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Melville Reviews and Notices, Continued SCOTT NORSWORTHY Isanti, Minnesota R esearch by Richard E. Winslow III, conducted mostly in microfilms of nineteenth-century newspapers and periodicals, has again yielded a valuable miscellany of previously unrecorded Melville reviews, notices , and mentions. Herein are collected seventy-eight new items from 1846 to 1899, discovered by Winslow, along with a handful of items found through internet resources. This compilation supplements the dozens of new “Melville Reviews and Notices” that he and Mark Wojnar documented in Melville Society Extracts 124 (February 2003). Like the published discoveries of Winslow and others (accessible in the online archives of Extracts on the Melville Society website at http://melvillesociety.org/),1 the present findings add to the bibliographical Checklist of Melville Reviews (Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 1991), edited by Kevin Hayes and Hershel Parker, and the essential collection of transcribed documents in Herman Melville: The Contemporary Reviews (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), edited by Brian Higgins and Hershel Parker. The first item listed below supplies the full review of Typee from the March 28, 1846 issue of Western Continent, a short-lived Baltimore newspaper edited by Park Benjamin. Until now, only a portion of this review was known to Melville scholars from excerpts in New York Mirror advertisements on May 23 and 30, 1846 (reprinted in Herman Melville: The Contemporary Reviews 48). Another early item, the contemporary notice of Omoo (1847) in The Protestant Churchman, rebukes the “light, sneering, irreligious spirit” perceived in Melville’s criticisms of missionaries—a frequently voiced complaint of the c  2011 The Melville Society and Wiley Periodicals, Inc. 1 For Winslow’s earlier findings, see Richard E. Winslow III, “New Melville Reviews Surface,” Melville Society Extracts 113 (June 1998): 8-15; “Contemporary Notice of Melville at Home and Abroad,” Melville Society Extracts 106 (September 1996): 1-11; and “New Reviews Trace Melville’s Reputation,” Melville Society Extracts 89 (June 1992): 7-12. In the June 1992 issue of Extracts (no. 89), see also Lynn Horth, “Two Albany Argus Reviews of Omoo” (13); Kent P. Ljungquist, “Melville in the Newspapers: Some Uncollected Reviews and Notices” (19-24); Burton R. Pollin, “Melville in Richmond, Figaro! And Elsewhere” (14-18); and Gary Scharnhorst, “More Nineteenth-Century Melville Reviews” (1-6). Important contributions by Scharnhorst also include “More Uncollected Melville Reviews and Notices,” Melville Society Extracts 106 (September 1996): 12-14; and the two-part report, “Melville Bibliography 1846-1897: A Sheaf of Uncollected Excerpts, Notices, and Reviews, Melville Society Extracts 74 (October 1988): 8-12; and 75 (November 1988): 3-8. 88 L E V I A T H A N A J O U R N A L O F M E L V I L L E S T U D I E S M E L V I L L E R E V I E W S A N D N O T I C E S evangelical press.2 On the other hand, positive notices of the revised edition of Typee (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1849) in two religious periodicals indicate the extent to which religious critics could forgive if not forget Melville’s literary sins. With the most objectionable passages expurgated by the author, Typee could now be hailed in good conscience as a “sparkling and delightful narrative” (Methodist Quarterly Review), fit to become “as much of a classic as Robinson Crusoe” (Protestant Churchman). As the subject of thirteen items, White-Jacket (1850) gets the most attention in this compilation. Many feature substantial excerpts from Melville’s fifth book, the most popular text being chapter 33, with its graphic depiction of “A Flogging” on board the Neversink. Of the longer notices, the review of White-Jacket in The Two Worlds (30 March 1850) is particularly interesting for the appreciation of Melville’s fluid prose as poetry in motion. According to the anonymous critic of The Two Worlds, all of Melville’s nautical writings to date “have infinite variety and inventive power, and occasionally details the most affecting; while a poetic glow is often thrown over them, which imparts additional charm to his flowing and pointed style.” Citing this review in The Two Worlds, Hershel Parker remarks that “reviewers were...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1750-1849
Print ISSN
1525-6995
Pages
pp. 88-115
Launched on MUSE
2013-05-29
Open Access
No
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