Home  »  Volume XVII: American LATER NATIONAL LITERATURE: PART II  »  § 14. The Overland Monthly

The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21). rn VOLUME XVII. Later National Literature, Part II.

XIX. Later Magazines

§ 14. The Overland Monthly

Many cities of the South and of the West have had their literary journals, the brief careers of which are duly chronicled in local histories, but they can hardly claim space in a more general survey. The one exception is The Overland Monthly, which began publication at San Francisco in 1868, with Bret Harte as the first editor. An earlier chapter of this history remarks on the number of creditable literary periodicals that were developed in the Ohio Valley while difficulties of communication isolated communities in which there were many persons of intellectual interests. By 1850 the Alleghanies were no longer a serious hindrance to intercourse with Eastern cities, and the magazines of Kentucky, Ohio, and Illinois had lost their chief reason for existence. Soon after the discovery of gold the Pacific slope offered another example of an isolated community with a civilization of its own. The Overland was not the first attempt at a literary magazine in San Francisco; and though it had considerable real merit it owes its fame chiefly to Bret Harte. With the completion of the trans-continental railroads the culture of the West was free to merge in that of the nation. The Overland ceased publication in 1875. A successor, bearing the same name and established in 1883, is still, however, one of the best of the frankly provincial literary periodicals.