Sunday, January 1, 2017

Notice of Moby-Dick in The Trumpet and Universalist Magazine

The Trumpet and Universalist Magazine - November 22, 1851
From The Trumpet and Universalist Magazine for November 22, 1851; found in the online Newspaper Archives at GenealogyBank:
The Harpers have published a duodecimo volume of 634 pages! (think of it!) entitled, 'Mobey Dick; or the Whale.' By Hermann Melville, author of 'Typee,' 'Omoo,' 'Redburn,' 'Mardi,' 'White Jacket.' It is a sort of comical description of whaling, and every thing which appertains to it. Some of the descriptions are very fine. For sale by B. B. Mussey & Co., 29 Cornhill. 
The Trumpet and Universalist Magazine was edited by Thomas Whittemore (1800-1861).

In Boston Thomas Whittemore also reviewed the 1851 course of lectures by Orville Dewey on "the Problem of Human Destiny." While praising the lecturer's "refined eloquence," Whittemore understood the profundity of his chosen theme, and the inadequacy of his smooth answers:
"A philosophy which would lead the fainting soul to the grave, and there leave it to grope its way through the dark valley of the shadow of death, is incapable of solving 'the problem of human destiny.'  --The Trumpet and Universalist Magazine, December 6, 1851
In his next fiction after Moby-Dick Melville satirized the grandiose scope of Dewey's Lowell lectures, as Brian Higgins and Hershel Parker point out in Reading Melville's Pierre.

Melville would have agreed with Whittemore thus far, that "some of the ways of Providence wear a frown, and present mysteries we cannot penetrate." Whittemore's published review of Orville Dewey's "Human Destiny" lectures is excerpted in the Memoir of Thomas Whittemore by John Greenleaf Adams. 

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