If any aspect of Blackwood’s early years should motivate a reassessment of the traditional, reductive view of the magazine as insular and close-minded, it is its attitude towards American literature and culture. Between 1817 and 1825, when most British periodicals – both Tory and Whig – considered ‘American literature’ oxymoronic, 2 Blackwood’s published over twenty essays contemplating the state of the American arts scene and the potential for literary greatness across the Atlantic. While still harbouring residual anti-American grudges over the American Revolution and the War of 1812, and not wholly free of traditional Tory scepticism toward democracy, the Blackwood’s circle showed a remarkably cosmopolitan spirit in its willingness to devote a major portion of the magazine to the intellectual scene in the United States.