In keeping with the dialogic – or, as some might call it, contradictory – spirit of Blackwood’s, the magazine could only go for so long in its generosity towards American literature before feeling a need to qualify its stance. 2 This reversal of sorts came in Eyre Evans Crowe’s June 1822 essay on ‘American Poetry’. 3 Adopting the role of the plain-spoken Briton, Crowe (1799–1868; DNB) refuses to play nice and sugar-coat his feelings for the Americans and their literature. ‘John Bull looks upon the Yankees’, he explains, ‘and is looked upon by them, with an ambiguous sort of feeling, that can by no means be called love. “Tarnationed Tories” as we are, we look with all the vanity of self-importance down upon our quondam sons; and it is as well to tell them this flatly with English frankness.’