By D. Dowling
This complete research levels from Irving's Knickerbockers, Emerson's Transcendentalists, and Garrison's abolitionists to the preferred serial fiction writers for Robert Bonner's ny Ledger to unearth fabulous convergences among such possible disparate circles.
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Extra resources for The Business of Literary Circles in Nineteenth-Century America
22 Much of the promotional power of these two circles depended upon their images not Econom y of L iter a ry Circl es, 1807–1864 25 as literary products, per se, as did Bonner’s Ledger staff, or political points of view, as in Garrison and Fitzhugh’s propagandists, but in a stylized, bohemian, way of living. It is not by mistake, for example, that Washington Irving’s long absence from America was because he had spent so much time in France following his successful foray into the English literary market, cementing his reputation, and thus gaining him entrance into the birthplace of bohemia, an environment that could not have been more suitable to the wandering bachelor persona of Irving’s pen name and narrator, Geoffrey Crayon.
18 Nothing could be further from the truth, of course, as coteries and their manipulation of the publishing industry for the aid of their own writers, and the promotion of their group as a brand name were paramount to their existence. Publication, or any attempt thereof, is integral to my understanding of the economies of exchange, both monetary and otherwise, in place for circulating and expanding authors’ writings and reputations as they intersected with the network of intermediaries in publishing industry.
He was not a member of the original Lads of Kilkenny, and thus could not legitimate his single status by association with the coterie, and draw on its boyish raillery for materials with which to construct his public profile. Hence the public rapidly became suspicious of his failure to marry. Critical analysis of his poetry turned into an attack on his sexuality led by Lawson, who found his verse irregular, unnatural, and incongruous. 37 The most significant poet of any Knickerbocker prior to the Young America circle that began in 1840, Halleck credited Irving for having the greatest influence upon his style.
The Business of Literary Circles in Nineteenth-Century America by D. Dowling