The bibliography of American writer John Neal (1793–1876) spans more than sixty years from the War of 1812 through Reconstruction and includes novels, short stories, poetry, articles, plays, lectures, and translations published in newspapers, magazines, literary journals, gift books, pamphlets, and books. Favorite topics included women's rights, feminism, gender, race, slavery, children, education, law, politics, art, architecture, literature, drama, religion, gymnastics, civics, American history, science, phrenology, travel, language, political economy, and temperance.
Between 1817 and 1835 Neal became the first American published in British literary journals, author of the first history of American literature, America's first art critic, a children's literature pioneer, a forerunner of the American Renaissance, and one of the first American male advocates of women's rights. His fiction explores the romantic and gothic genres and aligns with the literary nationalist and regionalist movements. The first American author to use natural diction and a pioneer of colloquialism, John Neal is the first to use the phrase son-of-a-bitch in an American work of fiction.
As a novelist, John Neal is recognized as "the first in America to be natural in his diction" and "the father of American subversive fiction" for developing a new "wild, rough, and defiant American style" to break with British standards then dominant in the US. A pioneer of American colloquialism and dialects in novels, Neal's novels are aligned with both the literary nationalist and regionalist movements. They also anticipate the characteristics of the American Renaissance.
|Keep Cool, A Novel||1817||Baltimore: Joseph Cushing||Explores gender roles in relationships and expresses Neal's views against dueling; "Written in Hot Weather, by Somebody, M.D.C. &c. &c. &c. In Two Volumes"|||
|Logan, a Family History||1822||Philadelphia: H.C. Carey & I. Lea||A "gothic tapestry" that explores racial boundaries between White and Indigenous Americans; in two volumes; republished in London in 1823 in four volumes by A.K. Newman & Co.; republished as Logan, the Mingo Chief. A Family History "By the Author of "'Seventy Six'" in London in 1840 by J. Cunningham|||
|Seventy-Six||1823||Baltimore: Joseph Robinson||First use of "son-of-a-bitch" in an American work of fiction; Neal's favorite of his own novels; in two volumes; published in London the same year in three volumes by Whittaker and Company; facsimile of Baltimore edition published in 1971; excerpted in The Genius of John Neal: Selections from His Writings (1978)|||
|Randolph, a Novel||1823||"Published for Whom it May Concern" (Philadelphia: Stephen Simpson)||"A story in the form of letters, giving an account of our celebrities, orators, writers, painters, &c., &c."; in two volumes; contains the earliest of Neal's significant art criticism; "By the Author of Logan — and Seventy-Six"; excerpted in The Genius of John Neal: Selections from His Writings (1978)|||
|Errata; or, the Works of Will. Adams||1823||New York: Published for the Proprietors||A semi-autobiographical account of Neal's life before 1823; excerpted in the New England Galaxy (October 17 and November 28, 1835) and The Genius of John Neal: Selections from His Writings (1978); in two volumes; "A Tale by the Author of Logan, Seventy-Six, and Randolph"|||
|Brother Jonathan: or, the New Englanders||1825||Edinburgh: William Blackwood||A story of the American Revolution depicting regional American folkways and dialect; in three volumes; excerpted in The Genius of John Neal: Selections from His Writings (1978)|||
|Rachel Dyer: a North American Story||1828||Portland, Maine: Shirley and Hyde||"Almost universally regarded as Neal's most successful fictional work"; first hardcover novel based on the Salem witch trials; an expansion of "New-England Witchcraft" likely written for but never published by Blackwood's Magazine in 1825, but published serially over five issues of The New-York Mirror (April 20 – May 18, 1839); republished by facsimile in 1964; excerpted in The Genius of John Neal: Selections from His Writings (1978)|||
|Authorship, a Tale||1830||Boston: Gray and Bowen||A "spritely spoof" about authors likely largely written during Neal's stay with Jeremy Bentham in London; "By a New Englander Over-Sea"|||
|The Downeasters, &c. &c. &c.||1833||New York: Harper & Brothers||Showcases regional variation in American character, dialect, and setting; Neal's "fullest expression" of "regional realism"; in two volumes; includes two short stories: "Bill Frazier—the Fur Trader" and "Robert Steele"; excerpted in The Genius of John Neal: Selections from His Writings (1978)|||
|Ruth Elder||June 17, July 29, August 12, August 19, September 2, September 9, September 30, October 7, October 14, October 21, November 4, November 11, November 25, December 2, and December 9, 1843||Brother Jonathan magazine||"A Down-East story of seduction"; a serial novella published over fifteen issues; first three installments originally published in the New Mirror (June 3, June 10, and June 17, 1843)|||
|True Womanhood: a Tale||1859||Boston: Ticknor and Fields||Defends the dignity of unmarried women; explores social life, business, and legal procedure in New York City; couched in an "abundant and all-pervasive" religious theme|||
|The White-Faced Pacer: or, Before and After the Battle||1863||New York: Beadle and Company||A dime novel adaptation of "The Switch-Tail Pacer. A Tale of Other Days" (1841)|||
|The Moose-Hunter; or, Life in the Maine Woods||1864||New York: Beadle and Company||A dime novel|||
|Little Moccasin; or, Along the Madawaska||1866||New York: Beadle and Company||A dime novel; "A Story of Life and Love in the Lumber Region"; published in London the same year by George Routledge & Sons|||
|Live Yankees; or, The Down Easters at Home||1867||The Pen and Pencil magazine||A serial novella published over eight weekly installments; a reworking of the novel The Lumberman, rejected by Beadle and Company||