The Coward. A Novel of Society and the Field in1863
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Popular novel about the American Civil War, first published in 1864. According to the Preface: "Some persons, taking up this work with expectations more or less elevated, may possibly lay it down with disappointment after perusal, because it does not discuss with sharp personalities, as the title may have led them to suppose, the conduct of some of those well-known men connected with the Union Army, who have disgracefully faltered on the field. But the truth is that the Union Army has mustered very few cowards--so few, that a distinguished artist, not long ago called on to draw an ideal head of one of that class, said: "Really it is so long since I have seen a coward, that I scarcely know how to go about it!" The aim of the writer, eschewing all such tempting personalities, and quite as carefully avoiding all dry didactic discussion of the theme of courage and its opposite,--has principally been to illustrate the tendency of many men to misunderstand their own characters in certain particulars, and the inevitable consequence of their being misunderstood by the world, in one direction or the other.”