Sunday, June 6, 2010

June 6th

I can"t let this day pass without at least a little magazine tribute to the sacrifice made by our gallant troops sixty four years ago. Nothing here is specifically related to D-Day, but I think you'll get the point.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Paul Revere in Magazines.

I just love how everything seems to fit together at times. The original idea for this post was to start a series of the first appearances of famous American literary figures in magazines; then it took on a life of its own. To wit:

I first wrote of Longfellow's first appearance in 1996 in the first book I self-published (item 174). The image was of low resolution, as megabytes and software were sparse, cumbersome and expensive at the time.

When Longfellow was a student at his beloved Bowdoin College in Maine, his first two published works appeared in the fourth issue, April 1824, of James McHenry's American Monthly Magazine (one of three of the same title that appeared within a decade, distinguished by me by the editor).

The first appearance was anonymous and quite lengthy for the time,the second a mere two stanzas signed H.W.L.

One of America's most revered poets, Longfellow enjoyed great celebrity during his lifetime and his work appeared in over a dozen different magzines during his lifetime. See: Bibiography of American Periodicals by Richard West and yours truly (copies available directly from Periodyssey).

Perhaps the most famous af all is Paul Revere's Ride that appeared in the venerable Atlantic Monthly in January 1861. This epic essentially rewrote history and still today defines Revere as an American legend. Before the poem he was best remembered as a talented but obscure silversmith and engraver.

Now listen my readers and you shall hear
of the wonderful engravings of Paul Revere.

The images he made in the magazine Royal
gave patriots cause to be no longer loyal.
While he may be remembered for his famous ride
his artwork did more for the colonist's pride.

The most important contribution Revere actually made to American independence were the graphic images he engraved that incited the anti-British factions in colonial society. Perhaps the most notable is his image of the Boston Massacre.

but the "evil doctor" was, as you can see, was quite inflammatory.

Revere's engravings in magazines are rare and quite valuable ($500 to $20,000 depending on the image) and appear exclusively in the Royal American Magazine, published between January 1774 and March 1775.

The first issue rare wrappers

I have been fortunate to obtain all the issues except the last two and the balance of the Revere engravings, a feat which today would be very difficult to duplicate
Here is the most valuable. It appeared in the first issue. I've never had the opportunity to purchase this one and cringe at how much a nice copy would bring today. Royal American Magazine and Revere's engravings did much to incite the colonial fervor for independence.

When Revere rode to warn Sam Adams and John Hancock in Boston he surely knew what they looked like, having engraved them in 1774!

next: Nathanial Hawthorne
periodically, SL