"HEAVILY, heavily fell the snow, covering the dark brown earth already hardened by the frost, with a pure white covering. As the rain falls alike upon the just and upon the unjust, so too the snow, God's kindred messenger, knows no distinction of persons, visiting all alike, forgetting none, and passing by none."
, Introduction to "The Christmas Gift
American novelist, born in 1832 to the Rev. Horatio Alger, Sr., in Massachusetts. He was poorly educated; he never really attended school, didn't learn the alphabet until the age of 6, and didn't start reading until the age of 10, at which point his father taught him basic Latin (and rather poorly at that) and English through the Bible; even for his age, this was a piss-poor education. Neverthless, he somehow managed to read what he could, and ended up at Harvard at the age of 16; aside from joining a frat, he seems to have done relatively well there.
He graduated, entered the divinity school, and soon quit in favour of various menial jobs: teacher, newspaper editor, school-master, etc. A few trips to New York won him a favourite charity: homeless young boys, or "street-Arabs", as he called them. A few visits to local shelters gave him the privilege of writing about them from experience, and helped him develop the bootstrap theory common to his novels.
He soon began writing a stories; most of them deal with some sort of poor sod who manages to earn fame, dignity, and wealth through hard work and perseverance. Right. His prose...well the quote above should give you some sort of idea of what you're in for; generally turgid, written for moral worth, and mostly intended for children. Personally, I never understood most of his morals; the lesson of The Saracen Dwarf seems to be that if you're mean to Jewish people you'll be murdered by a swarthy, heathen midget; My First and Last School seems to say that threatening to shoot the Irish is an effective way of leading a classroom. Am I missing something here? Anway, he wrote under scores of pseudonyms, so nobody really knows how much of this drivel is out there.
He is often compared to Charles Dickens, and rightly so; both have the wit and charm of a sack of wet mice. Whatever your opinion of Dickens, if you love him, you'll love the works of the right Rev. Alger. Combine Horatio Alger and a whole lot of LSD, and somehow you end up with Hunter S. Thompson.