Published online by Cambridge University Press: 06 July 2010
“A Remarkable Book.” Port Jervis Union, March 3, 1893, p. 3
The Union has been favored with a copy of a recently published novel entitled, “Maggie, a Girl of the Streets,” by Stephen Crane of New York city. The writer is a son of the late Rev. J. T. Crane and a brother of Judge Wm. H. Crane, which facts, apart from the merits of the publication, will invest it with a certain degree of local interest.
The plot is laid in the slums and dives of the great metropolis and the characters depicted are all, without exception, creatures of the slums. The evident object of the writer is to show the tremendous influence of environment on the human character and destiny. Maggie, the heroine, or central figure of the tale, grows up under surroundings which repress all good impulses, stunt the moral growth and render it inevitable that she should become what she eventually did, a creature of the streets. The pathos of her sad story will be deeply felt by all susceptible persons who read the book.
The slum life of New York city is treated with the frank fidelity of the realist, and while the unco guid [sic] and ultra pious may be shocked by the freedom of his descriptions and the language in which the dialogues are carried on, sensible people will read the book in the spirit in which it was written and will derive therefrom the moral lesson which it is the author's aim to inculcate.