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Page 169

REVIEWERS, 1796-1811
David Chandler

Signing off the last number of The Watchman, the miscellany he had published at eight-day intervals in spring 1796, Coleridge stated:

Those... who expected from it much and varied original composition, have naturally relinquished it in favour of the New MONTHLY MAGAZINE; a Work, which has almost monopolized the talents of the Country, and with which I should have continued a course of literary rivalship with as much success, as might be supposed to attend a young Recruit who should oppose himself to a Phalanx of disciplined Warriors. Long may it continue to deserve the support of the Patriot and the Philanthropist, and while it teaches RATIONAL LIBERTY, prepare it's readers for the enjoyment of it, strengthening the intellect by SCIENCE, and softening our affections by the GRACES![1]

There can be few better or more memorable statements of the amazing impact the Monthly Magazine (hereafter MM) had on the literary world of Great Britain in 1796. Apparently planned by the eminent Unitarian and scientist Joseph Priestley before his emigration to America in April 1794,[2] the MM was published by the radical bookseller Richard Phillips. Designed as a forum for literary and intellectual Dissenters, the first number appeared in February 1796 with a preface announcing “two leading ideas”: the first to provide “various objects of information and discussion,” the second to lend “aid to the propagation of those liberal principles respecting some of the most important concerns of mankind, which ha[d] been either deserted or virulently opposed by other Periodical Miscellanies.”[3] The formula quickly proved a success, and within a year of its inauguration the MM was outselling almost every other periodical published in Britain.[4] Over the following fifteen


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years its success was more or less continuous; as late as 1811 Phillips could report that sales were higher than ever.[5]

Despite its centrality in the Romantic period, and despite the fact that it included the work of writers like Coleridge (“The Ancient Mariner” was originally intended for its pages), Southey, Lamb, Anna Laetitia Barbauld and Amelia Opie, the MM as a whole has received remarkably little scholarly attention. In part, one suspects, this has been for bibliographical reasons. Much of the writing in the MM was anonymous, and there is no one convenient source that assembles the various attributions and identifications that have been made. An annotated anthology of the best material in the MM, both poetry and prose, is very much a desideratum for scholars of the period. The present article is concerned with the so far unexplored subject of reviewing in the MM. Brief reviews of (nearly) all current publications were given every six months in the form of a “Retrospect”. These must have been among the most widely read and circulated critical judgments of the perod, and are of great value to the literary (or other) scholar today; indeed the MM's pithy reviews are often quoted in studies of the critical reception of particular works. Inevitably lost sight of in such selective citation is the individual review's relationship to the “Retrospect” as a whole. For example, simply the relative lengths of reviews often point to value judgments. Moreover the “Retrospects” reinforced the encyclopædic scope and mixing of literary and non-literary writing that characterised the MM as a whole, so are now of probably unrivalled value as a source for ascertaining the status literary works held vis-à-vis other types of publication for a very large section of the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century reading public. In fact it is no exaggeration to say that these “Retrospects” convey a more profound sense of the intellectual and cultural diversity of their period than any other published material of similar, or even much greater length. They merit critical attention.

Not the least interesting aspect of the MM's “Retrospects” is that, from the start, they were entrusted to a single reviewer, and thus present the quite astonishing spectacle of the entire field of British publication being sifted through a single critical consciousness. Although there was a change of reviewer in 1797, the policy of entrusting an individual with the feature was continued for at least a decade, as will be shown here. These reviewers can be identified, and enough is known about them to assess how representative of larger bodies of opinion their personal views are likely to be (though this inquiry is, for the most part, beyond the confines of the present article). The authorship of the “Retrospects” has not previously been examined, and the reviews have often been quoted under the apparent impression that they were editorial. In an influential study of reviewing in the Romantic period published in 1969 John O. Hayden merely noted that “`a Mr. Norgate of Norwich' was usually the critic in the supplements,”[6] while in a brief study


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of the MM published in 1983 Kenneth Curry stated (without reference to Hayden) that Thomas Starling Norgate “contributed the `Half-Yearly Retrospect of Literature' from 1797 to 1807,”[7] citing no authority for the statement, which, in any case, other scholars have continued to ignore. It seems certain, though, that Curry took the information from Frederick Norgate's account of Thomas Starling Norgate (1772-1859) in the Dictionary of National Biography. The present article improves and expands on Frederick Norgate's (misleading) hint, but it begins with a few essential points about the editorial organisation of the MM and the particular species of review that was published in its pages.

Phillips employed as his “literary editor” John Aikin, a prominent Unitarian man of letters, and Aikin was consulted at an early stage in the plan of the new work.[8] Lucy Aikin's Memoir of her father describes his role thus:

All the original correspondence came under his [Aikin's] inspection; articles were inserted or rejected according to his judgement.... To provide materials for the Magazine was not strictly a part of his compact;—but the honorable anxiety which he always felt to perform every task committed to him in the best manner possible... prompted him... to go far beyond the letter of his engagement; and besides enriching it to a great extent with his own pieces, he was diligent in his applications to the literary characters with whom he was connected by the ties of friendship; and by means principally of their contributions the new Magazine assumed a rank in letters to which only one of its predecessors [presumably the Gentleman's Magazine] had ever ventured to aspire.

(I, 189)

From this account, as well as from the event, which will be described below, it appears that the decision of what to do about reviewing was largely Aikin's. Initially this was an uncertain point, but by the time the first number went to press a series of “HALF-YEARLY RETROSPECTS” had been planned, a compromise that it was believed would “give general satisfaction” (I, iv). When the first of these “Retrospects” subsequently appeared, in July 1796, an introductory paragraph further clarified what was being attempted:

ALTHOUGH we have not attempted in our Miscellany to unite the two characters of a Magazine and a Review—an attempt which has never yet been made with success, and which, in the present state of official criticism, is altogether unnecessary; it may perhaps, be useful, or, at least, amusing, if, according to our proposal, at the commencement of our labours, we, at regular intervals, take a general retrospect of the state of literature. Our survey must necessarily be cursory—a sort of bird's eye view of the British land of letters; but, we trust, it will not be altogether unacceptable to our readers.

(II, 481)

A “bird's eye view” was then presented under a series of subheadings: “Theology”, “Politics”, “Political Œconomy”, “Commerce”, “Law”, “Medicine, Chemistry, &c.”, “Agriculture”, “Natural History”, “Chronology”, “History”, “Biography”, “Voyages and Travels”, “Topography”, “Criticism”, “Original


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Poetry”, “Dramatic Pieces, &c.”, “Novels, Romances, &c.”, “Education”, “Shakspearean [sic] Mss.” In miniature the MM was thus aiming at the sort of comprehensiveness that had been a hallmark of the Monthly Review and Critical Review, the major reviewing periodicals of the eighteenth century. The Edinburgh Review, founded in 1802, was the first important reviewing periodical of the new century and successfully established the modern principle of selectivity. The MM, in fact, stands out as the last important British reviewing work to aim at the ideal of universality, so characteristic of Enlightenment thinking.

It can be added that Aikin probably adapted the idea of a comprehensive “Retrospect” from the New Annual Register that Andrew Kippis, another prominent Unitarian man of letters, had founded with great success in 1781 (in political opposition to the Annual Register). The first account of “Domestic Literature” in that work had explained, just fifteen years before the foundation of the MM, the aims and limitations of what was clearly understood as a new departure in English periodical criticism:

WERE we to give an account, with extracts, of every publication of the year, we should be obliged to run to a length inconsistent with our plan, and which, indeed, would be absolutely impracticable. At the same time, we should interfere with those very useful and established periodical works, the Monthly and Critical Reviews; and, by coming after them, should only present passages to our readers with which many of them are already acquainted. On the other hand, to take notice of no more than two or three considerable performances, to the neglect of the rest, would justly be deemed a defect, and might even have the appearance of some partiality. We shall, therefore, strike into a middle course, by giving a concise and general history of the literature of the year; in which, whilst trifling and unworthy productions are neglected, none are omitted, (unless by inadvertence) that are truly important. In short, we shall endeavour to draw up such a summary of the state of learning as shall tend to set it in its true light....

(I, 199 [3rd Section])

The New Annual Register's “concise and general, history” had originally been just that, the first being less than eighteen pages in length. By the 1790s, however, “concise” was no longer true; the “summaries” had swelled to upwards of eighty dense pages that very few readers can have had the patience to read consecutively. For this reason the MM was able to offer something new. The twice-yearly formula meant that the critical commentary was much more up-to-date (often, indeed, quite as current as the Monthly Review and Critical Review), and eight brisk pages replaced the New Annual Register's ponderous eighty, thus giving a true “bird's eye view.”

A manuscript volume of autobiographical memoranda by Thomas Starling Norgate is preserved in the Norfolk Record Office, and proves to be the most important source for identifying the reviewers in the MM. Norgate there describes his friendship with William Enfield (1741-97), the Unitarian minister in Norwich, and notes how “Through Dr Enfield, [he] was introduced to Phillips, & wrote a few Papers in the Monthly Magazine.”[9] He proceeds to record:


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Dr Enfield... died Nov 3rd 1797. My intercourse... with Phillips... became more frequent from this time. The Doctor had written the “Half-Yearly Retrospect of Domestic Literature” in the Monthly Magazine. On his decease I undertook & executed it for about eight years, at the end of which time my connection with Phillips entirely ceased. For the miscellaneous Communications I received five guineas a sheet, & for the Retrospect, which was very laborious & very useless, I received Six. From the commencement of my connection with the Monthly Magazine to the end of it I received £216.18.0.

(Norgate, 238-239)

Enfield's indicated role here comes as no surprise, for among the “literary characters” with whom Aikin “was connected by the ties of friendship” none was closer to him than Enfield, his “dear and congenial friend” as Lucy Aikin describes him, from whom he would “`take sweet counsel' in all that interested him, whether as a man or an author” (Aikin, I, 21-22). Enfield was the central figure in the important group of Dissenting Norwich literati that included Norgate. As well as writing the first “Retrospects” he supplied Aikin with the “Enquirer” series, the most impressive articles in the early numbers of the MM. [10] Given Enfield's particularly close friendship with Aikin, and the fact that he undertook the daunting task of writing the “Retrospects”, it is quite possible that he played a part in determining the reviewing formula to be employed by the MM. But whether asked, or whether volunteering, Enfield was a natural choice for the “Retrospects” as he had been an immensely prolific reviewer for the Monthly Review, the most successful of the reviewing periodicals, since 1774. More recently he had become a reviewer for Joseph Johnson's Analytical Review, founded in 1788, as well.[11] He reviewed an astonishingly wide range of publications—historical, theological, educational, and political works as well as novels, plays and poems were among his regulars. He had an educated Dissenter's fascination with almost all branches of knowledge, and he was undoubtedly better able to tackle the daunting task of writing an overall “Retrospect” than almost anyone in the country. Unfortunately, Enfield's early death meant that he only wrote three “Retrospects,” those appearing in the July 1796, January 1797, and July 1797 issues of the MM. He was a great loss to Dissenting culture in this, as in many other respects.

On Norgate's own testimony, as quoted above, Enfield introduced him to Phillips. In fact it should be clear that Norgate was referring to “Phillips” merely in a general sense as the publisher, for his immediate and practical introduction would have been to Aikin. Norgate's attachment to the MM began very early in its publishing history, as his first “Paper,” on poor relief, was published in March 1796 (I, 116-117). When Norgate assumed responsibility for the “Retrospects” on Enfield's decease he certainly lacked most of the latter's experience. His own reviewing career had begun (surprisingly, given his radical sympathies) in the ministerial British Critic, the first number of which appeared in May 1793; Norgate contributed a “very few” re-


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views in the 1793-94 period (Norgate, 184-185). Then at the end of 1796, supported and recommended by Enfield, he joined the staff of the Analytical (Norgate, 236-238). In the interim he had written for the radical political journal, The Cabinet (1794-95), and published Essays, Tales and Poems (1795). Still in his mid-twenties, Norgate was not obviously equipped to step into Enfield's shoes, but his enthusiasm and availability, along with the facts of his having been Enfield's friend and a protégé whose literary career Enfield had attempted to promote, probably persuaded Aikin to give him a chance. Given that Enfield's death had been sudden and unexpected, Norgate must have been ready to take over at short notice, possibly inheriting some notes towards a fourth “Retrospect” already made by Enfield.[12] Essentially, though, the fourth “Retrospect”, now placed in a supplementary number which appeared “About the Middle of January, 1798” (IV, 415), was Norgate's first. (From this time all the “Retrospects” were placed in the supplementary numbers added to each volume.) A change of reviewer is immediately apparent in the introductory remarks, and a tell-tale stylistic change is the fact that while Enfield, a “perfect master of what is called the middle style in writing,”[13] had employed just one exclamation mark in his three “Retrospects,” Norgate found occasion to introduce over thirty in his first. A more significant change was that under Norgate the “Retrospects” immediately increased substantially in length: while Enfield's had been about eight pages long, Norgate's first was already over sixteen pages, and thereafter he established an average length of over thirty pages. Pithy summaries were replaced by more sustained critical encounters, partly because whereas Enfield had written the “Retrospects” as a supplement to his many other reviewing and authorial activities, to Norgate they were the main fruit of a retired life spent, as he wrote in his autobiography, “in reading, writing, & giving my young children the rudiments of Education” (Norgate, 244). Nevertheless, any assessment of Norgate's reviews of literary works—of Lyrical Ballads, say—should take into account the fact that he himself had previously written poetry, short fiction, and essays on a variety of topics.

Norgate's own assertion that he wrote the “Retrospects” for “about eight years” obviously contradicts Frederick Norgate's statement that he wrote them until 1807. In fact the precision of Norgate's statement respecting his total earnings from the MM allows us to establish a reasonably safe terminus ad quem for his connection with the periodical. By calculating the amount he earned for his “miscellaneous Communications” and subtracting it from his total earnings, the sum he was paid for the “Retrospects” is deduced. As we know how much he was paid per sheet for these, a cumulative page count can then establish with some accuracy the date at which he must have stopped writing the “Retrospects”. Translated into guineas, Norgate's earn-


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ings amount to 206 guineas, 12 shillings. Of his “miscellaneous Communications” by far the most considerable is a series of “LETTERS written during an EXCURSION through FRANCE to GENEVA” that appeared between March 1802 and February 1803.[14] These “LETTERS” cover some 50⅔ pages. His other identifiable “miscellaneous Communications” amount to some 18¼ pages.[15] His earnings at 5 guineas a sheet (sixteen pages[16]) would thus have been approximately 21 guineas, 11 shillings. This means that Norgate's earnings from the “Retrospects” cannot have exceeded 184-185 guineas; as they averaged over thirty pages each, as noted above, he earned on average over 11 guineas for each one. The conclusion must be that he wrote no more than sixteen.

As will be shown below, exceptional circumstances prevented Norgate from writing the “Retrospect” for January 1802. However there is no evidence, either internal or external, to suggest that he did not otherwise write them continuously from January 1798 until his “connection with Phillips entirely ceased.” After fifteen “Retrospects”, which, ignoring that for January 1802, takes us to that of July 1805, Norgate had covered some 477¾ pages, which at 6 guineas a sheet would have earned him approximately 179 guineas, 3 shillings. After sixteen “Retrospects” he had covered some 504½ pages, which would have earned approximately 189 guineas, 1 shilling. It can be stated with some certainty, then, that Norgate's final “Retrospect” was either that for July 1805 or that for January 1806. Beyond this the question is


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whether Phillips was inclined to round up, or round down, in assessing his payments, and from what is known of his character the latter is certainly more likely.[17] In this case Norgate's last “Retrospect” was that for January 1806, which would mean that his responsibility for the “Retrospects” had lasted from November 1797 to January 1806, making his estimate of “about eight years” perfectly correct. Further evidence is that the next “Retrospect” —July 1806—is only just over twenty pages long, much shorter than any of Norgate's known “Retrospects”, except his very first.

Other evidence seems to support, and probably explain, this terminal date. When Norgate wrote that his “connection with Phillips entirely ceased,” the suggestion is, surely, that he had failed to leave on amicable terms. It is unlikely to be coincidental, then, that it was just at this juncture that Aikin angrily left Phillips' employment. The immediate cause was that Phillips had chosen Aikin to arbitrate in a case of dispute between himself and an author. Aikin had ruled against Phillips, who reacted so badly that Aikin felt obliged to resign his editorship (Phillips, 71-85). Lucy Aikin's Memoir implies that this was merely the last straw, however, and that Aikin had for a long time found it hard to work with Phillips:

Early in the year 1806 my father's connection ceased with the Monthly Magazine, and he immediately engaged in the establishment of a new periodical work, on what he regarded as an improved plan, entitled The Athenœum. The thorough respectability of the publishers concerned, and their entire forbearance of every kind of interference with the management of the editor, rendered his concern in this undertaking a source of great satisfaction to him....

(I, 252)

Aikin's defection undoubtedly created quite a stir in the reviewing world. On 27 May 1806 Robert Southey referred to “the rupture between Dr. Aikin and Phillips,—the greatest piece of news since the Prussian war”; Southey felt that the “rupture” would cost Phillips “much of the sale among the dissenters” (Robberds, II, 129-30). In June 1806 William Taylor (1765-1836), a mainstay of the MM, was contemplating leaving Phillips to support Aikin (Robberds, II, 135), though in the end prudent concerns appear to have deterred him, and he wrote for the MM and the Athenœum. [18] As Norgate's connection with the MM had been through Aikin, the close friend of his close friend, Enfield, the latter's departure very likely proved an excuse for Norgate—who had come to consider the “Retrospects” “very laborious & very useless”—to leave. In this case it can again be concluded that the January 1806 “Retrospect” is likely to have been Norgate's last.

Between November 1801 and January 1802 Norgate made a trip to Geneva, accompanying his wife's sister, Fanny Randall, who was to settle there


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(Norgate 244-247; it was his letters from this trip that he later published in the MM). This prevented him from writing the “Retrospect” as usual, so William Taylor, a friend of Norgate and Aikin, and an erstwhile friend of Enfield's, filled in for him. This, and Taylor's apparently half-serious attitude to the task, are implied in a letter he wrote to Robert Southey on 30 November 1802. In this letter Taylor enquired whether Southey had been asked to contribute to Arthur Aikin's new Annual Review, before continuing:

He [Arthur Aikin] has sent me down some books, not very much to my taste,—but I will give it a year's trial,—Pinkerton's `Geography,' and a heap of political trash about the East Indies and the West Indies, and the blacks, and sugar and cotton. That book of Pinkerton's I have just read through; it is the best system of geography extant: as for the rest I shall declaim about the topics indicated by the titles, as in the retrospect of last winter's Monthly Magazine, without heeding the inside.

(Robberds, I, 434)

More direct evidence of Taylor's authorship is the fact that he identified the January 1802 “Retrospect” as his in his own set of the MM, as recorded by Robberds (Robberds, I, 393). In his introductory remarks to the “Retrospect” itself, Taylor implied, as he did later to Southey, that his attitude to the task was not particularly serious.

The form and order of retrospection are of little moment: yet the fewer the subdivisions into which the books are parcelled, the more conveniently can the heaps be arranged on the floor; and the less turning to and fro among Reviews will supply the reputed character of those, which one wants the leisure to slit open, or the will to read.

(XII, 573)

Taylor, in fact, employed just six “subdivisions,” where in the previous “Retrospect” Norgate had employed nineteen. In other respects his statement here, as in the letter to Southey, should be read as a typical blend of the true with the self-deprecatory; the “Retrospect” contains the sort of vigorous, informed criticism that Taylor had made his trademark, and that was certainly not merely gathered from other reviewing periodicals.

It is not at all surprising that Taylor, another Norwich man, should have assisted at this juncture. He had been a regular contributor to the MM since its inception (he too was probably obtained by Enfield), and Robberds does not exaggerate when he says “the number and diversity of his [Taylor's] productions can scarcely be paralleled by those of any other writer” (Robberds, I, 391). His reviewing career had begun, again through Enfield, with an attachment to the Monthly Review in 1793.[19] During the 1790s Taylor reviewed a wide diversity of literature and was probably the most important reviewer in the country.[20] He broke with the Monthly Review in 1799, due to personality differences with the editor. In the winter of 1801-1802 he was an experienced reviewer without reviewing employment.

Having helped Norgate out in January 1802, Taylor contributed at least


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one longer review to the “Retrospects” submitted by Norgate. This was that of Robert Southey's Madoc that appeared in the July 1805 “Retrospect” (XIX, 656-658; Robberds, II, 91, 102). Taylor was a close friend of Southey's, and a great admirer of Madoc, so the review was really an act of friendship (though certainly not a “puff”). But it does raise the possibility of Taylor's contributing other odd reviews to Norgate's “Retrospects”, even though no evidence for such is known. (The calculations made in this article have assumed that Norgate was paid for the whole of the “Retrospects” that he was responsible for, and that any odd reviews supplied by Taylor were gratuitous.)

What happened to the “Retrospects” after January 1806 is less clear. Obviously Taylor would have been Norgate's natural successor. Since January 1802 he had edited the Iris, a Norwich weekly newspaper published in 1803 and 1804, and reviewed extensively for the Critical Review between December 1803 and November 1804. He had, moreover, as suggested in the letter to Southey quoted above, become a reviewer for the Annual Review at its inception in 1802. The latter connection meant that huge numbers of books were passing through Taylor's hands by 1806, putting him in a good position to write the “Retrospects”. Taylor certainly did make some contributions; of volume twenty-six (August 1808-January 1809) his biographer, Robberds, noted:

Some parts of the “Retrospect of Domestic Literature” in this volume [i.e. the January 1809 “Retrospect”] were written by William Taylor; but being little more than a list of new publications, they contain nothing of particular interest.

(II, 236)

Robberds was taking his information from Taylor's own marked set of the MM, and one could wish he had been more specific regarding the “parts” Taylor had written. More puzzling is the fact that Robberds says Taylor contributed a review of George Wilson Meadley's Memoirs of William Paley to the July 1809 “Retrospect” (XXVII, 650; Robberds, II, 302), for this review is so insubstantial—it consists mainly of a quotation from Meadley's preface—that it is almost impossible to imagine it being Taylor's only contribution, and therefore reasonable to suppose that Robberds misunderstood Taylor's identifying marginalia. It is certain, however, that Taylor was supplying at least part of the “Retrospects” in 1809, and it is not unreasonable to think that he may have done so in other years too.

By this time, though, there is rather less interest in who was writing the “Retrospects”, which by January 1808 were clearly declining in quality. The average length had fallen by several pages, yet these were increasingly padded out with long extracts. There was little critical engagement with the works reviewed, and the reviewer(s) clearly relied heavily on prefaces and chapter headings. For these reasons it is difficult to assess what Taylor contributed to the “Retrospects” in 1809, for they are quite different in character from the one he wrote in 1802. It appears probable that Phillips was unable to find anyone willing to assume Norgate's mantle; after January 1806, therefore, the “Retrospects” were divided between several of his writers, none of them committed to maintaining the quality of the feature. One can observe a continuous


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tinuous deterioration, and the last proper “Retrospect” appeared in January 1811 (XXX, 653-677). A section in the July 1811 supplement was still entitled “Half- Yearly Retrospect of Domestic Literature” (XXXI, 605-673), but it was nothing of the sort. Rather than being the established “bird's eye view of the British land of letters” it was merely extended extracts, briefly introduced, from a handful of publications: over twenty pages were quarried from both William Jacob's Travels in the South of Spain and Anna Seward's Letters. This became the standard formula, and the title of “Retrospect” was finally dropped in July 1812 (XXXIII, 597). Ultimately a failure of human industry, or of suitable reward, can doubtless be blamed as much as the rise of a new type of criticism for the failure of what, at the outset, had promised to be one of the most interesting developments in criticism in the Romantic period.



The Watchman, ed. Lewis Patton, The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, vol. 2 (London and Princeton, 1970), 374-375.


Memoirs of the Public and Private Life of Sir Richd. Phillips (London, 1808), 68; hereafter cited as Phillips. Despite a claim on the title-page that this was “Impartially compiled from Authentic Documents, By a Citizen of London, and Assistants,” it was apparently “written under the eye of” Phillips himself: see A. Boyle, “Portraiture in Lavengro II: The Publisher—Sir Richard Phillips,” Notes and Queries 196 (1951), 361-366 (p. 362); hereafter cited as Boyle.


MM, I, iii; subsequent references to the MM in text.


Sales figures for the London periodicals in 1797 show that the MM and the Monthly Review both sold 5000 copies, comfortably ahead of other monthly publications: C. H. Timperly, Encyclopœdia of Literary and Typographical Anecdote (London, 1842), 795.


John Warden Robberds, Memoir of the Life and Writings of the Late William Taylor of Norwich, 2 vols (London, 1843), II, 394; hereafter cited as Robberds.


The Romantic Reviewers 1802-1824 (London, 1969), 58.


“The Monthly Magazine” in British Literary Magazines: The Romantic Age, 1789-1836, ed. Alvin Sullivan (Westport, 1983), 314- 319 (p. 314); hereafter cited as Curry.


Lucy Aikin, Memoir of John Aikin, M.D., 2 vols (London, 1823), I, 188; hereafter cited as Aikin, Kenneth Curry confuses this evidence, claiming that Phillips was the “literary editor” (Curry, 314).


MC 175/3, 237 (manuscript has pagination); hereafter cited as Norgate. Extracts from this manuscript are published by kind permission of the Norfolk Record Office.


First positively identified as Enfield's by Lewis Patton: “Coleridge and the `Enquirer' Series,” Review of English Studies 16 (1940), 188-189.


A brief but useful account of Enfield as a writer and reviewer is given in Derek Roper, Reviewing before the Edinburgh (London, 1978), 256- 257.


In Norgate's first “Retrospect” occurs the statement “Dr. Hunter's `Outlines of Agriculture' we remember to have read twenty years ago in his Georgical Essays” (IV, 513). Given Norgate's age, this was clearly either cribbed from another review, or (probably more likely) represents a note made by Enfield.


John Aikin's description in his obituary of Enfield in the MM (IV, 401).


The final instalment of the letters is signed “T. S. Norgate” (XV, 15). A manuscript of the letters is in the Norfolk Record Office (MS. 4690), where it is entitled “Letters Written to my Wife during an Excursion Through France to Geneva in 1801-1802”; this, however, does not consist of the letters as posted, but is rather a copy of them as they were prepared for publication.


Norgate's other contributions can be found at: I, 116-117; II, 572- 530; IV, 354; VII, 105-107; VII, 277-283; XI, 201-202; XIII, 440-445. All these are signed “T. S. N.”; the writer signing “T. N.” is not Norgate (see MM, IV, 105). As Phillips' system of assessing the length of part pages is not known, I have counted them in both quarters and thirds, depending on which was most accurate. (I have assumed that Phillips would not count a fraction smaller than a quarter.) Thus part pages have been counted as ¼, ⅓, ½, ⅔, or ¾ pages, the length being rounded down when there was any ambiguity. For the possibility that Phillips did not count part pages at all, see note 17 below.


Charles Dickens wrote to William Pickersgill on 3 April 1844 “A Magazine Sheet is sixteen pages.... When I say that a Magazine Sheet is sixteen pages, I mean sixteen pages of the Magazine, of course”: The Letters of Charles Dickens: Volume Four 1844-1846, ed. Kathleen Tillotson (Oxford, 1977), 94. When the Monthly Review increased its length to 120 pages in 1790, advertisements in various newspapers claimed that it would consist of “seven Sheets and an Half.” Finally, in writing to Philip Bliss on 5 November 1806 about the Athenæum, John Aikin stated, “I suppose we shall be able to allow full a half sheet (8 pages) to the analyses & extracts of curious books” (British Library Add. MS. 34,567, f.7-7v). I labour this point to emphasise that there can be no ambiguity over what Norgate means by a “sheet.” At least one scholar has read literally some clearly misunderstood evidence that would make a “sheet” in the MM equal to 42 pages (Dorothy Coldicutt, “Was Coleridge the Author of the `Enquirer' Series in the Monthly Magazine, 1796-9?,” Review of English Studies 15 [1939], 45-60); Robberds, William Taylor's biographer, made the original mistake (Robberds, I, 394-395), clearly reading the figures on a statement of a retrospective “raise” that Phillips had allowed Taylor on some articles as the total sums that Taylor had been paid for those articles.


Boyle, 362-363, 366. One possibility is that in assessing the length of each article or “Retrospect” Phillips only counted whole pages. By my calculation this would mean that after sixteen “Retrospects” Norgate would have been paid for 62 pages at 5 guineas a sheet, and 497 pages at 6 guineas a sheet. This would make his total earnings 205 guineas, 16 shillings, just 17 shillings short of the amount he said he had earned.


Due to some unfortunate investments made by his father, Taylor began to be financially anxious at this juncture. See the fourth part of my article “William Taylor of Norwich,” The George Borrow Bulletin, No. 12 (1996), 4-22 (p. 9).


For a full discussion see my article, “The Foundation of `Philosophical Criticism': William Taylor's Connection with the Monthly Review, 1792-93,” Studies in Bibliography, 50 (1997), 359-371.


See in particular Hazlitt's comment, The Spirit of the Age (London, 1825), 308.


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