The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
VOLUME XV. Colonial and Revolutionary Literature; Early National Literature, Part I.

VII. Fiction II

§ 6. Paulding; Bird

The Middle States had no secondary novelist who has survived so sturdily as Thompson. Charles Fenno Hoffman is remembered for his lyrics, not for Greyslaer (1840). James Kirke Paulding, though nearer Irving than Cooper, had considerable merit as a novelist, particularly in the matter of comedy, which most of the romancers lacked. Koningsmarke (1823) contains some pleasant burlesquing in its stories of adventures among the Delaware Swedes. Here, as in his later works, Paulding laughed at what he called “Blood-Pudding Literature.” He was too facile in lending his pen, as parodist or follower, to whatever fashion happened to be approved to do any very individual work, but The Dutchman’s Fireside (1831), probably his masterpiece, deserves to be mentioned with Mrs. Grant’s Memoirs of an American Lady (1809), on which it is based, and Cooper’s Satanstoe, much its superior, as a worthy record of colonial life along the Hudson. New Jersey and Pennsylvania appear in nothing better than the minor romances of Robert Montgomery Bird (1803–54), The Hawks of Hawk Hollow (1835), Sheppard Lee (1836), and The Adventures of Robin Day (1839), vigorous and sometimes merry tales but not of permanent merit.