Editorial Notes

George Palmer Putnam (1814-1872) launched Putnamís Monthly Magazine in 1853. Unlike Harper's it was intended to contain purely American material and it achieved a circulation of between 12,000 and 20,000 copies. It is not clear if Putnam himself or his editor Charles F Briggs wrote this review of Hide and Seek. But it must have been frustrating for readers as in fact Hide and Seek was not published in America for twenty years when Harper Brothers published it in 1874 as part of their uniform edition of Wilkie's works prior to his visit to the USA in 1873. In 1869 Putnam called on Wilkie in London and bid to publish Man and Wife in the USA but was beaten by Harper Brothers. Putnam published some books by Wilkie's favourite writer, James Fenimore Cooper.

Editorial Notes ó English Literature

The Hide and Seek of Mr. Wilkie Collins, the author of Antonina, is a romance of the present day, of rare artistic merits, and evincing uncommon powers of narrative and portrait-painting. There is not much originality in the plot, but the characters are vividly presented, and worked up with great effect. One of the personages, a Mr. Blythe, an eccentric, kind-hearted, simple-minded old artist, who devotes himself to his art in the pure love of it, without power to achieve greatness in it, is admirably drawn, and the work deserves to be read, if only to make his acquaintance. It is one of those touches of nature which only genius can give. His daughter, too, the deaf and dumb girl, the Madonna of his enthusiasm, is an exquisite sketch, but is not so original a creation. The other characters are not so well sustained; indeed, some of them are strikingly defective; but the work deserves to be republished in this country, if it is not already by the time this notice reaches our readers. [p. 567]

From Putnam's Monthly Magazine vol. IV No. 23, November 1854

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