The Albion, A Journal of News, Politics and Literature
New York: 10 November 1855

New Books.

  JUNO CLIFFORD. By a Lady. New York. Appletons.—THE DESERTED WIFE. By Mrs. Emma D. E. N. Southworth. Philadelphia. Peterson.—WINNIE AND I. New York. Derby.—BEECHCROFT. By the author of "The Heir of Redclyffe." Ibid. Appletons.—A century ago, more or less, the poet Pope pictured, in one of his Satires, the symptoms of a scribbling fever which was then raging among the small fry of merrie England. We have not his poems at hand or we might be tempted to quote from the one in question, but we dare say many of our readers remember it. He describes himself as being surrounded in his study—a literary Sebastopol—besieged by scores of would-be poets and dramatists.

"Tie up the knocker; say I'm sick, I'm dead!"

exclaimed he to his faithful servitor, who we presume obeyed him, as a trusty Jeames should do. Speaking of his tormentors, some of whom "pen a stanza when they should engross," he says,

"The rave, recite, and madden round the land."

  As it was in Pope's day, so in Byron's. What hosts of "Giaours" and "Corsairs" precipitated themselves on the reading world, as soon as Byron became the rage, and it was known that his works paid. We mention the little word "pay" in connection with incipient scribblers, because most of them follow in the wake of your successful author. Giving them due credit for their tendency to imitate whatever happens to come in their way, they are yet worldly enough to have a weather eye open to the main chance. Take a case at our very doors. As soon as the monetary success of "Uncle Tom" was proclaimed through the newspapers, out came "Aunt Phillis's Cabin," and "Aunt Judy's Pig Pen," and "Daddy's Nat Barn," and goodness knows what else, in the shape of Southern stories. "Mrs. Stowe has made $10,000 or $20,000," says some budding literary lady or gentleman, "and why can't I? I'm sure Uncle Tom's no such great shakes." So the stationer was visited for pens, ink, and foolscap; the table was wheeled up to the fire in the long evening, and the work began. Perhaps we have its fulfillment somewhere among our books, a gaudily bound duodecimo with a hard-hearted overseer and a suffering but pious African on its over; perhaps the confident bookseller has it yet on his shelves.—The success of "Uncle Tom," "The Wide Wide World," "The Lamplighter," and one or two other woman's books, seems to have stimulated half the ladies in America to undertake similar things. Poetically speaking

"The rave, recite, and madden round the land."

  Hardly a week passes, without our being called upon to notice a fresh batch of them. If they continue to increase as they have done of late, we shall have to engage another reader, or else give them the go by altogether.