Featured Archives

Archival excerpts:

Shakespeare (September 1904)
by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson was one of The Atlantic's founders and a regular contributor. Some twenty years after his death, the magazine ran an assortment of writings from his journals and letters, including the essay excerpted here, in which he paid tribute to the genius of William Shakespeare.

Recollections of an Atlantic Editorship (November 1907)
by William Dean Howells
When William Dean Howells arrived in Boston in 1860 as a twenty-three-year-old self-educated journalist from Ohio, he was thrilled to meet Atlantic founders James Russell Lowell, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and James T. Fields. Six years later he became an assistant editor at the magazine, and by 1871 he had risen to editor-in-chief. Twenty-six years after retiring from that position, he looked back nostalgically upon the satisfactions of editing such a magazine.

Highbrow (July 1942)
by Virginia Woolf
A year after Virginia Woolf’s death by her own hand, The Atlantic published an essay in which she reflected on the inability of intellectuals to manage their own lives.

What a Writer Seeks (June 1953)
by Albert Camus
Four years before he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, Albert Camus expressed reservations about the distorting effects of fame on a writer’s work.

Making and Judging Poetry (January 1957)
by W. H. Auden
In 1957, the eminent poet W. H. Auden articulated the challenge of learning to write good poetry, and of continuing to produce it over a lifetime.