Reveries of a Bachelor : Or, A Book of the Heart Background

Reveries of a Bachelor : Or, A Book of the Heart Background

Reveries of a Bachelor is a novel written by Donald Grant Mitchell that was published in 1850. It was published under Mitchell’s pseudonym Ik Marvel. A reverie is an abstract musing or just a train of thought, and the “reveries” are divided into four different themes, which are “smoke, flame, and ashes,” “sea cole and anthracite,” “a cigar three times lighted,” “morning, noon and evening.” The first two listed above were actually published in 1849 in a magazine, and then all four were published in the book in 1850. The book was immediately well liked, and the famous poet Emily Dickinson said that this was one of her favorite books.

During the time that the novel was published, Americans were living in a dream like world, and Reveries of a Bachelor discusses the boyhood, country lifestyle, ease of travel, marriage, and dreaming that almost all male people were able to experience during this time. Though it was a bestseller during that time period, not many critics paid it much attention. Mitchell focused much on traveling and the sentimental attitude that he adopted when he was talking about these topics. Many readers have commented on the particular emotions that Mitchell’s writing was able to draw out, and this quality makes it a worthwhile read.

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