“BEN-HUR” DENOUNCED: Hero cheated to win chariot race


Lew Wallace, union general and
  author of Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1880)

In a paper on “Vicious Literature” recently presented at the Twentieth Century Club of Detroit, Mrs. Oscar Janes declared: “Despite the recommendations of the press and pulpit, I cannot endure Ben Hur . . . .”  What’s the matter with the best-selling novel in American history since its publication more than 30 years ago?  What makes it “vicious” in her view?  “[T]he fact that the hero won the chariot race by a base trick,” the Detroit Free Press reports. One can only imagine Mrs. Jane’s reaction if Ben-Hur were to end up as the inspiration for one of those newfangled talking moving pictures.

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