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Durand, Loyal, Jr. (ed.) / Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters
volume XXXIV (1942)

Clark, Harry Hayden
The vogue of Macaulay in America,   pp. 237-292 PDF (20.6 MB)

Page 237

 Much interest has been aroused in this crucial time in the traditions for
which England and America have stood, and in the history of the inter-relations
and of the divergence of those traditions.' One good index to such history
is the record of the 
-vogue and influence in one country of representative authors of the other
country. Thus Professor Harold Blodgett's Walt Whitman in England (1934)
offers a fascinating history of the way in which British opinion of the more
extreme forms of American democracy in politics and poetry have~ fluctuated
in different periods. And Dr. Robert Rodney's study of British reactions
to Mark Twai~i and such anti-feudalistic books as The Connecticut Yankee
in King Arthur's Court should be even more revealing as a record of changing
British opinion and literary taste. On, the other hand, much able work as
been done on American reactions to representative British authors such as
Byron and Scott, but much of it has had to deal with matters which are exclusively
literary. In the present study I propose to deal with a figure who is more
broadly representative not only of literary taste but of political, religious,
and ethical ideas as well—with Thomas Babington Macaulay. As literary
critic, as Whig statesman, as a protagonist of the practical and the scientific,
as a historian of the Puritanism which entered so largely into the founding
of America, he represents a large segment of the circumference of 
- British traditions in the .nineteenth century. And the year by year reaction
of Americans ought to provide an interesting barometer to many phases of
the history of American opinion of what our British allies stood for during
the last century and to help us to understand the ideals of the two countries
more intelligently. 
 If Byron and Scott' in the first half of the nineteenth century were the
first English writers to take the American reading public by storm, their
triumphant acceptance appears very small 
 * The writer gratefully acknowledges that this work was supported in part
by a grant from the Research Fund of the University of Wisconsin. 
 1 W. E. Leonard, Byron and Byronism in America (1905). G. H. Orians is about
to publish a full-length study of Scott's vogue in America. 

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