A paragraph written by David S. Reynolds, buried in the middle of his Introduction for the 1995 edition of the George Lippard's The Quaker City; or, The Monks of Monk Hall (1845), offers a question relevant for Twain studies: Had Lippard's sensational novel influenced Mark Twain's writing? If so, how can we trace this influence? In that paragraph, Reynolds conjectures about Twain's familiarity with Lippard and his work. This essay offers a response that extends beyond Twain's reading of Lippard and advances a larger idea about Twain's interaction with sensational literature. Twain had read Lippard's 1847 fictionalized account of Washington and mentioned Lippard and his book in an 1853 letter to his brother. But Twain also mentioned, satirized, and was influenced by Lippard and other sensational writers. This paper detects residues of sensationalism in Twain's early writing and places Twain's western writing in the lineage of sensation.

You do not currently have access to this content.