From God in the Street: New York Writing from the Penny Press to Melville (Temple University Press, 1995) Chapter 7, pages 174-175:
One cannot help thinking that whatever the fate of "The Isle of the Cross," Melville's "Agatha" writing may have been part of what became "The Encantadas; or, Enchanted Isles," published in Putnam's in March, April, and May 1854.... "Sketch Eighth" of "The Encantadas," "Norfolk Isle and the Chola Widow," is most easily imagined as part of "The Isle of the Cross" project in that the principal image for Norfolk Island is the "rude cross" (155) that the Chola Widow has put up as memorial for her dead husband Felipe.
... What the "Agatha" story suggests, and the "Norfolk Isle and the Chola Widow" enacts, is the theme that "uncomplaining submission" is the admirable human reaction to the horror of a world in which God is silent.
Today I way belatedly added Bergmann's discussion of "The Chola Widow" in Chapter 7 of his 1995 book to my Agatha-Hunilla bibliography. No excuse for neglecting it until now, but I'm thankful to have God in the Street handy for a couple of weeks, on loan from my local library in Cambridge MN via Alcuin Library at St. John's University.
- Isle of the Crux
- Agatha and Hunilla, beginnings of a bibliography