The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
VOLUME XVI. Early National Literature, Part II; Later National Literature, Part I.

XX. Magazines, Annuals, and Gift-books, 1783–1850

§ 8. Types

The different types of periodicals were a little more sharply distinguished than in the preceding period. There were several serious reviews, of which The North American Review was the most important, and The American Quarterly Review (Philadelphia, 1827–37) was perhaps the heaviest. There was a multitude of general literary magazines, containing fiction, essays, poetry, scientific and historical articles, and reviews. Magazines especially for ladies made their appearance, and one, Godey’s Lady’s Book, attained great vogue. It should also be remembered that this was a prosperous time for the popular literary weeklies, such as Willis’s Mirror and Home Journal, which published the same class of contributions as the lighter literary and the ladies’ magazines, but which are excluded from the scope of this chapter. In Philadelphia and Boston were published a number of periodicals that aimed at instruction, some of them reprinting classical works of English literature in large instalments, others giving in popular form miscellaneous information derived from encyclopædias and similar sources. Theological controversies, especially those over the Unitarian schism in New England, called forth a number of religious periodicals that are of importance to the student of American literature. There are also journals devoted to temperance and kindred reforms, and others too nondescript to classify.