Home  »  Volume XVII: American LATER NATIONAL LITERATURE: PART II  »  § 7. The Older Magazines Continued

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

XIX. Later Magazines

§ 7. The Older Magazines Continued

The most important popular magazines in existence in 1850 were the Knickerbocker in New York, Godey’s Lady’s Book and Graham’s in Philadelphia, and The Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond. The Knickerbocker felt keenly the competition of the newer magazines, but it continued to be published through the Civil War, in its dying struggles adopting the name of American Monthly, with Knickerbocker as a sub-title, and in a final volume, January to June, 1865, dropping the old name altogether. Though never distinguished, the Knickerbocker had an honourable tradition, and offered a place of publication for many American writers. Godey’s Lady’s Book was continued to 1876, though it lost much of its popularity and almost all its literary prestige before its death. A Magazine devoting much attention to the fashions and to fancy work never seems the most dignified medium of publication, but in the height of its glory Godey’s was able to command original contributions from authors of the highest rank. Graham’s, which during the editorship of Poe and for a few years thereafter had been the greatest of the Philadelphia magazines and one of the most honourable mediums of publication for authors all over the country, had deteriorated greatly by the mid-century, though it struggled on until 1859. The Southern Literary Messenger survived at Richmond, with better quality than might have been expected during the war, until 1864; but its period of greatest importance was earlier, and it has already been treated in another chapter.