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Monday, April 9, 2018

Still Melvill

Not a typo. In the Pittsfield Sun, ads for Pierre in September and October 1852 all spell Herman Melville's surname the old way, "Melvill":

Pittsfield Sun - September 9, 1852
From the Pittsfield Sun, September 9, 1852:

NEW BOOKS.

UP COUNTRY LETTERS–by Prof B―.
Roughing it in the Bush, by Mrs. Moody;
Science of Things Familiar;
In Memoriam, by Tennyson,
Pierre, by Melvill.
For sale by           P. ALLEN & SON.
What about Moby-Dick? Same old spelling in Pittsfield, before publication

Pittsfield Sun - June 26, 1851
"We see it stated that HERMAN MELVILL, the author of "Typee," &c., has a new work in press, to appear in a short time."  --Pittsfield Sun, June 26, 1851
and after:

Pittsfield Sun - December 4, 1851

NEW BOOKS.   NEW BOOKS.

"MOBY DICK, or the Whale, by Herman Melvill...." --Pittsfield Sun, December 4, 1851.
But earlier in 1851, ads for Redburn and White-Jacket spelled the author's name "Melville." 

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