REVIEWS Weyler is also wonderfully subtle in discussing race. She explores its importance while refusing to anoint it the only explanatory variable. ``I do not mean to assert that race did not play a factor in Wheatley's publishing experiences,'' she writes, ``but I would like to put to rest any notion that racism alone prevented Wheatley from publishing a volume of poetry'' (62). Weyler also attends to something perhaps as difficult to analyze as race--artistic merit. Even as she explores the effects of authors' social position and networking prowess on the popularity of elegies, for example, Weyler also bracingly acknowledges that some elegies ``are simply awful from an aesthetic perspective'' (45). Weyler's treatment of Clementina Rind's Virginia Gazette, in turn, blends attention to Rind's networking acumen with a rich discussion of Rind's humor and meticulous editing. Such moments, and there are many, are a model of the way print can illuminate both cultures and idiosyncratic individuals. In the end, even the ricketiness of Weyler's ``outsider'' framework is thought-provoking. Print is not anonymous, as Michael Warner's critics have explained in the years since Letters of the Republic: Publication and the Public sphere in Eighteenth Century America (Boston, 1992) took
Journal of the Early Republic – University of Pennsylvania Press
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