His fiction includes Mr Blake's Walking Stick (1869), for children; The Hoosier Schoolmaster (1871); The End of the World (1872); The Mystery of Metropolisville (1873); The Circuit Rider (1874); Rosy (1878); The Hoosier Schoolboy (1883); The Book of Queer Stories (1884), for children; The Graysons (1888), an excellent novel; The Faith Doctor (1891); and Duf f els (1893), short stories.
He made public profession of his republican principles as a schoolboy at the Lycee Charlemagne by refusing in 1867 to receive a prize at the Sorbonne from the hand of the prince imperial.
From that position he gradually moved towards pantheism, a way of thought to which he had shown remarkable leanings when, as a schoolboy, he discoursed of Neo-Platonism to Charles Lamb, or - if we may trust his recollection - translated the hymns of Synesius.
It has been impossible to avoid an air of superficiality, and the repetition of facts known to every schoolboy, in this sketch New of so complicated a subject as the Renaissance, - embracing many nations, a great variety of topics and an indefinite period of time.
This is akin to the "repetition" which, read by the schoolboy last thing overnight, is on waking "known by heart."