University of Virginia Library



The Dial's history can best be traced through Cooke's two studies (cited below) and my 1971 Northwestern University doctoral dissertation, "A History of the Dial (1840-1844)," which I am currently revising for book publication. An excellent article by Burton R. Pollin, "Emerson's Annotations in the British Museum Copy of the Dial," Studies in Bibliography, 24 (1971), 187-95, discusses the Harvard and British Museum sets of the Dial containing Emerson's annotations. I am grateful to Professor Pollin for kindly supplying me with information concerning the British Museum's Dial.


The Dial was published by Weeks, Jordan and Company (July, 1840-April, 1841), W. H. S. Jordan (July, 1841), Jordan & Co. (October, 1841), E. P. Peabody (January, 1842-April, 1843), and James Munroe and Co. (July, 1843-April, 1844).


The maiden names of Margaret [Fuller] Ossoli and Caroline [Sturgis] Tappan are retained throughout because neither was married until after the Dial had ceased publication.


Alcott's Conversation on the Dial in the Boston Commonwealth was very incomplete in listing facts about the magazine and its contributors, as was his "Reminiscences of the Transcendental Club," (Boston Book Bulletin, 1 [December, 1877], 3-5, [March, 1878], 30). George William Curtis's "Mr. Emerson and the 'Dial'" (Literary World [Boston], 11 [May 22, 1880], 178) was a slap-dash affair put together for a special Emerson issue and is of little value. Cooke's list was originally intended to accompany a reprint of the Dial planned by Roberts Brothers in 1882 but when only half of the two hundred subscribers needed to insure its financial success responded, the project was abandoned (see "A Reprint of 'The Dial,'" Journal of Speculative Philosophy, 16 (1882), 329-31, which reprints Roberts Brothers's prospectus, and Raymond L. Kilgour, Messrs. Roberts Brothers Publishers [1952], pp. 132, 198).


The majority of these last two items are reviews and notices. My purpose throughout has been to provide a newly and independently researched annotated list of contributions to the Dial; my results in most instances agree with the attributions of Cooke and Cabot, both of whose work I am indebted to.


However, since this list does not attempt to locate all reprints of material in the Dial, only those subsequent printings of Dial material which help to ascertain authorship are listed. For example, when a lecture by Emerson is printed by the Dial and he is clearly given there as the author, I did not feel it necessary to also list another printing of it in his Works.


With the exception of Emerson's annotations in the Library of Congress's copy, attributions by contributors are made throughout their copies of the Dial. I have personally examined all copies, with these exceptions: a microfilm of Ellery Channing's set was used; a Xerox of the table of contents of the Library of Congress's set was used; a Xerox of the table of contents of the British Museum's set, supplemented by information in Pollin, "Emerson's Annotations in the British Museum Copy of the Dial," was used. Professor Pollin reports most of Emerson's attributions but since it was not his purpose to report all of them, I have used the original sources as the basis for my own list.