What is this?
Four bound volumes of Analectic Magazine, a literary and intellectual publication.
When is it from?
These volumes range from 1813 to 1816.
Why is it Important?
Nearly two centuries after it ceased publication, Analectic Magazine resounds with interesting analyses, diverse coverage, sly humor, and self-aware commentary. Begun as an extension of the somewhat-obscure Select Reviews, Analectic Magazine blossomed in 1813 under the guidance of the young writer, Washington Irving.
It was a perfect match. For two years the Analectic prospered under his ministrations. Irving 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. Such men as Commodore Perry, Captain David Porter, and Captain Lawrence found themselves rendered as the subjects of these rose-colored personal histories in which tragedy was met by determination and, most often, ultimate success and promotion. 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,” the United States’ national anthem.
The glory years of Analectic captured in this collection (1813-1816) is not entirely representative of the rest of the magazine’s run. Washington Irving eventually followed his conscience and enlisted for military service, though what satisfaction he might have gleaned by his subsequent service in the staff of the governor of New York is unclear. Successive editors sought more and more original material and focused on the US 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.
Four volumes; three 8″ x 6″, one rebound volume 10″ x 7″. The three smaller volumes are in poor condition, with evidence of water and pest damage.
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