The database is designed to provide users with a comprehensive, fully browsable and searchable list of the 12,561 poems (of which 4,970 are by identified authors) printed in the Gentleman’s Magazine from its beginning in 1731 through 1800. Presented chronologically, with full titles, first lines, authors (if known), signatures, references or justifications for attribution, and additional historical information where needed, the database is intended to offer researchers ready, rapid, thorough, and user-friendly electronic access to the vast resources of literary (and in many cases historical) source material encompassed in the poetry of the Gentleman’s Magazine, one of the greatest repositories of verse in the eighteenth century. An alphabetical synopsis by contributor incorporating all of the 1,294 known authors of poetry printed in the GM serves as an authorial cross reference to the contents of the database as well as providing dates of birth and death and authors’ occupations, if known.
The database enables researchers of eighteenth-century print culture and of the Gentleman’s Magazine in particular to examine trends in publication and identify clusters of subjects that found favor with poets, readers, and publishers alike. It permits students of specific poets an improved opportunity to track the printing or reprinting of their works. It showcases the printing of poems produced by dozens of eighteenth-century women writers, many of whom were ignored by mainstream scholarship until very recently. It provides eighteenth-century historians expanded access to the magazine’s tremendous fund of source material on a variety of topics ranging across political, military, colonial, and economic history as well as science and medicine, theology, literary taste, the arts, leisure, and attitudes toward such social issues as slavery and the role of women.
Though constructed to stand fully alone, The Poetry of the Gentleman’s Magazine, 1731-1800, complements the author’s Attributions of Authorship in the Gentleman’s Magazine, 1731-1868: An Electronic Union List, Web (Charlottesville: Bibliographical Society of the Univ. of Virginia, 2003).