Saturday, August 17, 2019

Reade's Whale

via NYPL Digital Collections
Charles Reade's copy survives into the 21st century, as Hershel Parker verifies in his essay on "Melville's British Admirers," available in the Third Norton Critical Edition of Moby-Dick, pages 646-662.

The 1915 item described below is an early witness of its existence, before Michael Sadleir footnoted it in the "Herman Melville" chapter of Excursions in Victorian Bibliography (London, 1922):
* There is in existence the copy of Moby Dick in which Reade made extensive notes and excisions, maybe with the idea of issuing an abbreviated version. Readers of Love Me Little, Love Me Long will immediately detect the influence of Melville's great book on the whaling narrative related by Frank Dodd to Mr. Fountain and to his lovely niece.
Trying to track down Charles Reade's copy of Moby-Dick in the 1930's, John Howard Birss wrote Sadleir who told him
"it must have been fifteen years ago when he saw the book, 'three volumes in one, and bound in scarlet cloth, in a little shop kept by Everard Meynell off Piccadilly, which shop shortly disappeared for its owner went to California and there died.' " -- Notes and Queries Volume 173, November 27, 1937, page 390.
Everard Meynell (1882-1926) was a son of Alice and Wilfred Meynell. Viola Meynell (who in 1920 wrote on "Herman Melville" for The Dublin Review and then introduced the influential Oxford Worlds Classics edition of Moby-Dick) was his sister. Everard's place was The Serendipity Shop, a "charming little book snugery" as Edward Storer called it, reviewing "literary book-shops" in a 1916 "London Letter" for Bruno's Weekly. Originally located on Museum Street near the British Museum, the Serendipity Shop relocated to 7 East Chapel Street in Mayfair--which is where Michael Sadleir saw Reade's copy of The Whale (as Moby-Dick was titled in the first British edition). Off Piccadilly, as you can see in this wonderful map by MacDonald Gill, available today from Blackwell's Rare Books.

via Blackwell's Rare Books
Before Everard Meynell had it in his Serendipity Shop, Reade's Whale was in the possession of Charles Garvice (1850-1920), the popular romance novelist. During the First World War, Garvice gave it to the British Red Cross Society, to be sold at auction with a dazzling inventory of donated art works. Reade's Whale was included in the Red Cross Sale of rare books conducted by Christie's on Tuesday, April 27, 1915. From the Catalogue of the collection of works of art presented to the British Red Cross Society and the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in England:

Presented by Charles Garvice, Esq. 

1740      Melville (Herman) The Whale, FIRST EDITION, 3 vol. in
1, with 2 Autograph Signatures of CHARLES READE, and
numerous MS. alterations, apparently for a new edition
Accessible online courtesy of HathiTrust Digital Library:
As Parker states, "Reade had marked up the 1853 Bentley issue, three volumes bound as one" ("Melville's British Admirers" in Moby-Dick, 3rd Norton Critical Edition page 652).

For the same 1915 auction, Alice Meynell donated an autographed copy of her Collected Poems, and the original autograph manuscript of "Any Saint" by Francis Thompson.

The project of abridgement inferred by Sadleir has been confirmed in Emerson Grant Sutcliffe's work on Charles Reade's Notebooks, Studies in Philology Vol. 27, No. 1 (January 1930), pages 64-109 at 77-78.
As reported by Sutcliffe, Reade's 1858-9 "Digest" lists numerous "literary projects" including a collection of "Good Stories, or corpus fictorum" starting with "1. Leviathan." Reade thought such tales "Might use 1st my power of discerning the immortal element" and 2nd, "my knowledge of what is to be done by excision."  As Sutcliffe also observes,
"Data in the other notebooks show that Leviathan is Moby Dick, and that Reade had some thoughts of using some part of it in a whaling story, "fabula cetacea."
Elsewhere in the notebooks, the whale story exemplifies "Reade's abridgments. [This is struck out.] Sharp novels or some such general title. Fabula cetacea." These particular notes are discussed in more detail by Thomas Mallon in Stolen Words: Forays into the Origins and Ravages of Plagiarism (Boston: Ticknor & Fields, 1989), pages 79-80. Mallon observes that "at some point Reade abandoned this plan" of transparent abridgments, "in favor of simple theft." Here Mallon refers most directly to Reade's plagiarism of Mlle. de Malepierre by Madame Charles Reybaud (Henriette Étiennette Fanny Reybaud) in The Picture, first published in Harper's New Monthly Magazine, March–April 1884.

For a specific instance of Reade's use of Melville in David Dodd's whaling narrative (David not Frank Dodd, as Sadleir misnamed the young sailor-hero), one might compare Dodd's ambergris yarn with the adventure of Stubb in chapter 91 of Moby-Dick, The Pequod Meets the Rose-Bud, followed in the next chapter by Ishmael's riff on Ambergris. For a start, here's the rewrite by Charles Reade from Love Me Little, Love Me Long Vol. 1 (London, 1859), pages 82-4):
... Then David told them how he had fallen in with a sperm whale, dead of disease, floating as high as a frigate; how, with a very light breeze, the skipper had crept down toward her; how, at half a mile distance, the stench of her was severe, but, as they neared her, awful—then so intolerable that the skipper gave the crew leave to go below and close the lee ports. So there were but two men left on the brig's deck, and a ship's company that a hurricane would not have driven from their duty sculked before a foul smell; but such a smell—a smell that struck a chill and a loathing to the heart, and soul, and marrow-bone; a smell like the gases in a foul mine: 'it would have suffocated us in a few moments if we had been shut up along with it.' Then he told how the skipper and he stuffed their noses and ears with cotton steeped in aromatic vinegar, and their mouths with pig-tail (by which, as it subsequently appeared, Lucy understood pork or bacon in some form unknown to her narrow experience), and lighted short pipes, and breached the brig upon the putrescent monster, and grappled to it, and then the skipper jumped on it, a basket slung to his back, and a rope fast under his shoulders in case of accident, and drove his spade in behind the whale's side-fin.
'His spade, Mr. Dodd?'
'His whale-spade; it is as sharp as a razor;' and how the skipper dug a hole in the whale as big as a well and four feet deep, and, after a long search, gave a shout of triumph, and picked out some stuff that looked like Gloucester cheese; and when he had nearly filled his basket with this stuff, he slacked the grappling-iron, and David hauled him on board, and the carcass dropped astern, and the captain sang out for rum, and drank a small tumbler neat, and would have fainted away, spite of his precautions, but for the rum, and how a heavenly perfume was now on deck fighting with that horrid odor. And how the crew smelt it, and crept timidly up one by one, and how 'the Gloster cheese was a great favorite of yours, ladies: it was the king of perfumes: ambergris: there is some of it in all your richest scents; and the knowing skipper had made a hundred guineas in the turn of the hand. So knowledge is wealth, you see, and the sweet can be got out of the sour by such as study nature.'
'Don't preach, David, especially after just telling a fib — a hundred guineas!!'
'I am wrong," said David. '
'Very wrong, indeed.'
'There were eight pounds; and he sold it at a guinea the ounce to a wholesale chemist, so that looks to me like 128 l.'
Then David left the whales, and encouraged by bright eyes, and winning smiles, and warm questions, sang higher strains.  

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Moby-Dick and Clarel in the library of Richard Garnett

Richard Garnett Vanity Fair 11 April 1895
"Printed Books" by Spy [Sir Leslie Ward].
Caricature of Dr Richard Garnett, CB in Vanity Fair, April 11, 1895.
Richard Garnett (1835-1906) succeeded his father at the British Museum, serving there as Assistant Keeper and eventually Keeper of Printed Books. The Times of London eulogized the son as "a scholar and literary man of much distinction and wide knowledge." Notable publications include The Relics of Shelley (1862) and The Twilight of the Gods, and Other Tales (1888). As revealed in the catalogue of his personal library, Richard Garnett owned two great works by Herman Melville: the verse masterpiece Clarel (1876) in two volumes; and in prose, the three-volume Bentley edition of Moby-Dick (1851).

Catalogue of the library of the late Dr. Richard Garnett, C. B. (London, 1906) p. 17
158 Melville (Herman) The Whale, 3 vol. FIRST EDITION, slightly
soiled, uncut, 1851 — Clarel, a Poem, etc. 2 vol. New York, 1876 (5)
Accessible online courtesy of HathiTrust Digital Library:
and Google Books
In the December 1929 Blackwoods Magazine article "Moby-Dick and Mocha-Dick," Richard Garnett's son Robert Singleton Garnett (1866-1932) recalled that his father had corresponded with Melville. Unlocated letters to and from Richard Garnett are assigned the uncertain date 1890? in the 1993 Northwestern-Newberry Edition of Melville's Correspondence, ed. Lynn Horth, pages 520 and 754.

Edward Garnett (1868-1937) was another of Richard's sons who "attained literary prominence," as noted by William Garnett Chisolm:
The other son, Edward Garnett, is an eminent critic and author, and first gave encouragement to Joseph Conrad, W. H. Hudson, John Galsworthy and Stephen Crane. He married Constance Black, whose translations of the novels of Turgeniev and other Russian writers, has gained her a wide reputation. Their son, David Garnett, is a writer of brilliant prose, and his latest novel, "Pocahontas", is a vivid and most interesting portrayal of that romantic Colonial figure. -- The Garnetts of Essex County, The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography Vol. 42, No. 1 (January 1934), pages 72-83 at 73.
The year after he married Constance, Edward Garnett wrote Melville about "remaking" Redburn, as Hershel Parker recounts:
"In July 1890 young Edward Garnett wrote Melville from the office of the publisher T. Fisher Unwin in London with an unusual proposal. For an adventure series, he hoped Melville would "recast Redburn, or preface it with an introduction, showing that whereas it was given to the world as a fiction remaking it from the class of fictitious to that of personal adventures." -- Herman Melville: A Biography Volume 2, 1851-1891 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002), page 901.
For more on the Garnetts, check out Helen Smith's The Uncommon Reader: A Life of Edward Garnett where 
"Beyond his connections to some of the greatest minds in literary history, we also come to know Edward as the husband of Constance Garnett—the prolific translator responsible for introducing Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Chekhov to an English language readership—and as the father of David “Bunny” Garnett, who would make a name for himself as a writer and publisher."  -- Macmillan publishers
I'm reading the Kindle version now, with delight. The Uncommon Reader is reviewed by Amitava Banerjee on The Victorian Web. In the Times Literary Supplement review ("Father in letters," November 8, 2017), Andrew Motion highlights Garnett's editorial preference for evidence-based matter, plainly narrated:
The framework of everything Garnett said and did as an editor was defined by his wish to see literature adopt a large cosmopolitan spirit, while clearing itself of stylistic verbiage and abstraction, and embracing “documentary evidence”, unique physical details and real­istic dialogue.
Edward Garnett's 1890 pitch for a remake of Redburn would seem to illustrate this editorial "framework," although Helen Smith does not mention it. And Sir Andrew has decided that "Garnett's life will not need to be written again." Too bad for Melville fanatics, since the author of Moby-Dick and Clarel (both listed in the catalogue of his father's library) gets only one un-indexed mention. In chapter 23, Smith quotes a 1927 letter from Garnett to T. E. Lawrence that honors Melville as one of "the great spirits" like Dostoevsky and Dante who "don't hesitate about expressing themselves frankly." Perhaps some future edition of The Uncommon Reader could squeeze in a word or two more about Edward Garnett's inherited interest in Herman Melville.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Clement C Moore, always "an agreeable talker"

via NYU Irish Studies Research Collective
From Thomas Addis Emmet, Incidents of My Life (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1911), pages 98-99:
About this time [Spring of 1843] I remember seeing frequently at my uncle's house, Mr. Clement C. Moore, who I think was a connection, or at least he and his daughter were very intimate with the McEvers family. In after life it was my good fortune to have met Mr. Moore frequently and I always found him an agreeable talker. He then lived at his country place, "Chelsea," on the banks of the Hudson River; the site is now covered by the Episcopal Theological Seminary, on the block between Twentieth and Twenty-first Streets and Ninth and Tenth Avenues. At my last visit to that neighborhood, it seemed to me that there had been a great deal of filling in along the river front.
Mr. Moore was the author of "A Visit from St. Nicholas,"
" 'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse" —
a poem which will be remembered so long as the English language exists.
Accessible online courtesy of HathiTrust Digital Library:
Moore seemed an "agreeable talker" to Dr. Thomas Addis Emmet (1828-1919), son of John Patten Emmet (1796-1842) and grandson of Thomas Addis Emmet the distinguished Irish and American lawyer. The uncle was Bache McEvers who had married Jane Erin Emmet (TAE's aunt, his father's sister). Clement C. Moore later wrote a poem for their daughter Jeanette, at her request.

Like other contemporaries, Thomas Addis Emmet was impressed by Moore's friendly and sociable manner. Privately, Moore must have deeply felt the loss of his wife Eliza and two daughters, then a third when his married daughter Margaret Elliot Ogden died a few years later, in April 1845.

Moore's daughter Emily died on April 18, 1828; age 6.

His wife Catherine Elizabeth (Taylor) Moore died April 30, 1830; age 47.

New York Evening Post - April 5, 1830
Moore's daughter Charity Elizabeth died December 14, 1830; age 14.

Clement C. Moore’ 2nd daughter Charity’s death 14 Dec 1830Clement C. Moore’ 2nd daughter Charity’s death 14 Dec 1830 Wed, Dec 15, 1830 – Page 2 · The Evening Post (New York, New York) ·

Moore's daughter Margaret Elliott Ogden died April 13, 1845; age 30.

Tue, Apr 15, 1845 – Page 3 · New-York Tribune (New York, New York) ·

New York Spectator - April 16, 1845
Moore's grief, naturally intensified at holiday time, is the theme of his moody New Year's poem To Miss Jeannette McEvers. December 27th 1848. Heroically transcribed by Mary S.Van Deusen and accessible via her great Henry Livingston website:


Jeanette Emmet McEvers (1826-1884) was Thomas Addis Emmet's cousin, the daughter of Bache McEvers (1798-1851) and Jane Erin Emmet (1802-1887).

Related posts:

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Fragments from a Writing Desk: Paying adequate tribute to the Melvillean Robert A...

Fragments from a Writing Desk: Paying adequate tribute to the Melvillean Robert A...: This is a post on Greg Lennes's Melville site: Robert Sandberg August 10 at 11:12 AM · The Librar...

1885 auction with 1872 letter from Herman Melville

Appletons' Drake Samuel Gardner - Francis Samuel
Francis Samuel Drake via Wikimedia Commons
One 1872 letter from Herman Melville is listed in the auction catalogue of Charles F. Libbie & Co., Autographs, Portraits, Broadsides, Historical Manuscripts. Belonging to the Estate of the late Francis S. Drake, Esq. (Boston, 1885), page 58:
 1039 MELVILLE (Herman), author, a. l. s. 2 pages 8vo, 1872;
          -- A. Bronson Alcott, a. l. s. 3 pages 8vo, 1872 (2)
Francis Samuel Drake the bookman, collector, and historian died in 1885, the year after publication of his memorial collection, Tea Leaves (Boston, 1884). The elaborate biographical introduction in Tea Leaves significantly expands the treatment of Thomas Melvill (Herman's grandfather) by FSD's brother Samuel Adams Drake in Old Landmarks and Historic Personages of Boston (Boston, 1873).

via U. S. Customs and Border Protection
This lot number 1039 possibly has Melville's known letter of 30 April 1872 to Samuel A. Drake, responding to Drake's request for information about Thomas Melvill and his participation in the Boston Tea Party. Now unlocated but transcribed in modern editions: The Letters of Herman Melville, ed. Merrell R. Davis and William H. Gilman (Yale University Press, 1960) pages 238-9; and the 1993 Northewestern-Newberry Edition of Herman Melville's Correspondence, ed. Lynn Horth, page 420.

It looks like Samuel A. Drake gave one or more letters from Herman Melville to his collector-brother Francis S. Drake, at some time between 1872 and early 1885.

Except for the date, it's not clear what if any connection the 1872 letter from Herman Melville had with Bronson Alcott's letter, included with Melville's in lot 1039. I'm guessing both 1872 letters were acquired at auction by Burns & Son with other items from the Drake collection. Burns & Son separately offered 1872 letters from Melville and Alcott that essentially match descriptions in the Libbie catalogue.

Burns & Son offered this Melville item, number 119, in their November 1885 Catalogue of Autograph Letters:
MELVILLE, Herman. Author of Typee, Omoo, etc.
A. L. S. 2pp. 8vo. 1872 . . . . .        75         
Price 75 cents, same as this 3-page letter from Alcott, written in 1872 about Margaret Fuller:
3 ALCOTT, A. Bronson. Author; philosopher.
A. L. S. 3 pp. 8vo. 1872. Account of Margaret Fuller and her works .... 75
Catalogue of Autograph Letters, Selected from the Stock of Burns & Son, 744 Broadway, New York.” American Antiquarian: A Quarterly Journal Devoted to the Interests of Collectors of Autographs, Paper Money, Portraits, &c, vol. 4, no. 2, Nov. 1885, pp. 311–316. EBSCOhost,
The most expensive item listed in 1885 by Burns & Son is the 1775 document signed by "Revolutionary patriot" Joseph Warren, "killed at Bunker Hill." "Excessively rare" and valued at 25.00. Which might be the commission of Samuel Cobb signed by Warren, lot number 1258 in the Libbie catalogue and similarly described there as "extremely rare."

Burns & Son then had their business at 744 Broadway in New York City.

A later Burns catalogue in the February 1888 number of American Antiquarian offers a one-page Melville letter written in 1860:
191 MELVILLE, Herman. Author.
       A. L. S. 1p. 8vo. 1860 . . . . 1.00
“Catalogue of Autograph Letters, Selected from the Stock of Burns & Son, 744 Broadway, New York.” American Antiquarian: A Quarterly Journal Devoted to the Interests of Collectors of Autographs, Paper Money, Portraits, &c, vol. 4, no. 11, Feb. 1888, pp. 428–436. EBSCOhost,
Scholarly editions of Herman Melville's correspondence reference two Melville letters offered in earlier Burns catalogues--issued before Charles De F. Burns "put his son George R. in charge" and changed the name of the firm to Burns & Son.

Bookmart - February 20, 1884
"THE best commission bookbuyer we know of in New York, Mr. Charles De F. Burns has secured Room 7 at No. 744 Broadway, and put his son George R., in charge. They will do business under the firm name of Burns & Son and all auction sales in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and most other important places will be attended, to watch for bargains for their constantly increasing number of patrons.
The December 1878 Catalogue of Autographs, duly cited in the 1993 Northwestern-Newberry Edition of Herman Melville's Correspondence, ed. Lynn Horth, page 282, has one 1856 letter from Herman Melville.

The 1881 Burns catalogue offers a different Melville letter, written in 1858:
362. 1858, no month. 
To ?. Cited in Charles De F. Burns, Catalogue of Autographs (New York, 1881), No. 709: “Melville, Herman. Author of Omoo, etc. A.L.S. 1 p. 8 vo. 1858 . . . $.50."
This unlocated 1858 letter is referenced in the "Check List of Unlocated Letters," The Letters of Herman Melville, ed. Merrell R. Davis and William H. Gilman (Yale University Press, 1960). page 315:
And the 1993 Northwestern-Newberry Edition of Herman Melville's Correspondence, ed. Lynn Horth, page 322:

Monday, August 12, 2019

Olive Branch notice of The Confidence-Man

Richard E. Winslow III found and transcribed this item in "Contemporary Notice of Melville at Home and Abroad," Melville Society Extracts Number 106, September 1996, page 9. The favorable notice of The Confidence-Man in the Boston Olive Branch is worth another look, especially in view of Mary A. Denison's editorial work for the Olive Branch and later The Sea (1859-60). As shown in the previous post, extant copies of THE SEA in the American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals Collection: Series 4 all include the name of Herman Melville on the front-page list of Special Contributors.
From The Boston Olive Branch, April 11, 1857:
THE CONFIDENCE MAN: His Masquerade. By Herman Melville, Author of "Piazza Tales," "Omoo," "Typee," &c. &c. New York: Dix, Edwards & Co. 
All of Melville's works are characterized by originality; and "The Confidence Man" also abounds in passages of genuine humor, and healthful sarcasm. It is a capital book, well conceived, well written, and published in a handsome duodecimo volume of about four hundred pages. We cordially recommend it to the attention of our readers. A. Williams & Co. have it. 
“THE CONFIDENCE MAN: Masquerade.” Boston Olive Branch, vol. 22, no. 15, Apr. 1857, p. 003. EBSCOhost, 
Then edited by Erasmus Addison Norris, son of founder Thomas F. Norris. Patricia Okker in Our Sister Editors (University of Georgia Press, 1995; paperback 2008) credits Mary A. Denison as "Co-Editor" of the Boston Olive Branch. Mrs. Denison's tenure evidently resumed in 1856; she is listed as "assistant editor" in The Boston Directory for the Year 1852, when the paper was edited by Thomas F. Norris. From Arthur's Home Magazine, Volume 7 (February 1856) page 145:

For the past year, this gifted lady has been residing at Florence, N. J., with her husband. But, she has recently removed to Boston, and is now permanently engaged as the sole editor of the Ladies' Enterprise, and assistant editor of the Olive Branch....
Boston city directories confirm Mary A. Denison's role as Assistant Editor of the Olive Branch in 1856-7.

The 1857 Complete Business Directory of Boston names E. A. Norris as Editor, and "Mrs. Mary A. Denison" as "Assistant Ed." The younger Norris and Mrs. Denison also collaborated on Ladies' Enterprise, "a paper issued under the management of the Olive Branch Company" according to Martha Louise Rayne in What Can a Woman Do (Detroit, 1887), page 35.

When the notice of Melville's Confidence-Man appeared on April 11, 1857, the Olive Branch had recently been acquired by John H. Sleeper & Co. and was called The Boston Olive Branch.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

THE SEA, 1859-60 journal for sailors, Herman Melville listed among Special Contributors

Mary A. Denison via Northern Illinois University Libraries
'THE SEA' is the title of a fortnightly journal, edited by Rev. C. W. DENISON, designed for the instruction and entertainment of seamen. Judging from the three or four numbers which we have seen, it fulfils its purpose admirably. The editor and proprietor is assisted in his literary labors by his wife, Mrs. M. A. DENISON, a lady of talent, and an attractive writer, as will be seen upon a perusal of The Chest with Silver Bands, in our last number, which was from her prolific pen. --Editor's Table, The Knickerbocker Vol. 56 (October 1860), page 443.
Charles Wheeler Denison was a Baptist clergyman and social reformer, founding editor of the New York Emancipator; his wife Mary A. Denison (aka Clara Vance, M. A. D., and N. I. Edson) a writer of popular fiction and poetry. According to some accounts they previously collaborated on the Boston Olive Branch. However, city directories name only Mary A. Denison as assistant editor, for example The Boston Directory for the Year 1852 and Boston Directory for the Year 1856. For their new enterprise The Sea, the Denisons enlisted a crew of twenty "Special Contributors that included "Herman Melville."

The American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals Collection: Series 4 has a good but incomplete run of The Sea from April 20, 1859 to December 01, 1860. Digitized issues of The Sea are accessible to patrons of subscribing institutions via EBSCOhost.

All extant copies of THE SEA name Herman Melville as one of the "Special Contributors" listed on the front page.

Vol. 1 No. 5 April 20, 1859


Capt. A. H. FOOTE, U. S. N.
Rev. J. B. RIPLEY, Philad.
Rev. T. STILLMAN, West. N. Y.
Rev. A. McGLASHEN, Ala.
Lieut. MAURY, U. S. N.
Rev. J. P. ROBINSON, Mass.

Rev. M. J. GONSALVES, Cal.
Rev. W. F. DAVIDSON, Pa.
The next available issue (Vol. 1 No. 10, July 13, 1859) continues to list "Herman Melville with "Special Contributors," reduced now in number from twenty to fourteen. Added names are J. S. Inskip, NY; and J. D. Butler, New Bedford; but dropped are Webster, McGlashen, John S. Sleeper, R. F. Stockton, Rufus Choate, Caleb Cushing, Joseph Story, and M. J. Gonsalves.

Vol. 1 issue 19, December 14, 1859. Sixteen names of Special Contributors,  including "Herman Melville." Adding Rev. T. F. Boggs of Virginia and Rev. Robert Given, U. S. N.

Vol. 1 issue 20, December 28, 1859. Twenty names including "Herman Melville, Mass." Adding "Paul Jones," U. S. N. and Lieut. Preble, U. S. N. Also added, Lieut. W. F. Spicer, U. S. N.; and Mrs. H. C. Knights, N. H.

Vol. 1 issue 23, February 15, 1860. "Herman Melville, Mass." listed among twenty "Special Contributors."

Vol. 1 issue 24, February 29, 1860. Herman Melville, Mass.

Vol. 2 issue 1, March 14, 1860. Herman Melville, Mass.

Vol. 2 issue 2, March 28, 1860. Herman Melville, Mass.

Vol. 2 issue 3, April 11, 1860. Herman Melville, Mass.

Vol. 2 issue 5, May 16, 1860. Herman Melville, Mass.

Vol. 2 issue 8, July 28, 1860. HERMAN MELVILLE, MASS.

Vol. 2 issue 9, August 15, 1860. HERMAN MELVILLE, Mass.

Vol. 2, issue 12, September 15, 1860. HERMAN MELVILLE, Mass.

Vol. 3, issue 12 [No. 1] November 17, 1860. Rev. Moses Cummings takes over as publisher and proprietor; now listed as co-editor with Rev. C. W. Denison. Formerly "Associate Literary Editor" with her husband, Mrs. M. A. Denison now listed as "Assistant Editor." Regular list of twenty Special Contributors still includes "HERMAN MELVILLE, Mass."

Vol. 3, No. 2, December 1, 1860. Last extant issue of THE SEA. Special Contributors include "HERMAN MELVILLE, Massachusetts." Now twenty-one in number with addition of the assistant editor, "Mrs. M. A. Denison, New-York City."

Melville may have agreed to contribute something for THE SEA without ever doing so. That happened with the new Atlantic Monthly: in 1857 Melville agreed to contribute but never did, as Hershel Parker relates in Herman Melville: A Biography Volume 2, 1851-1891 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002; paperback 2005) page 355.

Mon, Nov 16, 1857 – Page 1 · The Buffalo Daily Republic (Buffalo, New York) ·

In May 1859 Melville submitted "two Pieces" of something to some "Magazine," perhaps Harper's New Monthly Magazine.
Pittsfield May 18 [1859]

Here are two Pieces, which, if you find them suited to your Magazine I should be happy to see them appear there. — In case of publication, you may, if you please, send me what you think they are worth.
Very Truly Yours
H Melville. --The Letters of Herman Melville, ed. Merrell Davis and William H. Gilman (Yale University Press, 1960), page 194; and the 1993 Northwestern-Newberry Edition of Melville's Correspondence, ed. Lynn Horth, page 336.
Possibly Melville contributed to THE SEA around the same time, anonymously or over a pseudonym. One would think anything from Herman Melville must have been submitted before May 30th of the next year, 1860, when he sailed for San Francisco on The Meteor. If he did contribute any pieces of poetry or prose, his work might have appeared in lost issues of THE SEA. The first extant issue, Volume 1 No. 5 (April 20, 1859) supplies these tantalizing examples of "original articles" forthcoming in the next issue, unfortunately missing:
"CAPT. SPUNYARN'S STORY," A VOICE FROM THE OLD NORTH," "FORECASTLE" No. 2, and other first class original articles in our next." 
As best I can tell from here on the prairie, the run of The Sea in the AAS Historical Periodicals Collection Series 4 lacks the following issues:
  • Volume 1 missing numbers 1-4; 6-9; 11-18; and 21-22. 
  • Volume 2 missing numbers 4; 6-7; 10-11; and 13-?? [September 29, 1860; also October 13 and 17, 1860?]  
Research opportunities abound, nevertheless.

Related post:

Fri, May 27, 1910 – 7 · The Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, Maryland) ·

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Redburn in the London Morning Chronicle

Wed, Nov 28, 1849 – 6 · The Morning Chronicle (London, Greater London, England) ·

From the London Morning Chronicle, November 28, 1849; found at


This spirited and captivating writer, who has achieved a reputation so extensive by his narratives of wild adventure and maritime legend in Typee, Omoo, and Mardi, now comes before us to pour into the public ear "The sailor-boy confessions and reminiscences of the son of a gentleman in the merchant service." If it cannot be considered as adding much to the laurels already won, "Redburn" certainly in no respect tarnishes them. It abounds in glowing sketches of ocean scenery, and skilful, discriminating, and vigorous delineations of nautical character. The work may be considered as possessing even higher utility and importance, from the light it throws on the internal mechanism and relations of the merchant service, than from the evidence it affords of literary ability in its author. He has shown how much may be made out of the incidents of a voyage from New York to Liverpool and back. Occasional extravagance of portraiture or description does not in any way detract from the sterling merits of his work. 
*Redburn: his first voyage. By Herman Melville. Two vols. Bentley.

Omoo in the London Morning Chronicle

Treating of real men and things, his books are as entertaining as well written novels...
Herman Melville: The Contemporary Reviews, edited by Brian Higgins and Hershel Parker (Cambridge University Press, 1995; paperback 2009) gives reviews of Mardi and Moby-Dick from the London Morning Chronicle.  The long notice of Moby-Dick on December 20, 1851 begins with a reference to some previous, favorable treatment of Melville's first two books:
When the author of "Omoo and Typee" appeared, we were happy to hail a new and bright star in the firmament of letters. 
In fact, on July 8, 1847 the London Morning Chronicle did publish a favorable review of Omoo in which the writer collectively praises Typee and Omoo as "racy and original" adventure narratives.


Omoo; or Adventures in the South Seas. By HERMAN MELVILLE. [Murray. 
The books of adventure in the Pacific Ocean are by no means the least interesting in that admirable series of volumes which Mr. Murray periodically issues to the reading world, under the style and title of the Home and Colonial Library. They are written by a sailor, and are frank, free, and dashing in style. The author does not seem particularly solicitous concerning scholastic rules in his compositions, but on that very account, perhaps, they are the more racy and original. Treating of real men and things, his books are as entertaining as well written novels; he has his story to tell, and he tells it after a pointed, vigorous fashion, which must arouse interest in the most languid reader. And this is done without the rhetorical artifices of the practised litterateur — interest is excited because the narrator is easy, natural, and forcible.  
"Omoo," which, in the language of the South Sea Islands, signifies a rover — is a sequel to the former work of the same author, called "Typee, or the Marquesas Islanders," and details his adventures after having been rescued from his forced sojourn of four months in Nukuheva. "Omoo," however, is complete in itself, and perfectly comprehensible to any one who may not have read the former narrative. The objects of the writer, as he informs us in a very unassuming preface, are to convey some idea of the habits and manner of life of a reckless and little known class of men — the seamen engaged in the sperm whale fishery; and secondly to give a familiar account of the present condition of the converted Polynesians, as affected by their promiscuous intercourse with foreigners, and the teachings of the missionaries, combined. With respect to the latter point, the zealous and liberal subscribers to these missions will, we fear, gather but cold comfort from the scenes which Mr. Melville describes. He speaks of the utter absence of anything like practical piety in these islands, and after all his wanderings among the natives, he ventures to number up only two individuals of them whom he personally knew to be really Christians. He says nothing disrespectful of the missionaries, but they do not appear to have impressed him with very profound admiration and reverence. Neither do the proceedings of the French in Tahiti find in him an advocate. He says: — [in Omoo chapter 32, Proceedings of the French at Tahiti]
"As I happened to arrive at the island at a very interesting period in its political affairs, it may be well to give some little account here of the proceedings of the French, by way of episode to the narrative. My information was obtained at the time from the general reports then rife among the natives, as well as from what I learned upon a subsequent visit, and reliable accounts which I have seen since reaching home. 
"It seems, that for some time back the French had been making repeated ineffectual attempts to plant a Roman Catholic mission here. But, invariably treated with contumely, they sometimes met with open violence; and, in every case, those directly concerned in the enterprise were ultimately forced to depart. In one instance, two priests, Laval and Caset, after enduring a series of persecutions, were set upon by the natives, maltreated, and finally carried aboard a small trading schooner, which eventually put them ashore at Wallis Island—a savage place—some two thousand miles to the westward. 
"Now, that the resident English missionaries authorised the banishment of these priests, is a fact undenied by themselves. I was also repeatedly informed, that by their inflammatory harangues they instigated the riots which preceded the sailing of the schooner. At all events, it is certain that their unbounded influence with the natives would easily have enabled them to prevent every thing that took place on this occasion, had they felt so inclined.

"Melancholy as such an example of intolerance on the part of Protestant missionaries must appear, it is not the only one, and by no means the most flagrant, which might be presented. But I forbear to mention any others; since they have been more than hinted at by recent voyagers, and their repetition here would,be attended with no good effect. Besides, the conduct of the Sandwich Island missionaries, in particular, has latterly much amended in this respect. 
"The treatment of the two priests formed the principal ground (and the only justifiable one) upon which Du Petit Thouars demanded satisfaction; and which subsequently led to his seizure of the island. In addition to other things, he also charged, that the flag of Merenhout, the consul, had been repeatedly insulted, and the property of a certain French resident violently appropriated by the government. In the latter instance, the natives were perfectly in the right. At that time, the law against the traffic in ardent spirits (every now and then suspended and revived) happened to be in force; and finding a large quantity on the premises of Victor, a low, knavish adventurer from Marseilles, the Tahitians pronounced it forfeit.  
"For these, and similar alleged outrages, a large pecuniary restitution was demanded ($10,000), which there being no exchequer to supply, the island was forthwith seized, under cover of a mock treaty, dictated to the chiefs on the gun-deck of Du Petit Thouar's frigate. But, notwithstanding this formality, there now seems little doubt that the downfall of the Pomarees was decided upon at the Tuilleries. 
"After establishing the Protectorate, so called, the rear-admiral sailed; leaving M. Bruat governor, assisted by Reine and Carpegne, civilians, named members of the council of government, and Merenhout, the consul, now made commissioner royal. No soldiers, however, were landed, until several months afterward. As men, Beine and Carpegne were not disliked by the natives; but Bruat and Merenhout they bitterly detested. In several interviews with the poor queen, the unfeeling governor sought to terrify her into compliance with his demands; clapping his hand upon his sword, shaking his fist in her face, and swearing violently. 'Oh, king of a great nation,' said Pomaree, in her letter to Louis Philippe, 'fetch away this man; I and my people cannot endure his evil doings. He is a shameless man.' 
"Although the excitement among the natives did not wholly subside upon the rear-admiral's departure, no overt act of violence immediately followed. The queen had fled to Imeeo; and the dissensions among the chiefs, together with the ill-advised conduct of the missionaries, prevented a union upon some common plan of resistance. But the great body of the people, as well as their queen, confidently relied upon the speedy interposition of England — a nation bound to them by many ties, and which, more than once, had solemnly guaranteed their independence. 
"As for the missionaries, they openly defied the French governor, childishly predicting fleets and armies from Britain. But what is the welfare of a spot like Tahiti, to the mighty interests of France and England? There was a remonstrance on one side, and a reply on the other; and there the matter rested. For once in their brawling lives, St. George and St. Denis were hand and glove; and they were not going to cross sabres about Tahiti.
"During my stay upon the island, so far as I could see, there was little to denote that any change had taken place in the government. Such laws as they had were administered the same as ever; the missionaries went about unmolested, and comparative tranquillity everywhere prevailed. Nevertheless, I sometimes heard the natives inveighing against the French (no favourites, by the by, throughout Polynesia), and bitterly regretting that the queen had not, at the outset, made a stand."
After a brief allusion to the conflicts which afterwards took place, Mr. Melville says:—

"By the latest accounts, most of the islanders still refuse to submit to the French; and what turn events may hereafter take it is hard to predict. At any rate, these disorders must accelerate the final extinction of their race. 
"Along with the few officers left by Du Petit Thouars, were several French priests, for whose unobstructed exertions in the dissemination of their faith, the strongest guarantees were provided by an article of the treaty. But no one was bound to offer them facilities, much less a luncheon, the first day they went ashore. True, they had plenty of gold; but to the natives it was anathema—taboo — and, for several hours and some odd minutes, they would not touch it. Emissaries of the Pope and the devil, as the strangers were considered—the smell of sulphur hardly yet shaken out of their canonicals — what islander would venture to jeopardise his soul, and call down a blight upon his bread-fruit, by holding any intercourse with them? That morning the priests actually picknicked in a grove of cocoa-nut trees; but, before night, Christian hospitality— in exchange for a commercial equivalent of hard dollars—was given them in an adjoining house.

"Wanting in civility, as the conduct of the English missionaries may be thought, in withholding a decent reception to these persons, the latter were certainly to blame in needlessly placing themselves in so unpleasant a predicament. Under far better auspices, they' might have settled upon some one of the thousand unconverted isles of the Pacific, rather than have forced themselves thus upon a people already professedly Christians." 
A chapter is devoted to the report of a sermon by one of the missionaries, which has certainly no very edifying effect upon perusal; but as the circumstances were unfavourable to accuracy on the part of the reporter, it would be unfair to the preacher to pin him down to this version of his discourse. Upon the general subject of converting the South Sea islanders to Christianity Mr. Melville has these remarks:— [in Omoo chapter 45, A Missionary's Sermon]
"The Tahitians can hardly ever be said to reflect: they are all impulse; and so, instead of expounding dogmas, the missionaries give them the large type, pleasing cuts, and short and easy lessons of the primer. Hence, any thing like a permanent religious impression is seldom or never produced. 
"In fact, there is, perhaps, no race upon earth less disposed by nature to the monitions of Christianity than the people of the South Sea. And this assertion is made with full knowledge of what is called the 'Great Revival at the Sandwich Islands,' about the year 1836; when several thousands were, in the course of a few weeks, admitted into the bosom of the Church. But this result was brought about by no sober moral convictions; as an almost instantaneous relapse into every kind of licentiousness soon afterwards testified. It was the legitimate effect of a morbid feeling, engendered by the sense of severe physical wants, preying upon minds excessively prone to superstition; and by fanatical preaching, inflamed into the belief, that the gods of the missionaries were taking vengeance upon the wickedness of the land.* 
[footnote:] *At this period, many of the population were upon the verge of starvation.
"It is a noteworthy fact, that those very traits in the Tahitians which induced the London Missionary Society to regard them as the most promising subjects for conversion, and which led, moreover, to the selection of their island as the very first field for missionary labour, eventually proved the most serious obstruction. An air of softness in their manners, great apparent ingenuousness and docility, at first misled; but these were the mere accompaniments of an indolence, bodily and mental; a constitutional voluptuousness; and an aversion to the least restraint; which, however fitted for the luxurious state of nature, in the tropics, are the greatest possible hindrances to the strict moralities of Christianity. 
"Added to all this, is a quality inherent in Polynesians; and more akin to hypocrisy than any thing else. It leads them to assume the most passionate interest in matters for which they really feel little or none whatever, but in which those whose power they dread, or whose favour they court, they believe to be at all affected. Thus, in their heathen state, the Sandwich Islanders actually knocked out their teeth, tore their hair, and mangled their bodies with shells, to testify their inconsolable grief at the demise of a high chief, or member of the royal family. And yet, Vancouver relates, that, on such an occasion, upon which he happened to be present, those apparently the most abandoned to their feelings, immediately assumed the utmost light-heartedness, on receiving the present of a penny whistle, or a Dutch looking-glass. Similar instances, also, have come under my own observation. 
"The following is an illustration of the trait alluded to, as occasionally manifested among the converted Polynesians 
"At one of the Society Islands — Raiatair, I believe — the natives, for special reasons, desired to commend themselves particularly to the favour of the missionaries.
Accordingly, during divine service, many of them behaved in a manner, otherwise unaccountable, and precisely similar to their behaviour as heathens. They pretended to be wrought up to madness by the preaching which they heard. They rolled their eyes; foamed at the mouth; fell down in fits; and so were carried home. Yet, strange to relate, all this was deemed the evidence of the power of the Most High; and, as such, was heralded abroad." 
We have left ourselves no space for extracts from the lighter parts of the volume, which, however, are extremely amusing. The whole book will repay perusal, not only in entertainment, but in the matter for reflection, which thinking men will easily pick out of the rapid and slapdash sentences of the author.    
--London Morning Chronicle, July 8, 1847; found at
Thu, Jul 8, 1847 – 6 · The Morning Chronicle (London, Greater London, England) ·

Monday, August 5, 2019

Pierre in Utica

Hon. Ellis H. Roberts, M.C.
via The New York Public Library Digital Collections
Somehow I overlooked this friendly notice of Pierre in the Oneida Morning Herald, then published and edited in Utica, New York by Ellis H. Roberts. A few months later (October 26, 1852), the Utica editor protested the "ferocious diatribe on Herman Melville" in the November 1852 American Whig Review as "the most unjust specimen of criticism we have read during the past five years."

From the Oneida Morning Herald (Utica, New York), Thursday, August 5, 1852; found at Fulton History:
Oneida Morning Herald (Utica, NY) - August 5, 1852
PIERRE, or the Ambiguities. By Herman Melville, New York: Harper & Brothers.

Another work by the author of "Typee!" Those who have read the earlier as well as some of the later productions of this author, need no importuning of ours to read the present volume. We must confess the story of Pierre is to us as yet a profound mystery; but the dozen or so pages which we have read tempt us so strongly to proceed that we have made a vow to read the book as soon as we shall get sufficient breathing time. "Pierre" is dedicated to our old friend, "His Purple Majesty, Greylock," and he could not have enlisted the favor of a more lordly patron.

For sale by John W. Fuller & Co. 
Still looking for any notice of Moby-Dick in Utica.

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Sunday, August 4, 2019

1817 book by Mary and P. B. Shelley, from the library of Herman Melville

Herman Melville died in September 1891. His widow Elizabeth and daughter "Bessie" moved to the Florence Apartments on June 7, 1892, as documented by John M. Gretchko in The Florence, Leviathan Volume 16, Number 1 (March 2014), pages 22-32 at 30. Before that, as Steven Olsen-Smith recounts, lots of volumes in Herman Melville's library
"were sold off to second-hand bookdealers in February, 1892, when Melville's widow, Elizabeth Shaw Melville, was preparing to vacate their residence of 28 years at 104 East 26th Street in Manhattan." -- A Fourth Supplementary Note to Melville's Reading (1988), Leviathan Volume 2, Issue 1 (March 2000), pages 105-111 at 106. 
In Melville's Reading (University of Wisconsin Press, 1966), Merton M. Sealts, Jr. reported that Francis Harper and his younger brother Lathrop C. Harper purchased an unknown number of unidentified books from Mrs. Melville (page 6 and page 122, note 13); reprinted in Sealts, Pursuing Melville, 1940-1980 (University of Wisconsin Press, 1982), page 35.

Here's one. Among "recent additions to the stock of Francis P. Harper" in May 1892 was the 1817 first edition of Mary Shelley's History of a Six Weeks' Tour, "from the library of Herman Melville, with his autograph in pencil." Listed in Harper's Catalogue of Standard and Out-of-Print Books No. 54 (May 1892), page 24:
476 Shelley, P. B. and Mary. History of a Six-Weeks' Tour through a Part of France, Switzerland, Germany and Holland, with letters, etc. 12mo, cloth, pp. 183. Lond., 1817. $6.00

First Edition, from the library of Herman Melville, with his autograph in pencil.
--Selected Catalogues, 1890-1895 via Google Books:
      Largely Mary Shelley's History of a six weeks' tour, the 1817 volume has a preface and two letters by her husband Percy Bysshe Shelley, and concludes with first printing of P B Shelley's poem Mont Blanc.
      The first edition of History of a Six Weeks' Tour is accessible online courtesy of The British Library; Hathi Trust Digital Library; and the Internet Archive:

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      Saturday, August 3, 2019

      Chicago bookman offers Thomson's Shelley from Meville's library

      The October 1920 Catalogue of Miscellaneous Books (Catalogue 86) from Chicago bookseller Walter M. Hill lists Shelley: A Poem by James Thomson, "From Herman Melville's library."

      435 SHELLEY: A Poem, with other Writings relating to Shelley, by the late James Thomson ('B. V.'), with Essay on the Poems of William Blake by the same Author. Tall 8vo, boards (breaking), uncut. (London), 1884. $7.50.

      Only 190 copies printed on toned paper for private circulation by Whittingham & Co. at the Chiswick Press. From Herman Melville's library.
      Hill's Catalogue 86 presents books from the library of Joseph Very Quarles ("Judge Quarles") of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and two unspecified "private libraries."

      At Melville's Marginalia Online, Thomson's Shelley is Number 520 in The Online Catalog of Books and Documents Owned, Borrowed and Consulted by Herman Melville. As stated there in the note, this volume most likely was a gift from James Billson. Melville found Thomson's essay on "The Poems of William Blake" particularly interesting and enlightening, as he wrote Billson on "The last day of 1888."

      The Nation and the Athenaeum - August 13, 1921
      • Shelley, a  Poem via Google Books 
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      Friday, August 2, 2019

      Books autographed by Melville, listed in early Anderson catalogues

      Auction catalogues of John Anderson, Jr. in the year 1900 (Numbers 4 and 14) offer two books at some time owned by Herman Melville: The Arts and Artists by James Elmes, 3 vols. (London, 1825); and Mysteries of Corpus Christi, with translations of sacramental Autos (Belshazzar's Feast and The Divine Philothea, plus the first scene of The Poison and the Antidote) from the Spanish of Pedro Calderón de la Barca by Denis Florence MacCarthy (Dublin, 1867). Each of these four volumes has the signature of Herman Melville, according to the catalogue descriptions transcribed below.

      The 1867 MacCarthy translation is explicitly described as "From library of Herman Melville." As previously known, Melville owned and annotated Three Dramas of Calderón (Dublin, 1870), also translated by Denis F. MacCarthy. The 1870 volume of Calderón is Sealts Number 114, listed thus in The Online Catalog of Books and Documents Owned, Borrowed and Consulted by Herman Melville at the great Melville's Marginalia Online.

      Lot 67 in the Anderson Catalogue of Books, etc. No. 4, For Sale by Auction on Friday, February 16, 1900 is the 1825 London edition of The Arts and Artists by James Elmes, in three volumes:

      "67. ELMES (JAS.) The Arts and Artists: or, Anecdotes and Relics of the Schools of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Portraits and vignettes. 3 vols. 18mo, uncut. Lond. 1825
                Autograph of Herman Melville in each volume. Written with pencil."
      Links below are for general reference and further study. Harvard has multiple copies of each volume in the three-volume set of Elmes's The Arts and Artists, Google-digitized and accessible online courtesy of Hathi Trust Digital Library. Also available via Google Books:
      Lot 323 in the Anderson Catalog of An interesting assortment of Books and Pamphlets No. 14, For Sale By Action over two days in 1900, April 11 (Lots 1-260) and April 12 (Lots 261-end), is Denis F. MacCarthy, Mysteries of Corpus Christi (Dublin, 1867):

      "323. MYSTERIES OF CORPUS CHRISTI, from the Spanish, by Denis F. MacCarthy. 12mo. Dublin, 1867.  From library of Herman Melville and contains his autograph."
      Harvard University has the 1867 translation by Denis Florence MacCarthy from the Spanish [of Calderón de la Barca], originally the gift of James Russell Lowell and now available online courtesy of Hathi Trust Digital Library; and the Internet Archive:

      A different copy of the same title via Google Books:
      For essential background, especially on John Anderson, Jr.:
      • Merton M. Sealts, Jr., Pursuing Melville, 1940-1980 (University of Wisconsin Press, 1982), especially Part II, "A Correspondence with Charles Olson," pages 106-107 and 144-147.
      • Oscar Wegelin, "Herman Melville as I Recall Him," The Colophon Vol. 1, New Series, No. 1 (Summer 1935), pages 21-24; reprinted in Steven Olsen-Smith, ed., Melville in His Own Time (University of Iowa Press, 2015), pages 148-151. 
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