Analectic Magazine and Naval Chronicle
Over two centuries after it ceased publication, The Analectic Magazine resounds with interesting analyses, diverse coverage, sly humor, and self-aware commentary. Begun as an extension of the somewhat-obscure Select Reviews, The Analectic Magazine blossomed in 1813 under the guidance of the young writer, Washington Irving.
For two years The Analectic prospered under Irving’s ministrations. He injected the magazine with a keen sense of humor, honed from years of poking fun at life and politics in New York City, and brought in original material, including poetry, literature reviews, and news from around the world. Biographies chronicled the lives and exploits of popular naval heroes during the clamor of the War of 1812. Individuals such as Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, Captain David Porter, and Captain James Lawrence found themselves rendered as the subjects of these rose-colored personal histories in which tragedy was met by determination. Readers of The Analectic were also familiar with an early reprinting of the poem “The Defense of Fort McHenry.” The poem by Francis Scott Key later found lasting fame under a new name, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which became the United States’ national anthem in 1931.
Washington Irving eventually followed his conscience and enlisted for military service, and subsequently served on the staff of the governor of New York. Successive editors sought more and more original material and focused on the U.S. Navy and American culture and society, until the magazine title was changed to Analectic Magazine and Naval Chronicle, reflecting its character as an unofficial naval service journal.
This bound collection contains the March, April, and May 1816 issues of Analectic Magazine and Naval Chronicle, including a biographical sketch of Captain Thomas Macdonough and a synopsis of naval actions from the British Naval Chronicle.