Saturday, May 18, 2019

Redburn in Richards' Weekly Gazette

Here is another Melville review in Richards' Weekly Gazette, published and edited in Athens, GA by William Carey Richards. Found in the great online archive of Georgia Historic Newspapers.

Richards' Weekly Gazette - January 5, 1850
via Georgia Historic Newspapers
REDBURN; his first Voyage. Being the Sailor-Boy Confessions and Reminiscences of the Son of a Gentleman in the Merchant Service. By Herman Melville. In 2 vols. 12mo. New-York: Harper & Brothers 
“Redburn” is, to us, the most attractive of all Mr. Melville's books, not excepting even “Typee.” We have read it thoroughly, with a very pleasant impression, and have no hesitation in recommending others to read it. Its charm consists in its absolute naturalness, and its striking veri-similitude. The reader is willing to believe that every thing happened to “Redburn” just as the author narrates it. We say every tiling; perhaps, we should except the mysterious night in London, which is a little too fanciful for the harmony of the narrative. Very charming, indeed, is the simplicity of our hero, and very commendable the good humor and tact with which he demeans himself, under the many annoyances of his position, on board the Highlander. The book is not wanting in incident; affording opportunity for the display of Mr. Melville's descriptive powers. There are many vivid passages; and among them, the death of Jackson, a sort of human-devil, the spontaneous combustion of a dead body, shipped as a drunken sailor! the hero’s first essay at “going aloft,” will strike the reader. 
Mr. Melville's wit is admirably displayed in this work, and sparkles gracefully upon the surface of an under-current of strong feeling. The book deserves to have a wide popularity. --Richards' Weekly Gazette, January 5, 1850.

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