Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Auburn Christian Advocate, notice of White-Jacket

Auburn, New York Northern Christian Advocate  - April 3, 1850
From the Northern Christian Advocate (Auburn, New York) of April 3, 1850; found in Tom Tryniski's great archive of historical newspapers at Fulton History:
WHITE-JACKET; or, the World in a Man-of-War. By Herman Melville. New York: Harper & Brothers.

This work purports to be a narrative of the author's personal observations and adventures as a private sailor on board of a United States frigate. We know nothing of Mr. Mellville's personal history, and hence cannot say whether he was ever at sea or not. The "note" which prefaces the work, taken by itself, would lead us to say, the story is a fiction. But, however this may be, the writer has made a book that any one may read with profit. It is not always that we find so much good sense mingled with nautical  phrases. Mr. Mellville is a fascinating writer. For sale by J. M. Alden.
The Northern Christian Advocate was edited from 1848 to 1856 by William Hosmer (1810-1889), as related in Elliot G. Storke's History of Cayuga County.

White Jacket in Fredonia

Fredonia Censor - July 30, 1850 via fultonhistory.com
Under the heading "Weathering Cape Horn," the Fredonia, New York Censor reprinted all of chapter 24 in Herman Melville's White-Jacket; or, The World in a Man-of-War (1850). The piece is formally credited to Melville's narrative persona "White Jacket." The Fredonia Censor was then owned and edited by Willard McKinstry.

WEATHERING CAPE HORN.

BY WHITE JACKET.

And now, through drizzling fogs and vapors, and under damp, double-reefed top-sails, our wet-decked frigate drew nearer and nearer to the squally Cape.

Who has not heard of it? Cape Horn, Cape Horn—a horn indeed, that has tossed many a good ship. Was the descent of Orpheus, Ulysses, or Dante into Hell, one whit more hardy or sublime than the first navigator’s weathering of that terrible Cape? ....


Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Bartleby in Syracuse

via The Century Association Archives Foundation
From the Syracuse Evening Chronicle, November 21, 1853; found on Fultonhistory.com:

Syracuse, New York Evening Chronicle - November 21, 1853
"Bartleby the Scrivener, is a new story, which opens curiously and excites considerable interest."
I'm guessing this late but favorable notice of Putnam's magazine for November 1853 is by editor Robert Raikes Raymond (1817-1888), who went on to become Professor of English at Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute.



The timelier notice of Putnam's for December 1853 (Syracuse Evening Chronicle, November 28, 1853) mentioned "Bartleby, the Scrivener" along with "Wensley" and "Reminiscences of an Ex-Jesuit" as "well-written sketches."

Here are links to Herman Melville's short fiction "Bartleby, The Scrivener" as it originally appeared in Putnam's Monthly Magazine, Vol. 2 (July-December 1853), via Google Books:
and again, courtesy of HathiTrust Digital Library:
Later included in The Piazza Tales (New York: Dix & Edwards, 1856), pages 31-107.

"Bartleby" appeared anonymously in Putnam's, and the Syracuse reviewer does not name Melville as the author. Earlier in 1853, the Evening Chronicle had favorably compared the narrative style of The History of an Adopted Child by Geraldine Endsor Jewsbury with the "verisimilitude and simplicity" of Typee.  There, however, the reviewer lamented the lack of those qualities in Melville's subsequent books, perhaps with Moby-Dick (1851) and Pierre (1852) in mind. From the Syracuse Evening Chronicle, February 22, 1853:
This little volume purports to be written to teach forbearance to those "grown-up aunts and elder sisters," who "are not fond of children." The story is interesting, and the style in which it is told partakes of that verisimilitude and simplicity of statement, which characterize the writings of De Foe, and the first work (and alas, only that) of our own writer Melville.-- "Our unrivalled corps of critics" round the editorial hearth pronounce it a book to be read at a single sitting, and read without skipping.  
On September 4, 1854, the Syracuse Evening Chronicle reprinted a long passage from Israel Potter, chapter 5 under the heading, "George the Third." Herman Melville had already been identified as the author of "Israel Potter" in the notice of the September 1854 Putnam's, published in the Evening Chronicle on August 23, 1854. The excerpt from Putnam's was introduced as
"A characteristic scene in which this famous monarch was an actor, is given in the interesting story of "Israel Potter, " now in course of publication in Putnam's Magazine."
-- Syracuse Evening Chronicle (Syracuse, New York), September 4, 1854.
Sat, Nov 17, 1888 – 1 · The Standard Union (Brooklyn, New York) · Newspapers.com

Redburn notice, Albany Argus

Daily Albany Argus - November 21, 1849 via GenealogyBank
This brief notice of Redburn in the Albany Argus (November 21, 1849) is listed but not transcribed in Herman Melville: The Contemporary Reviews, edited by Brian Higgins and Hershel Parker (Cambridge University Press, 1995; paperback 2009), at page 291. In the Argus, this item appears with other notices of  "New Publications" in a column signed, "W."  Found on GenealogyBank among articles added "within 1 week":
REDBURN: HIS FIRST VOYAGE. By Herman Melville.
We have looked into this book enough to see that it bears the characteristic marks of its author's genius, and has so much of the simplicity of nature, and so many bright and beautiful passages scattered through it, that it will not be likely to want for readers.
W.
The Albany Argus was then conducted by Edwin Croswell, in partnership with his cousin Sherman Croswell and Samuel M. Shaw, formerly a printer in Schenectady.