before this book. It was interesting to read not just about him and his works but how he and Proverbial Philosophy<\i> fit within Victorian society.While it took me longer to read then a book of this small size should, it was worth the time spent.

A fine two-hour read (thus suitably published by Short Books) riffing on the very successful career of the Proverbial Philosopher Martin Tupper. Better than I've just made it sound!

Martin Tupper is long forgotten by the reading public but in his heyday he was as famous as Charles Dickens, particularly when he visited America and was hugely feted wherever he went. His one work of renown, Proverbial Philosophy, went into more than 50 editions, the last being published in America as late as the Korean War (1950s), and sold over 80,000 copies a year for many years. His two novels, The Crock of Gold and Stephan Langton, are now totally forgotten but his books of maxims and refl [...]

At a bookstore in Harvard Square, I bought this because Tupper is distantly related to me somehow, but I kept reading because it's such a sad book! When Elizabeth Gilbert gave her talk about maybe having only one good book in her, I thought of this guy, who really did only have one good book, and spent the rest of his life trying to live it down.

Martin Tupper was a very successful Victorian author and totally forgotten today. Karl Marx despised him, so he must have done something right, but oh! what turgid prose, what pomposity! A great biography, although Thompson does tend to ridicule his subject quite a bit. Then again, it is so very tempting!

From the quotes on the cover, I expected it to be witty and interesting. It's not !Halfway in, I was getting bored of ploughing through it. Even at 120 pages long, I couldn't be bothered to finish it.


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    287 Brian Thompson
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    Posted by:Brian Thompson
    Published :2018-08-14T17:20:34+00:00