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)
THE VOGUE OF MACAULAY IN AMERICA 237 HARRY HAYDEN CLARK* 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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