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The Rise and Fall of Early American Magazine Culture$
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Jared Gardner

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036705

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036705.001.0001

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American Spectators, Tatlers, and Guardians

American Spectators, Tatlers, and Guardians

Transatlantic Periodical Culture in the Eighteenth Century

(p.31) Chapter One American Spectators, Tatlers, and Guardians
The Rise and Fall of Early American Magazine Culture

Jared Gardner

University of Illinois Press

This chapter explores the forms, fantasies, and energies that gathered around the American magazine in the eighteenth century. Traditionally, the early American magazine has been seen as a kind of “overture” to the “Golden Age” of the American magazine to follow. Yet, the chapter considers this early “primitive” magazine in terms of the ambitions and energies with which it was invested, revealing its unique aspects and aspirations to periodical culture before the 1820s that mark it as discrete from the magazine to follow, in ways not dissimilar to the relationship between silent cinema and the sound cinema that emerges after 1927. Understood in its own terms and in relationship to a broader transatlantic circulation of energies and texts, the early American magazine can be seen to represent something very different from the magazine that was to follow.

Keywords:   early American magazines, eighteenth century, periodical culture, transatlantic circulation, colonial America, colonial magazines

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