Publisher: Cincinnati: (The Dial Magazine), Vol. 1, Nos. 1-12, January - December, 1860 [all published].
Edition: First edition.
Bibliographical References: For Emerson's contributions see Myerson E140, E141, E142, et al.
Condition: Wrapper of number one a little dust-soiled and rubbed; some wear and chipping to the other issues; ink annotation on the wrapper of number five clipped (possibly for Emerson's signature); but overall in very good condition, enclosed in a clamshell box.
Book ID: 28067
Description12 issues, 8vo, original printed salmon wrappers.
Comments¶ A rare complete run of Moncure Daniel Conway's continuation of the famous transcendentalist quarterly the Dial, that originally ran from 1840 to 1844, was edited by Margaret Fuller and Ralph Waldo Emerson and contained the first appearances of many important transcendentalist texts. Conway (1832-1907), a Virginian by birth and upbringing and a radical Unitarian clergyman in his young adulthood, was an ardent supporter of Emerson, the transcendentalists and abolitionists of New England, where he attended Harvard Divinity School. In 1857 Conway took a position as the pastor of a Unitarian church in Cincinnati, and in 1859 announced his intention to resurrect the old Dial as a monthly magazine of literature, philosophy, and religion, similar to its namesake. Among the contributors were Octavius Brooks Frothingham, the young journalist and poet William Dean Howells (who was from Ohio and lived in Columbus at the time), Caroline Dall, and Emerson, who helped his acolyte with the contribution of 13 poems in three issues. All the contributions are unsigned and hence difficult to attribute. Conway was personally responsible for about 30 of the approximately 200 articles published over the coarse of Dial’s first and only year, among them a glowing review of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. ¶ This is Emerson’s copy of the Dial, with his holograph annotations on several front wrappers in pencil and ink, beginning with number 1, which he has annotated in ink “Evening Transcript.” On the wrapper of number 8 is the faint annotation in pencil “Prof. H.W. Longfellow,” apparently in Emerson’s hand. Laid in is a holograph note by Conway, dated Cin. Nov. 5, 1859, to T. W. Higginson: “My dear friend Higginson, We have almost determined on a project here which I am sure will meet with your sympathy & help. We wish to reinstate the Old Dial and let it have its Avatar in the West as a Monthly Magazine.” Conway adds that he needs 600 subscribers to give $2.00 each for a year. ¶ From the great American literature of Arthur Swann, sold at Parke-Bernet, March 22, 1960, lot 117.