Wednesday, July 31, 2013

the appeal of Porter and Emory to romancers like Melville

William Henry Babcock on the kind of books to be found in a private Maryland library:
There are also Porter's very frank narrative of experiences in the South Seas, which must have prompted Herman Melville's "Omoo" and "Typee," and Emory's business-like chronicle of Kearney's old New Mexican campaigns, in which I think I can discover the germs of Mayne Reid's southwestern tales.  --Lippincott's Monthly Magazine 42 -1888
Babcock of course refers to David Porter's Journal of a Cruise, indeed one of Melville's early source-books, and William H. Emory's Notes of a Military Reconnaissance.

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