Linton- Life in the Collections
Mary & William Howitt, ed.:
The three volumes of the short-lived socio-cultural magazine were published by the legendary William Lovett, one of the prominent founders of the early Chartist movement. They were edited by the poet couple William and Mary Howitt. „Howitt was a square, sturdily built, but not large, Quaker, who, when out, generally carried a big stick (...). I think he was not a quarrelsome man, though quick-tempered, and he could be angry at opposition. Mrs. Howitt was the gentle, primitive Quakeress, a comely woman, good, and very kindly. Her writings seem to reflect her nature.“ (Memories)
The couple was assisted by a number of members of the Wade–Fox circle. Contributions also came from prominent republicans from abroad, like the Italian patriot Giuseppe Mazzini, the American Quaker poet John Greenleaf Whittier and the Unitarian philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson. The magazine provides valuable insights into the cultural activities of the international Republican circles on the eve of the revolutions. The Howitts had lived in Germany for some years; in a series of articles they decribe the customs of the German students’ fraternities, students and the intellectual climate in this so-called Vormärz phase.
Very notable are the illustrations. They provide a kind of portrait gallery of prominent republicans like Abbé Lamennais, George Sand, and Ferdinand Freilingrath, and of working-class poets like Thomas Cooper and Ebenezer Elliott. There are also illustrated articles about Thomas Bewick and William Blake, including a reproduction of Blake’s Death Door. It is to be assumed that Linton was involved in the pictorial editing. The engravings were executed by the brothers George and William Measom and by Linton and his fellow engraver Alfred Harrall, who would later become one of the most prolific xylographers of the Graphic magazine.