Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Moby-Dick Centennial Essays, 1953 | Online Research Library: Questia

Moby-Dick Centennial Essays, 1953 | Online Research Library: Questia
  • Introduction 
  • In nomine diaboli / Henry A. Murray 
  • A preface to Moby-Dick / Tyrus Hillway 
  • Moby-Dick: work of art / Walter E. Bezanson 
  • The image of society in Moby-Dick / Henry Nash Smith
  • Fatalism in Moby-Dick / Ernest E. Leisy 
  • Early reviews of Moby-Dick / Hugh W. Hetherington 
  • Melville and transcendentalism / Perry Miller
  • Melville and Hawthorne / Randall Stewart
  • Melville and Nantucket / Wilson L. Heflin 
  • Notes on the Authors 

Monday, January 13, 2020

J. J. Woodward's Moby-Dick

Army Surgeon Joseph Janvier Woodward, M. D.
via U. S. National Library of Medicine
The David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University has the first American edition of Moby-Dick, or, The Whale, digitized by Internet Archive
and also available online courtesy of HathiTrust Digital Library

The Rubenstein copy of the first American edition of Moby-Dick was donated by Richard and Nancy Riess. The descriptive entry for this volume notes, along with the tipped-in autograph of the author,
"the ownership signatures of J.J. Woodward and B.W. Huxley and the pencil initials W.D.C." 

Evidently this copy of Moby-Dick was owned (and possibly annotated) by Joseph Janvier Woodward (1833-1884), the distinguished Philadelphia surgeon and pioneering pathologist.
Woodward has been credited with the invention of photomicrography:
The physician J. J. Woodward was the son of Joseph Janvier Woodward (1798-1878). The initials "W. D. C." may belong with the signature--I guess they might stand for Washington, District of Columbia where Woodward after May 19, 1862 lived while working in the Surgeon General's Office. As an undergraduate J. J. Woodward wrote Ada: A Tale, published in 1852 under the pseudonym "Janvier."
For comparison with the signature in the Duke Moby-Dick, here are two similar looking autographs of the noted army surgeon and pathologist J. J. Woodward:
J. J. Woodward, 1865 autograph
via Smithsonian Institution
National Museum of American History

J. J. Woodward, 1881 signature via Ira & Larry Goldberg

"As a scientific investigator and thinker his especial characteristics were the incessant labor which he devoted to the subjects on which he was engaged and his desire to obtain his data at first hand as far as possible. His turn of mind was essentially that of a critic, and his first impulse on hearing of any alleged new fact or observation relating to matters in which he was interested was to doubt, and to attempt to verify it for himself."  --1885 Memoir of Joseph Janvier Woodward, 1833-1884 by J. S. Billings.
Woodward on Modern Philosophical Conceptions of Life:
Profile in The Bulletin of the U. S. Army Medical Department No. 48 (April 1939):
Possibly Dr. Woodward was the reader of the Duke Moby-Dick who decided to "Skip" chapter 32, Cetology.

Other chapters with pencil markings include The Mast-Head, Monkey-RopeTry-Works, Doubloon,  Dying Whale and Whale Watch; and The Candles.

In pen, one reader underscored the narrator Ishmael's lament in The Funeral over the gruesome spectacle of the whale's floating corpse under attack from sharks and scavenging seabirds:
Oh, horrible vultureism of earth!
Sat, Aug 23, 1884 – Page 2 · Evening Star (Washington, District of Columbia) · Newspapers.com
The physical book, call number PS2384 .M6 1851, is kept in the Vault. Here is the digitized version, conveniently accessible online via the great Internet Archive:

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Edward Wakefield on The Whale and Whaling

Edward Wakefield (1774-1854) surveyed the progress of cetology in a four part series on "The Whale and Whaling," published 1844-5 in Peter Lund Simmonds's Colonial Magazine and Foreign Miscellany. In addition to the classic studies by French naturalists, Wakefield relied on and extensively quoted from more recent books by Thomas Beale and William Scoresby Jr. Another of Wakefield's acknowledged authorities was Ernst Dieffenbach. As reported in January 2013 on Antipodean Footnotes, the Dunedin City Library has Wakefield's annotated copy of the two-volume Travels in New Zealand (London, 1843):
"The sections most heavily marked up are Dieffenbach's general remarks (with attention paid mainly to New Zealand's natural resources), and his chapters on whales and whalers, geological features, Māori customs and language, and the nature and impact of disease on Māori. Nearly all of Wakefield's annotations do not comment on the text or record his thoughts about it, but serve rather as handy reference points to paragraphs or sentences of particular interest." --Antipodean Footnotes
Four installments of "The Whale and Whaling" by Edward Wakefield are accessible online via Google Books; and also courtesy of HathiTrust Digital Library:
  • No. 1.— Its Chronological History. Simmonds's Colonial Magazine and Foreign Miscellany Volume 2 (July 1844) pages 325-342.

also available courtesy of HathiTrust Digital Library: 
Another item in the last number of this volume gives news of "Renewed French Aggression at Tahiti--Imprisonment and Banishment of the British Consul." (Pritchard, mentioned in Typee, chapter 3 with the anecdote about his courageous wife.)
  • No. 2.— Its Natural History. Simmonds's Colonial Magazine and Foreign Miscellany Volume 3 (September-December 1844) pages 49-72.

  • Essay 3.— The Natural History of Other Whales. Simmonds's Colonial Magazine and Foreign Miscellany Volume 3 (September-December 1844) pages 336-357.

 At the end of "Essay 4" Wakefield looks forward to another installment which I have not found:
"The next Essay will be an account of the catching of the Whale, by both shore-parties, and ships built and equipped expressly for the purpose."  
Volume 9 (September-December 1846) of P. L. Simmonds's Colonial Magazine and Foreign Miscellany contains an article "By the Editor" on The Whale-Fisheries of Great Britain and the United States, compared, at pages 471-489.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

2020 Moby-Dick Marathon Livestream

Starts Saturday, January 4 at 11:30 am – Sunday, January 5 at 1:00 pm EST

Above via Internet Archive; the digitized version of the 1851 first American edition of Moby-Dick; or, The Whale by Herman Melville at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University; also accessible online courtesy of HathiTrust Digital Library.

Happy New Year!