Review by Choice Review
Building on the previous editions of Melville's correspondence, particularly the work of Merrell Davis and William Gilman and both the older and forthcoming editions of Jay Leyda's The Melville Log (CH,Jul'70), Lynn Horth, the editor of this 14th volume in the Northwestern Newberry Edition of Melville's writings, has produced an indispensable book for Melville students and a model for all editorial publication of the correspondence of authors important for literary study. All available manuscript letters to and from Melville have been reexamined and accurately transcribed. Unlocated manuscripts of previously printed letters have been copied from available sources. Unlocated letters whose existence can be established or reasonably conjectured have been described or contents noted. All of this is with full biographical and textual descriptions, relationships, and full annotations. Possibly this volume provides Melville with the most adequately edited correspondence of any American author, although its comprehensiveness and specificity may also have the effect of bringing more Melville letters to light than we now have. Horth's volume, in this master edition, is, of course, a required part of any sizable collection supporting academic study of American literature, even if it were not so splendidly done. General; advanced undergraduate through professional. A. E. Jones Jr.; emeritus, Drew University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
This collection, the most complete edition to date of Melville's extant correspondence, gives access to the life and writings of one of our finest novelists. While the letters to his family deal in a perfunctory manner with the details of everyday life, the letters written between 1846 and 1852 to Evert Duyckinck and Nathaniel Hawthorne reveal the creative and critical genius that mark Melville's best work. The letters are arranged chronologically, and each is preceded by an editorial headnote placing it in the context of Melville's career. An appendix provides historical notes and reveals the textual apparatus used in the selection and location of the texts. This work, the penultimate volume in the definitive Northwestern-Newberry edition of Melville's writings, builds upon and surpasses the Merrell R. Davis-William H. Gilman edition of The Letters of Herman Melville (Yale Univ. Pr., 1960). Highly recommended.-- Henry L. Carrigan Jr., Westerville P.L., Ohio (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.