Charles Mackay Correspondence
Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Charles Mackay was born in Scotland. At the age of sixteen he was employed as the private secretary to William Cockerill, an ironmaster based in Belgium. In his spare time he wrote articles for the local newspaper. Coming to London in 1834, he engaged in journalism, published Songs and Poems (1834), Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, and a number of other works. In 1846 his literary reputation was made with the publication of a volume of verses, Voices From the Crowd, some of which were set to music by Henry Russell and became very popular. In 1848 Mackay worked for the Illustrated London News, of which he became editor in 1852. In it he published a number of songs, set to music by Sir Henry Bishop and Henry Russell, and in 1855 they were collected in a volume which included the popular "Cheer, Boys! Cheer!"
Publisher George Routledge began work as an apprentice to Charles Thurman, bookseller, in Carlisle, UK, between 1827 and 1833. He went to London and worked for Baldwin & Craddock, publishers, from 1833 to 1836. In 1836 he started his own publishing house, which became Routledge & Co., then Routledge, Warne, & Routledge, and ultimately George Routledge & Sons. He retired in 1887.
The collection consists of correspondence of editor Charles Mackay and publisher George Routledge with major English and American authors and poets or their representatives, granting Mackay permission to include their work in his illustrated poetry anthology The Home Affections Pourtrayed by the Poets (1858). Correspondents include William Cullen Bryant, Barry Cornwall, George Croly, Camilla Dufour Toulmin Crosland, Sydney Dobell, Ralph Waldo Emerson, James Thomas Fields, Thomas Hood, Richard Monckton Milnes Houghton, Leigh Hunt, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Samuel Lover, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Gerald Massey, Edward Moxon, Coventry Patmore, Charles Swain, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Martin Tupper, and John Greenleaf Whittier. Attached to a letter from the American author and poet Grace Greenwood, dated March 23, 1857, is an autograph poem titled "Sunshine and Shadow." In addition, there are four letters (1861-1872) written by Mackay on unrelated publishing business to four unidentified persons. Collection includes computer printout, "Letters addressed to Charles Mackay and/or George Routledge for Mackay's anthology."
The letters are arranged by accession number.
The collection was formed as a result of a Departmental practice of combining into one collection material of various accessions relating to a particular person, family, or subject.
This collection was processed by Dina Britain on June 30, 2006. Finding aid written by Tenley Eakin on June 30, 2006. Folder inventory added by James Clark '14 in 2012.
No appraisal information is available.
- Manuscripts Division
- Finding Aid Date
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research.
- Use Restrictions
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.