Literati of New York City

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Edgar Allan Poe (1809—1849) American short-story writer, poet, and critic

Knickerbocker Group


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Critical review by Poe of the Knickerbocker Group and other New York authors, published in Godey's Lady's Book (1846). Among the 38 authors are Halleck (the third principal contemporary poet, “a somewhat better position than that to which on absolute grounds he is entitled”); C. P. Cranch (“unusual vivacity of fancy and dexterity of expression … one of the least intolerable of the school of Boston transcendentalists”); Caroline Stansbury Kirkland (“has a province of her own, and in that province has few equals”); Epes Sargent (“one of the most prominent members of a very extensive American family—the men of industry, talent, and tact”); E. A. Duyckinck (“the excessively tasteful”); Anna Mowatt (“She evinces more feeling than ideality”); Lewis G. Clark (“he is noticeable for nothing in the world except for the markedness by which he is noticeable for nothing”); C. F. Hoffman (“a true idealist … one sensitively alive to beauty in every development”); Margaret Fuller (“tainted with the affectation of the transcendentalists, but brimful of the poetic sentiment”); and N. P. Willis (“As a poet he is not entitled to as high a rank as he may justly claim for his prose”). Poe's unfavorable comments on T. D. English, whom he satirizes as “Thomas Dunn Brown,” provoked a scurrilous reply by English, to which Poe retaliated with a successful libel suit.

Subjects: Literature.

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