Ragged Dick / Mark The Match Boy Author:Horatio Alger Though not Alger's first book, Ragged Dick, published in 1867, was the beginning of his series of stories of poor boys who rose from rags to riches. These famous novels, which numbered well over one hundred at his death in 1899, gave rise to the term "Horatio Alger success story" -- popularly used to describe the careers of men like Andrew Carn... more »egie -- and delighted millions of readers with the mythic formula of
achieving fame and fortune through luck, pluck, and decency.
Of course, little ragged Dick overcomes poverty and scorn to win success as the distinguished Richard Hunter. He, in
turn, become the protector of Mark, the Match Boy, hero of the subsequent Alger novel which is also included in this volume.
Both works are considered Alger classics, but have been out of print for many years prior to this Collier Books edition.
Alger's prose and proselytizing have often been the subject of ridicule. But his ideas have such force that they are
admired and advocated even today. Rychard Fink, Professor of Philosophy at Newark State College, accurately describes this durability in his introduction. "A student of American
culture should give far more attention to the novels and ideas of Horatio Alger than is usually the case.... His novels, it can be argued, wove a far firmer strand in the American character than the work of men with sounder intellectual credentials.« less