Dunlop, M(ary) H(elen) 1941-
DUNLOP, M(ary) H(elen) 1941-
Born 1941. Education: St. Catherine, B.A., 1963; Marquette, M.A., 1965; George Washington University, Ph.D., 1982.
Office—Department of English, Iowa State University, 203 Ross Hall #305, Ames, IA 50011-1201. Agent—c/o Author Mail, William Morrow, 10 East 53rd Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10022.
Educator and writer. Iowa State University, Ames, IA, became associate professor of English, 1999.
Sixty Miles from Contentment: Traveling the Nineteenth-Century American Interior, Basic Books (New York, NY), 1995.
Gilded City: Scandal and Sensation in Turn-of-the-Century New York, William Morrow (New York, NY), 2000.
M. H. Dunlop's first book, Sixty Miles from Contentment: Traveling the Nineteenth-Century American Interior, provides insights into the quirkier aspects of life in what a Washington Post Book World reviewer described as the "wild Midwest." Dunlop reveals, for example, that hogs were accorded the right of way on city streets, and she relates that inns regularly matched strangers together in one-bed rooms. Ilse Heidmann, writing in Library Journal, called Sixty Miles from Contentment a "fascinating study" and a "unique, well-researched look at a culture on the move." Another critic, writing in Kirkus Reviews, deemed Dunlop's book "a lively study" and hailed it as "a contribution … that is as enjoyable as it is substantial."
Dunlop followed Sixty Miles from Contentment with Gilded City: Scandal and Sensation in Turn-of-the-Century New York, which she based on newspaper articles published between 1890 and 1910. She brought to her book many characters who were last seen only in those newspapers. The individuals covered in Gilded City include a woman possessing two million dollars worth of clothes; a plumber denied museum access because of his overalls; and a disobedient elephant given poison by zookeepers. Jonathan Yardley, writing in the Washington Post Book World, noted that "there is much in the book that is excessive and silly" but conceded that "there is also much that is informative, interesting and perceptive." A Publishers Weekly contributor deemed Gilded City a "captivating and enlightening work on Americans' obsession with money and privilege," and a critic writing in the New Yorker called it a "lively cultural history." Malcom Farley, writing in the New York Times Book Review, proclaimed the book "highly rewarding." Journal ofAmerican History contributor Jeffrey S. Adler praised Dunlop's writing, noting that the author "writes with flare, and her treatment of the oddities of the age is engaging but caricatured." Assessing Gilded City for Library Journal, Elaine Machleder stated, "This entertaining book is filled with the immediacy and irreverence of its era's press coverage."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Journal of American History, March, 2002, Jeffrey S. Adler, review of Sixty Miles from Contentment: Traveling the Nineteenth-Century American Interior, p. 1554.
Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 1995, review of Sixty Miles from Contentment, p. 438.
Library Journal, May 1, 1995, review of Sixty Miles from Contentment, p. 121; October 15, 2000, Elaine Machleder, review of Gilded City: Scandal and Sensation in Turn-of-the-Century New York, p. 83.
New Yorker, January 8, 2001, review of Gilded City, p. 85.
New York Times Book Review, March 18, 2001, Malcolm Farley, review of Gilded City, p. 17.
Publishers Weekly, December 11, 2000, review of Gilded City, p. 78.
Washington Post Book World, July 2, 1995, review of Sixty Miles from Contentment, p. 13; November 26, 2000, Jonathan Yardley, review of Gilded City, section X, p. 2.
Iowa State University,http://www.iastate.edu/ (December 2, 2004).*