Saturday, June 1, 2019

Charles F Deems on Typee

Charles F. Deems via Greensboro College
... it seems to read itself without any effort on the part of the reader.
Notice of Typee, the revised edition (Harper & Brothers, 1849) in the Southern Methodist Pulpit Vol. 3 (1850), page 246:
(2.) Harper & Brothers. "Typee; a Peep at Polynesian Life; during a Residence of Four Months in a Valley of the Marquesas. By Herman Melville." This book produced quite a sensation upon its first appearance. The present is a revised edition. We have not read it all, for the simple reason that we have found it so pleasant that we have concluded to leave enough for one day's stage reading on a long journey. It is the book for that exactly. All the author need demand is that the first four pages be read. The reader will be in for it then. We were. We took the book to the sofa where our siesta is usually enjoyed, and the result was that we lost an afternoon by the operation. The pictures in this volume have a Robinson Crusoe life-likeness about them which makes the whole story very attractive. The style is so perfectly easy that it seems to read itself without any effort on the part of the reader. The description of tropical richness of climate and productions and of Polynesian life are very fascinating. We shall thank our friends, the publishers, if in their next package to us they will send Omoo and whatever other Melville books they publish.
Edited by Charles Force Deems (1820-1893), then President of Greensboro Female College. After the Civil War, Deems went to New York where he edited Frank Leslie's Sunday Magazine for three years, 1876-1879. One of his sons, Edward Mark Deems, served as chaplain of Sailors' Snug Harbor from 1913 to 1927.


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