Margaret Fuller, Critic: Writings from the New-York Tribune, 1844-1846

By Judith Mattson Bean; Joel Myerson | Go to book overview

[Review of Harro Harring, Dolores: A Novel of South America]

To-day appears this Novel, for which the author has been able to find no publisher. It will have no artificial aid to its circulation, but must rest solely on its own merits. We think these will be found sufficient to ensure it many readers for the sake of the pleasure and entertainment they may derive from the reading—many more who think that free expression of thought is desirable in a free country, and who will listen with interest to the sincere words of a mind of deep experience, secure from such of valuable stimulus, perhaps of valuable instruction.

We have not, ourselves, lost all feeling as to national pride and national honor, and it touches us in a vital point, that a foreigner who has lost his own home, friends and fortune for the sake of those principles blazoned on our national banner as the rule of our actions, should find it so difficult to get a hearing among us. Our own feeling is, Let this work which he has written among us be read. If then America find nothing in the mind of this author which can instruct or delight her, she can reject his works. But that they should be shut from the field by those who bring forward so many sickly and miserable fictions, by those who can never have enough of the novels of James, Lady Blessington and Mrs. Gore, is a little too bad.1 Perhaps the tentimes darned tapestry of the former, the twice-turned motley of the two letter writers may really be more congenial with the public taste, than a work written with an earnest purpose and full of noble sentiments. But let us, at least, have a chance to choose.

As a specimen of the sentiment of a work, denounced or dreaded for its want of orthodoxy, we give the following poem from its pages:

____________________
1
George Payne Rainsford James (1799–1860), English author of over one hundred novels; Marguerite, Countess of Blessington (1789–1849), English editor and social commentator.

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