Conrad First The Joseph Conrad Periodical Archive

The Critic (New York, NY, USA)

February 1902

The Critic was founded in New York in 1881 by the pioneering journalist, author, and literary agent Jeanette Leonard Gilder and her brother Joseph Benson Gilder. Acquired by G.P. Putnam's Sons in 1899, it absorbed The Literary World in 1905 prior to being itself absorbed into the relaunched Putnam's Magazine in October 1906. Between 1901 and 1906, its chief editor was Jeanette Gilder, who also edited Reader Magazine at this time, and who was to continue as an associate editor at Putnam's until 1910. Issued biweekly at first, it became a weekly in 1883 and a monthly in 1898.

The Critic consisted mainly of review articles and features, often reprinted from British and American periodicals, and regularly published letters by major writers, living and dead; only rarely did it publish fiction. Gilder's 'The Lounger' column supplied a commentary on literary news and personalities, illustrated with numerous photographs. Although its circulation remained at around 5,000, the magazine's standing in the world of letters was high, and prominent contributors included Walt Whitman, who submitted poems and literary notes, and Frank Norris, who wrote a column 'Salt and Sincerity' around 1900. 'The Critic has long been the cause of good cheer and good hope', declared a correspondent to The New York Times in 1906, 'the realization of our dream of a literary periodical -- the best essays, the truest poetry, the brightest criticism from the cleanest and keenest pens'.

Clear, Richard E. Old Magazines: Identification & Value Guide. Second Edition. Lakeville, Minn.: Astragal Press, 2006.
Glazer, Nancy. Reading for Realism: The History of a U.S. Literary Institution, 1850-1910. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1996.
Mott, Frank Luther. A History of American Magazines, Volume III: 1865-1885. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1957. 548-51.
Sherbo, Arthur. 'Further Matters English in The Critic (1881-1906)'. The Review of English Studies New Series 43/170 (May 1992): 194-226. Full-text available to subscribing individuals and institutions via JSTOR.