The Evergreen: A Northern Seasonal (not to be confused with The Evergreen Review).
Also in the series are The New Evergreen, “the Christmas book of University Hall,” vol 1, 1894, and Evergreen Almanac, vol 4, 1897.
Date of Publication:
Spring (Vol. 1, 1895), Autumn (Vol. 2, 1895), Summer (Vol. 3, 1896), Winter (Vol. 4, 1896-97).
Place(s) of Publication:
Frequency of Publication:
Quarterly (only four volumes ever published)
Edinburgh: The Lawnmarket of Edinburgh by Patrick Geddes and colleagues
London: T. Fisher Unwin
America: J.B. Lippincott Co.
150-160 pages per issue; all issues had both color and black and white illustrations.
5 cents per issue
William Sharp (pseudonym of Finona MacLeod)
Libraries with Original Issues:
In the spring of 1895, Robert Geddes, a professor at the University of Edinburgh, founded a small quarterly publication called The Evergreen as a forum for contemporary Celtic literature and illustration. In addition to his interests that ranged from city planning to Irish art, Geddes was passionate about ecology and he saw The Evergreen as a place to draw attention to the natural beauty of the earth in order to increase awareness and concern for ecological preservation.
The following quotation is a description of The Evergreen as posted in an exhibit at the Patrick Geddes Memorial Trust in Edinburgh, Scotland:
The journal entitled The Evergreen was the principal mouthpiece of Geddes’ Celtic revivalism. It is not certain whether the four issues were all that were intended but each one proclaimed a season of the year as the focal point for a series of widely differing studies. The first edition appeared in 1895 containing essays, poems, and illustrations devoted to the theme of Spring in each of Nature, Life, The World and the North respectively. But the season also provided a metaphor for Geddes’ belief in a ‘Scots Renascence’ in which cultural awareness would be restored by a return to ‘local tradition and living nature. (“The Scottish Renaissance Movement”)
The Evergreen was consistent in its portrayal of nature as sublime, mysterious, and beautiful. The publication promoted the natural landscape of Ireland as intrinsic to the country’s artistic heritage and of necessary importance to the blossoming new literature and visual art of the Celtic Revival and Renaissance. The Evergreen folded after four issues, however, likely due to a lack of funding (Cevasco 194).
The Evergreen never published an official manifesto, but an epigraph was published in the front of the first volume that served as a succinct statement of purpose:
Four seasons fill the measure of the year;
there are four seasons in mind of man.
(The Evergreen: A Northern Seasonal, 1.1)
Besides its implication that man’s intellect is multifaceted and influenced by his natural surroundings, this statement also hints at the political aim of the publication, conveying a desire for the publication to unite natural and human concerns and conditions. Geddes’s position was at the helm of Edinburgh’s Celtic “renascence” and he hoped to elevate Edinburgh to the status of a “European capital” (Harvard 150). Geddes’s friend and colleague Israel Zangwill commented that, “While the Men of ‘The Evergreen’ would renew local feeling and colour,’ they ‘would also express the larger view of Edinburgh,’ an aspiration with which all intelligent men must sympathize” (Harvard 150). The Evergreen would represent the multifaceted, micro- and macrocosmic political, artistic, and ecological concerns of the modern era.
Patrick Geddes (Oct. 2, 1854 – Apr. 17, 1932)
Patrick Geddes was Evergreen’s founder and head editor. Geddes called the 19th century “the Scottish Renaissance,” a movement in the Scottish verbal and visual arts that combined interests in modern philosophy and technology with Scotland’s folkloric and linguistic traditions. Geddes used The Evergreen as a mouthpiece for the Scottish Renaissance and published in it the best naturalist fiction and art he could collect. A writer himself, he published on subjects ranging from economics, geology, printing, and public health. Biographer Philip Boardman heralded Geddes as being “what Leonardo [da Vinci] had been 400 years before: a prodigy in physical endurance, range of interests, and imaginative powers” (Grewar). Besides publishing the magazine, Geddes traveled across Europe, Asia, and America, lecturing about and designing towns and spreading the word about ecological concerns resulting from industrial development. Biographers characterize Geddes as intensely erudite but charismatic; in her article “Patrick Geddes: The Practical Visonary,” Wendy Lesser writes, “Descriptions by acquaintances, Geddes’ own letters, and even his published works reveal a man who was so intense and so vibrant that one could be overwhelmed by his style without really understanding or judging what he was saying” (Lesser 311).
William Sharp (Sept. 12, 1855 – Dec. 12, 1905)
Scottish prose and poetry writer William Sharp also edited and contributed to The Evergreen, publishing in the magazine under the pseudonym Fiona MacLeod. Sharp was a colorful, elusive character in late 19th century Scottish literary circles. A love affair with a woman named Edith Rinder inspired his pseudonym, which allegedly “arose from the inspiration and arousal that Sharp felt in Edith’s presence” (Scotland Channel). In a biography about his life and work, Alaya Harvard characterizes Sharp as, “a self-romanticized madman, frenzied wanderer, religious cultist, and literary opportunist” (Harvard 3). His contributions to The Evergreen were largely in the voice of MacLeod.
“Life and its Science”
“The Sociology of Autumn”
“Flower of the Grass”
“The Megalithic Builders”
William Sharp (pseudonym Fiona MacLeod)
“The Borland Wind”
“The Hill Water”
“Day and Night”
“The Anointed Man”
“Mary of the Gael”
“A Summer Air”
“The Kingdom of the Earth”
“Under the Rowans”
“When the Dew is Falling”
“The Love-Kiss of Dermid and Grainne
“The Snow Sleep of Angus Ogue”
“Proem” (initial by Helen Hay)
“Four Easter Letters” (initial by Helen Hay)
“The Anointed Man” Head-piece illustration
“A Summer Air” illustration
“Vers L’Unite” illustration
“To Robert Burns” illustration
Headpieces and Tailpieces
Marion A. Mason
Headpieces and Tailpieces
Headpieces and Tailpieces
Cevasco, G.A. “Evergreen, The.” The 1890s: An Encyclopedia of British Literature, Art, and Culture. New York: Garland, 1993. 194. Print.
Evergreen Description. Digital image. Sir Patrick Geddes Memorial Trust. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Sept. 2012.
Geddes, Sir Patrick. The Evergreen: A Northern Seasonal 1-4 (1854-1932): n. p. Internet Archive. Web. 28 Sept. 2012.
Grewar, Mindy. “Patrick Geddes – a Man Ahead of His Time.” Leopard: The Magazine for North-East Scotland. N.p., Sept. 2004. Web. 1 Oct. 2012.
Harvard, Alaya. William Sharp– “Fiona MacLeod,” 1855-1905. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1970. Print.
Lesser, Wendy. “Patrick Geddes: The Practical Visionary.” The Town Planning Review45.3 (1974): 311-27. Web. 9 Dec. 2012.
“New Evergreen, The.” The Waterloo Directory of English Newspapers and Periodicals 1800-1900, N-O. Ed. Johns S. North. Vol. 8. Waterloo: North Waterloo Academic, 2003. 109-110. Print.
North, John S. “Evergreen, The.” The Waterloo Directory of English Newspapers and Periodicals 1800-1900, E-D. Waterloo: North Waterloo Academic, 2003. 619. Print.
Scotland Channel. “William Sharp – The Personality behind Fiona Macleod.” Scotland.com: The Scotland Channel, n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2012.
“The Evergreen: A Northern Seasonal.” Internet Archive. University of Toronto Libraries, n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2012.
“The Evergreen: A Northern Seasonal.” Modernist Magazines Project. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2012.
“The Scottish Renaissance Movement.” Exhibition: The Modern Scot. National Galleries of Scotland, n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2012.
“The Evergreen” compiled by Emily Romeyn (Class of ’13, Davidson College)