"Presented here is one sequence are the 313 texts, newly edited by Lynn Horth, that are known to survive of letters by Melville, and for the first time, in a separate sequence, the 88 texts that are known to survive of letters to him. Taken together, however, these surviving texts provide only a spotty chronicle of Melville's outer, and intermittent revelations of his inner, life. They provide so little not only because by all indications he wrote relatively few, and mostly sparse, letters but also because so many of those he did write, and receive, have been lost or destroyed. He himself, as he declared, habitually destroyed letters he received, including those he had prized from Hawthorne; and his daughter or some other too-proper descendant in the twentieth century lamentably destroyed his numerous letters to his wife." "Consequently, to fill the gaps within the correspondence, 542 editorial entries are chronologically interspersed for letters both by and to Melville for which no full text has been located but for which some evidence survives. These entries, like the editorial headnotes for the known letters, flesh out the specific historical and biographical contexts for the unlocated letters. Both supply Horth's full annotations, placing circumstances, persons, and allusions, from a wide range of documentary and scholarly sources, and drawing upon family archives of both Melville and his wife, including the recently recovered portion, now in the New York Public Library, of a trove preserved by his sister Augusta.".
What people are saying - Write a review
24 February Abraham Lansing Albany Allan Melville April August Augusta Melville Berkshire Athenaeum Boston canceled Catherine Gansevoort Lansing cited in Melville's cm part-sheet torn cm sheet copy cousin Davis-Gilman Unlocated Dear Sir December edition Elizabeth Melville Elizabeth Shaw Melville embossed entry Evert Duyckinck February folded in half Frances Priscilla George H Melville HCL-M headnote to Melville's Helen Herman Melville Hoadley inserted above caret Israel Potter January Julian Hawthorne Julius Rockwell July June Kate Lansingburgh lecture Lemuel Shaw LETTERS RECEIVED Library literary Lizzie London manufacturer's manuscript March Melville inscribed Melville wrote Melville's letter miswritten Moby-Dick Morewood Nathaniel Hawthorne NN Piazza November NYPL-D NYPL-GL October Omoo paper with lines pencil Peter Gansevoort Piazza Tales volume Pittsfield PUBLICATION published Putnam reply rFrom Richard Bentley Savage Shaw Sealts September sister stamp enclosing Stanwix TEXTUAL NOTES unlocated letter ville's white laid paper white wove paper write written YORK Unlocated