Fiddling for His Supper
Mary B. Lee, Lucien Guglieri. New York: Nelson & Phillips, ca. 1874.
Lucien Guglieri is about a six-year-old Italian boy who is abducted by a wily street hustler, brought to New York, and forced to play his violin on the streets for money. It reflects the influx of Catholic Italians into overwhelmingly Protestant America after the Civil War. Despite its dire beginning, Lucien Guglieri ends happily; his parents and sister make the trip to the United States in search of the little boy, and they are reunited when Lucien’s sister spots him playing on a New York street. In keeping with the mission of its Methodist publishers, the story ends with little Lucien and his sister joyfully attending a Protestant Sunday school.