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About this Item

Title: Literary Notices

Creator: Walt Whitman [unsigned in original]

Date: August 26, 1846

Whitman Archive ID: per.00622

Source: Brooklyn Daily Eagle 26 August 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.1

The AMERICAN REVIEW, a Whig journal of Politics, Literature, and Science. August, 1846. G. H. Colton, 118 Nassau st. N. Y.

We give on our first Page a magnificent account of our great Mexican battles, from the 'Army of Occupation,' in the August no. of this review. It is probably from the pen of Mr. Headley, the dashy writer of Napoleon and his Marshals. Whoever is the writer though, it is disgraceful to him as a man and an American that he should lead and follow the description of those brilliants battle by such remarks as do lead and follow them. The American is intended, we believe, as an offset to the Democratic Review. It can never take so noble a scope as the latter, however; for democracy is closely identified with a well developed literatureーand it has always been the highest pride of the best writers to advance the claims of liberal doctrines in government.

Payne's ILLUSTRATED LONDON; a Series of Views of the British Metropolis and its Environs, with historical and descriptive letter-press. New York agent, C. Muller 118 Nassau st.

This book is to be finished in about twenty numbers,2 and each number has ten steel engravings.3—We learn from its beginning, the somewhat singular fact, that never, in the history of England, were building operations in fuller activity than at present in London, or greater beauty of design displayed. "Localities, consisting of dark and narrow lanes or alleys, where the light of heaven was scarcely admissible, and where vice reigned almost uncontrolled, have been swept away, and in their place elegant structures reared, on which the architect has exerted his utmost skill,—ground which, but a short time since, from its low and marshy situation, remained unproductive, or, what was worse, exhaled its baneful miasma, is now covered with magnificent squares and noble mansions, tenanted by persons of the highest rank."4 To present a finished pictorial and descriptive acct. of these new, as well as the old 'lions' of London, appears to be the object of this tastily got-up work: Also, to furnish a consecutive history of the Great City, its statistics, population, commerce, &c. The frontispieces, 'St. Paul's from the River,' and the 'Royal Exchange,' are unusually elegant specimens of steel engraving.

Littell's LIVING AGE: No. 119. N.Y., Wm. Taylor, 2 Astor House.

This no, of the Age contains the usual excellent selection form the foreign, with a dash of the home, periodicals.


1. The first page of the issue in which this editorial appears is dated August 29, while the date in the masthead on page two is August 26. This latter is the correct date, as established by the issue number, also on page one. [back]

2. Illustrated London was written by William I. Bicknell (1783-1859), with engravings by Albert Henry Payne (1812-1902). [back]

3. Steel engraving is a printmaking technique widely used in the nineteenth century for reproducing illustrations. [back]

4. From the book's Preface. [back]


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