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inter-relations between England and America would seem to deserve more attention than they have yet received from students of American literary history. External influences were bound to be especially strong on a literature that had no infancy, and no youth, but that sprang suddenly into being, the product of a people already civilized, and using a language already at its highest development. In American literature the one great influence was naturally that of Great Britain. Before the Revolution the few literary writings in the colonies had been frankly provincial imitations of British models, and during the period of transition and development American writers continued to work with their eyes fixed on England. This devotion. and imitation followed naturally from the common heritage of language, the ties of blood and of commerce, the habit developed through two centuries of looking to the mother country for books and periodicals, and especially from an oft-denied but almost universal deference to English judgment in matters of taste. At the same time America was anxious to proclaim her literary independence, prone to overpraise her aspiring authors and to resent foreign criticism. The complicated results of this situation were often amusing. They were important not only for themselves, but because tendencies originating at this time are seen throughout the whole course of American literature. Patriotic critics continued for years to herald now this and now that utterance as "our intellectual Declaration of Independence"; and we have hardly yet passed the time when American critical journals accused one another of subserviency to British opinion.
It was, however, during the first fifty years of American independence that foreign influence was most marked and most significant. By the end of that period the United States had produced a small group of authors who were
pointed out as a national product, and in whose work the critics of the world were trying, with varying degrees of success, to find distinctively national characteristics. A study of the literary relationships of Great Britain and America during this half-century must include both English views of American writings and American views of English writings; and the period naturally divides into two sections, marked off by the second war with Great Britain. This paper aims
to offer a contribution to the study of one-fourth of the subject-English views of American writings from the close of the Revolution to the close of the War of 1812. It is based on notes that have been slowly and somewhat unsystematically gathered while reading for other purposes the works, memoirs, and letters of English authors; on a study, made some years ago, of a few of the rarer English magazines in the British Museum, the Bodleian Library, and the Library of the University of Cambridge; and on a more recent examination of some 500 or 600 volumes of British periodicals in the library of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. This list of periodicals includes a good number of the leading magazines and reviews, and a few more popular journals. In some cases the files are incomplete, and a few journals, notably the Critical Review, which would have been especially desirable, have not been available. It is probable, however, that enough have been examined to give a truly representative view of the British criticism of the time. Since some of these periodicals are relatively rare, and since none of them, with the exception of the Edinburgh, the Quarterly, and the Christian Observer are covered by any general index to periodical literature, it has appeared proper to include a quantity of extracts and an amount of detailed footnote reference that might seem pedantic in a paper based on more readily accessible material. The purpose of the study has been to learn how English and Scottish readers viewed American writings, and especially to ascertain what British criticisms of American work were so published as to exert an immediate influence in America.