Commentary

Selected Criticism

Title:
North American Review, The
Author:
Pannapacker, William A.
Print source:
J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings, eds., Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998), reproduced by permission.

A miscellany of politics, economics, religion, and literature, the North American Review was published in Boston (1821–1880) and New York (1881–1940).

Whitman's relationship with the periodical was contradictory before 1880, when it was an organ of the Boston-Harvard intelligentsia. In January 1856 Edward Everett Hale praised Leaves of Grass (1855) for its "freshness, simplicity, and reality" (275). And in January 1867 a mixed review of Drum-Taps by A.S. Hill still praised its "masculine directness of expression" (302). On the other hand, in October 1866 James Russell Lowell (editor, 1863–1872) described Whitman's poetry as "perfectly artificial" (rev. Venetian), and two years later he called Leaves of Grass "a cheap vision, for it cost no thought" (rev. Poems).

After the North American Review moved to New York under the editorship of Allan Thorndike Rice (1877–1889), it became less conservative and more receptive to Whitman, who became a frequent contributor. His publications in the North American Review include: "The Poetry of the Future" (February 1881); "A Memorandum at a Venture" (June 1882); "Slang in America" (November 1885); "Robert Burns as Poet and Person" (November 1886); "Some War Memoranda—Jotted Down at the Time" (January 1887); "Old Poets" (November 1890); and "Have We a National Literature" (March 1891).

Bibliography

Hale, Edward Everett. Rev. of Leaves of Grass, 1855 Edition. North American Review 83 (1856): 275–277.

Hill, A.S. Rev. of Drum-Taps and Sequel. North American Review 104 (1867): 301–303.

Lowell, James Russell. Rev. of Poems, by John James Piatt. North American Review 107 (Oct. 1868): 660–663.

____. Rev. of Venetian Life, by William Dean Howells. North American Review 103 (Oct. 1866): 611–612.

Mott, Frank Luther. "The North American Review." A History of American Magazines. Vol. 2. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 1957. 219–261.

Whitman, Walt. Prose Works 1892. Ed. Floyd Stovall. 2 vols. New York: New York UP, 1963–1964.


Comments?

Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Ed Folsom & Kenneth M. Price, editors.