Name that Character

I was thinking about that old American pulp fiction trope, of the American who can do everything better an English aristocrat, including, it turns out, being a member of the English nobility, and I was thinking of lowly-born American hero’s in American popular fiction, and …

What is the name of the iconic pulp fiction boy hero who makes good?

Horatio Alger? Alger was actually the author of a series of late-19th-century novels (the first of which was titled, no joke, Ragged Dick) about rags-to-middle-class social climbing, though I don’t know of a story where the protagonist worked his way into British nobility. A “Horatio Alger story” is a typical label for the genre you’re describing.

Little Lord Fauntleroy.

Thank you.

This thread is now open to anybody else who wants the name of a fictional character.

Characters like Tarzan and T Tembarum don’t work their way into the nobility. It’s just that after establishing their superiority, it also turns that the everyman is also well born. There is a subtle but immediately recognisable difference with English literature, where perhaps the hero Is an aristocrat first, and establishes his superiority second.

You’re welcome, but it looks like mbh’s suggestion of Little Lord Fauntleroy is much more on point to your original query about a poor American boy who ends up in the English aristocracy and teaches them a thing or two.
I suppose King Ralph is the more modern interpretation. In both cases, though, the character has a birthright that they originally were ignorant of but which comes into play after other characters ahead of them in the succession die off. My own personal favourite “work your way up the chain” tale is Kind Hearts and Coronets, but the protagonist takes a much more active role in the process.

There’s also Freckles, who turns out to be a scion of an Irish noble house.

And I was so sure this thread was going to be about King Ralph.

There’s a scene right at the end of that movie where Ralph is singing in front of his wife and son, the “Duke of Earl” specifically. The boy is not named in the film, except…in the credits he is named Ralph II. Perhaps he followed Peter O’Tooles character as king. He was in the hypothetical line of succession after all.