The Business of Literary Circles in Nineteenth-Century America by D. Dowling

The Business of Literary Circles in Nineteenth-Century America

byD. Dowling

Hardcover | January 26, 2011

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The Business of Literary Circles in Nineteenth-Century America  explores the economics of professional authorship—the contiguity between business practice and aesthetic principle—in the most significant literary circles of the American nineteenth century, from Irving’s Knickerbockers, Emerson’s Transcendentalists, and Garrison’s abolitionists to Robert Bonner’s New York Ledger popular fiction writers, and George Fitzhugh’s proslavery pundits. Casting these cohorts in light of the competitive free market, Dowling provides a fresh history of literary business that illuminates surprising convergences between commercially averse groups like the Transcendentalists and aggressively capitalistic ones like the Ledger staff. Matching their identities to the commercial outlets they engaged, these circles sought the most efficient and effective instruments available to distinguish themselves from their competitors. In all cases, their business methods carefully avoided the appearance of crass materialism, cold avarice, and narrow self-interest widely associated with free market capitalism at the time, and instead emphasized market virtues such as bravery, energy, imagination, and perhaps most importantly, an almost clannish loyalty to the literary kin of the coterie itself.

About The Author

David Dowling is Lecturer in the English Department at the University of Iowa and has published numerous articles on American authorship and the literary marketplace. He is the author of Capital Letters: Authorship in the Antebellum Literary Market; Chasing the White Whale: The Moby-Dick Marathon; or, What Melville Means Today; and th...
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Details & Specs

Title:The Business of Literary Circles in Nineteenth-Century AmericaFormat:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 8.5 × 5.51 × 0.04 inPublished:January 26, 2011Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan USLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230110460

ISBN - 13:9780230110465

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Table of Contents

Introduction * “As Merchants on the ‘Change”: The Economy of Literary Coteries, 1807-1864 * PART I: Literary New Yorkers * “An Instinct for Gold”: Irving’s Knickerbockers * Staff Bonds: Bonner’s New York Ledger * PART II: New England Circles * “The Section to Which We Belong”: Emerson’s Transcendentalists * Boston and Beyond: Elizabeth Peabody’s Promotional Practice * PART III: Political Economy: North and South * Print Warriors: Garrison’s Abolitionists * Proslavery and the Pen: Fitzhugh’s Apologists * Conclusion: The Boston Bellamy Club, Rand’s Objectivists, and Iowa Writers’ Workshop

Editorial Reviews

"An important analysis of literary coteries in the United States, Dowling's book is the first to provide a firm sense of what precisely they offered, besides mutual support, to their members. He demonstrates persuasively that they were formed from the exigencies of the literary marketplace and allowed participants to face it in more powerful and confident ways. And, as an added plus, his prose is as richly compelling as his subjects. An important book for students of American literature and print culture, and of American Studies generally."--Philip Gura, William S. Newman Distinguished Professor of American Literature and Culture, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill