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Washington State University
Donna M. Campbell Amlit: Authors

Kirkland, Joseph

Joseph Kirkland (1830-1894)

The son of writer Caroline Kirkland, Joseph Kirkland wrote realist and regional fiction based on his experiences in the Middle West. The Captain of Company K is a novel based on Kirkland’s Civil War experiences.

Information on Kirkland from William Morton Payne, “Literary Chicago”: (New England Magazine, 1893): “Among the Chicago novelists of to-day, Major Joseph Kirkland easily comes first. He has published three stories: ‘Zury, the Meanest Man in Spring County,’ ‘The McVeys,” a sequel to ‘Zury,’ and ‘The Captain of Company K.’ Mr. Kirkland is an uncompromising realist, and Thomas Hardy is his master. He applies the methods of the English novelist to the depiction of bucolic types as they existed in the Illinois of earlier days, and gives us a series of domestic scenes of unquestionable vigor and truthfulness” (696).

Image from “Literary Chicago” by William Morton Payne (New England Magazine, February 1893: 583-701), p. 690.

Zury: The Meanest Man in Spring County (1887)
The McVeys (sequel to Zury) (1888)
The Captain of Company K (1891)
The Story of Chicago