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Gentleman's Magazine, which was founded in 1731 and had an unbroken run of over a century, devotes much attention to American affairs, but deals mostly with matters of politics and economics. Even in the department of book reviews it gives most space to political and economic pamphlets, sermons and other religious works, medical publications, and local antiquities. The reviewers seemed especially fond of clipping long extracts from the work in hand, and this was easily possible in case of informational books. On the whole, the attitude toward America was friendly and fair. From 1811 to 1815, inclusive, though there is much on American affairs there is little on American literature, even in the broadest sense of the term.
The European Magazine and London Review, edited by the Philosophical Society of London, was on the whole strongly anti-American in political sentiments, and political views apparently colored its literary and other judgments. This anti-Americanism seems to have been intensified about 1786-7, and to have died out somewhat by the close of the century.
On the other hand, the short-lived Literary Magazine and British Review was strongly radical, made heroes of Franklin and of Paine, and was enthusiastic over America, though it had little on strictly literary writings by American authors.
Most of the later reviews were less friendly to America than those founded earlier. The Anti-Jacobin Review, established in 1798-not to be confounded with the Anti-Jacobin newspaper-was exceedingly scurrilous and bitter, and inclined to carry its political and religious prejudices into literary and personal matters. Occasionally it makes a show of courteous interest in trans-Atlantic attempts, but, on the whole, it has few good words for America, and it prints with apparent satisfaction the worst personal charges against Washington, and many tales of coarseness and dishonesty on the part of Americans.
The Edinburgh Review, established in 1802, had the reputation of being especially harsh toward the United States, but its adverse criticism of American books was in keeping
with the general tone of faultfinding which it maintained. Indeed, the question whether the comment on some American book should be favorable or unfavorable often depended on the desire to praise or excoriate some British author by contrast. Jeffrey's attitude has been mentioned in another place; and the Review was by no means unfavorable to America before and during the War of 1812. Different contributors who reviewed American books were not in agreement, but some of them seemed obsessed with the idea that America was so given to trade as to be incapable for a time of higher things. Even these, however, never questioned that America would in the future produce a literature." The Quarterly Review, founded in London in 1809, was far more hostile to America than its Scottish rival. Hardly any other journal save the Anti-Jacobin Review was so deliberately and dirtily bitter in its attacks. This was especially noticeable during the War of 1812, when the Edinburgh Review seems kindly in comparison.
The Eclectic Review, founded in 1805, was on the whole fair to American writers. It printed reviews of a large number of American books, and its judgments, favorable and unfavorable, seem to be based on literary rather than on political considerations.
A Scottish journal which ante-dated the Edinburgh was the Scot's Magazine, or General Repository of Literature, History, and Politics. This was taken up largely with political and other intelligence, and its reviews were mostly borrowed from English sources. So far as conclusions may be drawn from the choice of articles chosen for reprinting, the magazine was friendly to America, and it gives a fair amount of attention to American subjects.
Among lighter periodicals might be mentioned the Bee, or
The case for the Edinburgh is fairly well presented in a long reply to Robert Walsh's An Appeal from the Judgments of Great Britain Respecting the United States of America, contained in Vol. XXXIII, p. 395 (May, 1820)-the same volume in which is found, in another article, the notorious question, "Who reads an American book?" The spokesman for the Review denies Walsh's charge of deliberate hostility to America, and cites many reviews of American books to show that from the first its criticism had been fair.
Literary Weekly Intelligencer, established in Edinburgh in 1790. This was "calculated to disseminate useful knowledge among all ranks of people at a small expense," and was largely made up of reprinted material. It was most friendly to America. An article by the Earl of Buchen,3 Considerations on the Importance of Reciprocal Friendship and Connection Between the Old and the New World is especially noticeable. There is reason to believe that this rather unimportant periodical was fairly well known in America; but the small number of original reviews which it contained render it of comparatively little interest in the present study.
The Lady's Magazine or Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex, with its moral tales, moral poems, anecdotes, engravings, and colored fashion-plates may be taken as representative of a considerable number of periodicals. This had the habit, less common then than since, of printing serial stories, and Royal Tyler's Algerine Captive ran through several issues in 1804.
The Christian Observer is almost unique in making no reference to the American origin of the few books by American authors that it notices.
The Monthly Mirror, devoted mostly to the drama and the stage, was bitterly anti-American-owing probably to a personal feeling on the part of the editor, rather than to any policy.
The list of magazines which have been scrutinized with reasonable care-though in a few instances in incomplete files-includes the following: Anti-Jacobin Review and Magazine, or Monthly Political and Literary Censor; The Athenaeum, a Magazine of Literary and Miscellaneous Information; The Bee, or Literary Weekly Intelligencer; The Christian Observer, Conducted by Members of the Established Church; Edinburgh Review; European Magazine and London Review; Gentleman's Magazine; Lady's Magazine, or Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex, Appropriated solely to their Use and Amusement; Lady's Monthly Museum, or Polite Repository of Amusement and Instruction; Literary Magazine and British Review; London Magazine or Gentleman's Monthly Intelligencer (with continuation, New London Magazine); Monthly Magazine and British Register; Monthly Mirror, Reflecting Men and Manners, with Strictures on their Epitome, the Stage; Monthly Review, or Literary Journal (after 1789 Monthly Review or Literary Journal Enlarged); New Review, with Literary Curiosities and Literary Intelligence; Quarterly Review;
Reflector; Scot's Magazine or General Repository of Literature, History, and Politics, later the Edinburgh Magazine and Literary Miscellany; Town and Country Magazine, or Universal Repository of Knowledge, Instruction, and Entertainment; Universal Magazine of Knowledge and Pleasure. No attempt has been made at strict bibliographical accuracy in quoting the above titles, which often suffered slight change from volume to volume, and sometimes were given differently on the title- and the half-title page. Besides the foregoing a considerable number of other journals have been examined in cursory fashion and dismissed as unlikely to prove of value.
THE PREVAILING BRITISH ATTITUDE TOWARD THE INTELLECTUAL DEVELOPMENT OF
While Englishmen were, as will be seen later, chiefly concerned with the political and economic development of the new nation, they showed a reasonable interest in its educational and literary life. American books announced for publication, and those received in England, were listed in all periodicals that reported literary intelligence-sometimes under the general caption of "Foreign," sometimes with a separate heading of "American." Notices of the transactions of American learned societies will be considered in another chapter. Items regarding educational institutions, while not common, are occasionally to be found, and very probably were given currency whenever they were to be had. The published narratives of English travelers in America described systems of education and educational institutions, and many of them commented on the state of literature, and a few on individual writers. These travelers were, however, usually men whose literary judgments would have been of little value at best, and whose estimate of things intellectual was influenced by their prejudices for or against American institutions as a whole. For this reason they have been given little attention in the present study; though it must be remembered that their comments found the way back to America with great promptness, and that their praise or censure was one of the most potent sources of self-congratulation or irritation.
Henry Lemoine, the versatile London bookseller and hack writer contributed to the Gentleman's Magazine for Novem