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About this Item

Title: Literary Notices

Creator: Walt Whitman [unsigned in original]

Date: May 19, 1846

Whitman Archive ID: per.00603

Source: Brooklyn Daily Eagle 19 May 1846: [2]. Our transcription is based on a digital image of a microfilm copy of the original issue. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the journalism, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note: This piece is unsigned. However, Whitman was the editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle when this editorial was written, and it was first attributed to Whitman by Cleveland Rodgers and John Black in Walt Whitman, The Gathering of the Forces: Editorials, Essays, Literary and Dramatic Reviews and Other Material Written by Walt Whitman as Editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle in 1846 and 1847 (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1920). The piece was also included by Herbert Bergman in Walt Whitman, The Journalism. Volume I: 1834–1846 (New York: Peter Lang, 1998). The Whitman Archive editors agree that the style and content of the piece are consistent with other known Whitman writings of this period.

Contributors to digital file: Ruth L. Bohan, Hannah Fink, and Kevin McMullen

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Literary Notices.

Scenes and Thoughts in Europe: by an American.—Few of the newspaper criticisms bestowed on this book have done it any thing like justice.—Though on a superficial theme, it is a profound book—the best one of its kind we have ever read. The author's remarks on the Water Cure, and his criticisms on the American sculptors in Rome, are ingrained with the vitality of truth. In style, the book is a model of pure English. Who is it written by? From the title we expected when we took it up, to discover one of the usual respectably monotonous 'memorandums of travel.' Instead of that, we found it one of the most fresh of books.1—(Wiley & Putnam, 161 Broadway, N. Y.)

Poems: by Thomas Hood.—We shall make some extracts—we are sure we cannot print in the Eagle a better bit of miscellany—at an early day from this book.—(Wiley & Putnam.)

Conditions of Health.—A small twelve and half cents pamphlet; but with matter in it.—(Taylor & Co., 2 Astor House, N. Y.)

Living Age, No. 105.—The well known Boston periodical of foreign literature.—(Taylor & Co.)

Temptation of Wealth—This is a work from the Swedish of Mrs. Emilie Carlen, translated by G. C. Hebbe, of N. Y. It is much after the beautiful style of Miss Bremer's novels,—one, apparently, of that class which diffuse sweetness in social intercourse, entertaining without rendering morbid the taste of young readers—and possesses none of those objectionable features which have raised up enemies to novel reading. The work is by the same authoress as the Rose of Thistle Island, a well written and excellent novel. (Charles Muller 118 Nassau street, N. Y.)

The Captain's Daughter.—A pamphlet tale from the Russian of Puschkin, rendered by the same translator. (C. Muller.)

Writings of Ronge.—A pamphlet, price 12½ cents. (C. Muller.)

Illustrated Botany.—A work of beauty! The pictures are well drawn and well colored, and the text appears to be prepared by a man who understands his subject. We are glad to think that the taste for flowers is spreading in this matter-of-fact country—glad to see how the flower shops are multiplying in Brooklyn and elsewhere. We recommend the Illustrated Botany to the ladies of our Island in especial. It is published in monthly numbers.2 (J. K. Wellman, 116 Nassau st. N. Y.)

Literary Emporium.—A magazine, as we are informed on the cover, of Religious, Literary, and Philosophical Knowledge, and apparently a well culled selection. It is illustrated with engravings.3 Published monthly (Wellman.)

Young People's Magazine.—The object of this periodical is truly indicated by it name. From the examination we have given it—a cursory one—we should think it well calculated for the boys and girls. (Wellman.)

Tower of London.—This work has been in serial style through one of the most popular London Magazines for a long while past. It is now collected, in complete style, and presented to the reader in a handsome form, all compact. A work more full of incident, and better fitted to interest the lover of romance, is probably not to be found among either old or modern novels. Ainsworth, the writer, is one of the popular English contemporary authors. (W. H. Graham, Tribune buildings, N. Y.; and a well conducted, well stocked place it is, with gentlemanly clerks, as any of our Brooklyn book or periodical purchasers will find, if they have occasion to pay it a visit.)

Female Minister.—One of Sue's works, translated and forming No. 80 of Harper's Library of Select Novels; price one shilling. (Harper's, 85 Cliff st., N. Y.)

Peers and Parvenus.—This sort of novel—the novel of fashionable life—is eagerly sought after by some readers; but we must confess it is not in any way to our taste. (Harpers.)

The Artizan of Lyons—A work by Dennis Hannegan, author of the Orange Girl of Venice.—Price 25 cts. (W. H. Graham, Tribune buildings.)

Boarding Out—A little book, but one with a big good moral. We recommend every married man, domiciled with his helpmate in a boarding house,—(the Americans are a boarding people,) to invest twenty-five cents in this book, forthwith, and read it over with his wife carefully of evenings.—(Harpers.)

The New York Illustrated Magazine is to be embellished hereafter with a series of original engravings taken from paintings by native artists4 It is published by Taylor, of the Astor House.


1. The author of Scenes and Thoughts in Europe: by an American was George Henry Calvert (1803–1889), editor, essayist, poet and Chair of Moral Philosophy at the University of Baltimore. The book chronicles Calvert's months long tour of the continent from Ambleside to Rome. Art is a prominent focus of his travels and in both Florence and Rome he visits several of the European and American artists with studios there, including sculptors Horatio Greenough (1805–1852), Hiram Powers (1805–1873) and Thomas Crawford (1814–1857). Calvert's praise of their achievements bolsters their standing in this important international setting. [back]

2. The Illustrated Botany: Comprising the most Valuable Native and Exotic Plants, and their History, Medicinal Properties, etc.: to which is added an Introduction on Physiology, and a View of the Natural and Linnaean Systems was edited by John B. Newman, M.D. Each issue included multiple full-page botanical prints in full color. See "Polishing the 'Common People'," Whitman's March 12, 1846, column in the Eagle for his comments on the value of flowers in the home. In a later review of Illustrated Botany Whitman again stresses the moral and aesthetic value of studying flowers. See "Literary Notices," Brooklyn Daily Eagle, August 20, 1846. [back]

3. Literary Emporium: A Compendium of Religious, Literary and Philosophical Knowledge introduced each issue with two full-page plates, one in full color. The color image was of a botanical specimen. [back]

4. New York Illustrated Magazine, edited by Lawrence Labree, included engravings after paintings by such American artists as William Sidney Mount (1807–1868), who would become Whitman's friend and theater companion, Charles Deas (1818–1867) and Seymour Joseph Guy (1824–1910), among others. [back]


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