Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine was arguably the most important and widely published literary magazine of the nineteenth century. Its readership extended from Britain to America, shaping literary tastes across the Anglophone literary marketplace. BEM wrote two reviews of Nathaniel Hawthorne's fiction during the author's most prolific years. The first was published in 1847 and contained a lengthy reflection of the state of American literature that prefaced its review of Mosses from an Old ManseM. In 1855, BEM reviewed Hawthorne's novels. The language of these reviews encouraged BEM's transatlantic readership to interpret Hawthorne in a very particular light: a dark, intense, and deeply psychological Hawthorne. In other words, BEM promoted a version of Hawthorne that would ultimately stick and become the standard Hawthorne adopted by twentieth-century historians of the "American Renaissance." I argue that BEM's reviews reveal a relationship with American literature predisposed to appreciate a dark, symbolic, gothic literature, and that Hawthorne, like Irving before him, succeeded in becoming one of the greatest writers of mid-nineteenth-century American literature because he was able to appeal to and please a transatlantic, and particularly a British, audience. By transcending geographic boundaries, at least in BEM's reviews, Hawthorne was ironically identified as an iconic "American" writer.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Boud, Holly Young, "Blackwood's to Hawthorne in Light of Its Mid-Nineteenth Century Transatlantic Reputation" (2018). Theses and Dissertations. 7250.
Blackwood<'>s, Hawthorne, American Renaissance, book history, transatlantic