The Atlantic Monthly, 1857-1909: Yankee Humanism at High Tide and Ebb

By Ellery Sedgwick | Go to book overview

Notes

Introduction
1. Buell "Appendix. Vital Statistics: A Quantitative Analysis of Authorship as a Profes- sion in New England" (375-99) is very useful in gaining a clear sense of both the patterns and the diversity in the backgrounds of the New England authors.
2. For a full discussion of the concept of progressive journalism, see Christopher Wilson Labor of Words40-62.
3. Van Wyck Brooks essay "Highbrow and Lowbrow" in America's Coming of Age ( 1915) examines a split in American culture very similar to that defined by Santayana. Brooks describes a highbrow American literary culture based on "transcendental theory' out of touch with a society operating on lowbrow "catchpenny realities."

1. Founding
1. Buell's survey of New England literary history reminds us that Boston's literary ascen- dency even within New England was relatively recent in 1857 (23-55). During the early Republican period, the New Haven-Hartford axis in the lower Connecticut Valley had been the dominant voice. Evidence of the Boston-Connecticut rivalry persisted. Buell quotes a statement in the early Atlantic that "there are no poets known to exist" in Connecticut, "unless it be that well-paid band who write the rhymed puffs of cheap garments and cosmetics" (34, quoting F. Sheldon, "The Pleiades of Connecticut," Feb. 1865, 187).
2. Historians of publishing generally assume three to five readers per copy of a magazine in the nineteenth century. Brodhead, for example, assumes five in estimating the Century's readership (472).
3. Mott's sketch of the Atlantic gives a balanced evaluation of the magazine's early region- alism (2: 495-98).

2. Lowell
1. Lowell's editorial staff consisted only of himself, Underwood, and an apparently infalli- ble proofreader, a Mr. Nichols. By contrast, the current Atlantic editorial staff, which produces a slightly shorter although much more varied magazine, numbers twenty-nine, not including ten contributing editors.

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