Richard J. “Diamond Dick” Tanner Dime Novels
The first Beadle Dime Novel appeared in 1860 and initiated what one critic called “the greatest literary movement, in bulk, of the age.” The genre’s uniformly-packaged series of complete novels in compact form, portable format, distinctive cover designs, and reasonable price factored into its success, as did the public’s interest in the West, which was the setting for most of these works.
Richard Tanner, a marksman and long distance rider, appropriated the name “Diamond Dick,” a character in several dime novels. Tanner toured the U.S. from about 1895 to 1905 with his target-shooting act. Tanner’s dime novel collection, featuring real and fictional frontier figures, is highlighted here. Other examples can be found in the Richard J. Tanner Collection (RG1345).