The Periodicals of American Transcendentalism

By Clarence L. F. Gohdes | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VIII THE MASSACHUSETTS QUARTERLY REVIEW

On April 4, 1844, Emerson wrote to his friend W. H. Furness:

I have just done with The Dial. Its last number is printed; and having lived four years, which is a Presidential term in America, it may respectably end. I have continued it for some time against my own judgment to please other people, and though it has now some standing and increasing favour in England, it makes a very slow gain at home, and it is for home that it is designed. It is time that each of the principal contributors to it should write in their own names, and go to their proper readers. In New England its whole quadrennium will be a pretty historiette in literary annals. I have been impatient to dismiss it as I am a very unable editor, and only lose good time in my choosing and refusing and patching, that I want for more grateful work.1

Such was Emerson attitude after his dismal experiences with The Dial. But it was not long before he and his more intimate associates were sketching plans for a new periodical, which, as Theodore Parker wrote to a friend, was to be a tremendous publication, "with ability in its arms and piety in its heart."2

An entry in Emerson's journal made during the month of May, 1847, provides information as to the identity of the chief movers of the project:

Yesterday, Theodore Parker, W. H. Channing, Charles Sumner , Alcott, Thoreau, Elliot Cabot, Dwight, Stone, Weiss, J. F. Clarke, Stetson, and Mr. Arrington of Texas spent the day with me and discussed the project of the journal. George Bradford and I made fourteen.3

____________________
1
Records of a Lifelong Friendship, R. W. Emerson and W. H. Furness, ed. H. H. Furness, 1910, pp. 33-34.
2
John Weiss, Life and Correspondence of Theodore Parker, 1864, I, 266.
3
Journals, VII, 268-269.

-157-

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The Periodicals of American Transcendentalism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Chapter I- Introduction 3
  • Chapter II- The Western Messenger and the Dial 17
  • Chapter III- Orestes A. Brownson and the Boston Quarterly Review 38
  • Chapter IV- The Present 83
  • Chapter V- The Harbinger 101
  • Chapter VI- The Spirit of the Age 132
  • Chapter VII- Elizabeth Peabody and Her Æsthetic Papers 143
  • Chapter VIII- The Massachusetts Quarterly Review 157
  • Chapter IX- The Dial (cincinnati) 194
  • Chapter X- The Radical 210
  • Chapter XI 229
  • Appendix Two- Uncollected Emerson Items 255
  • Index 257
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