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Timothy Shay (T. S.) Arthur (1809-1885) was a popular nineteenth-century American author. He is most famous for his temperance novel Ten Nights in a Bar Room and What I Saw There (1854), which helped demonize alcohol in the eyes of the American public. Virtually forgotten now, Arthur did much to articulate and disseminate the values, beliefs, and habits that defined respectable, decorous middle-class life in pre- Civil War America. He attained great popularity while he lived, but was not well regarded by the era's literati. Though often ruined by strident moralism and pious sentimentalism, at their best, as in parts of Ten Nights in a Bar Room, Arthur's tales can attain both briskness and poignancy. Their messages seem simplistic, even oppressive, today, but many readers in his time found Arthur relevant, helpful, reassuring, and compelling.