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[163] was expected to contribute to the magazine. Books were assigned for review, manuscripts were accepted or rejected, and the policy of the magazine was determined by vote at the weekly meetings of the Club. The monthly Anthology is notable for the high quality of some of its articles, and as the best example of a magazine which was actually edited ‘by a society of gentlemen’ purely for the love of literature. It should also be remembered as, in a way, the forerunner of The North American review.

In the years immediately following the close of the War of 1812 national life received a new impulse. The desire for a national literature was undiminished, though it was perhaps becoming more intelligent. Within a few years Americans were gratified by finding that in Irving and Cooper they had at least two authors who were highly appreciated abroad, and before 1850 many of the more distinguished writers of the century had established their reputations. With a real gain in literary prestige came an improvement in the tone and sanity of periodical literature, though to the close of the period far too many magazines were absurd in their pretensions and given to an excess of literary patriotism.

The return of peace soon brought another large crop of new periodicals. Boston, New York, and Philadelphia still led, of course, in the number of these ventures, but every town of literary pretensions tried to maintain a magazine. The South had its fair share; and in the region west of the Alleghanies there was a surprisingly large number. Cincinnati and Lexington were the most important publishing centres in this region, but several less famous towns in the Ohio Valley had their literary periodicals at an early date. By 1831 James Hall1 was publishing The Illinois monthly magazine at Vandalia, and before 1850 Chicago and other cities in the central West had followed the prevailing fashion.

The different types of periodicals were a little more sharply distinguished than in the preceding period. There were several serious reviews, of which The North American review was the most important, and The American quarterly review (Philadelphia, 1827-37) was perhaps the heaviest. There was a multitude of general literary magazines, containing

1 See also Book II, Chap. VII.

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