Cover: Melville as Lecturer, from Harvard University PressCover: Melville as Lecturer in E-DITION

Melville as Lecturer

Available from De Gruyter »

Product Details


$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674420298

Publication Date: 01/01/1957

202 pages



Related Subjects

Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

In the autumn of 1857 Herman Melville left his desk in Pittsfield to begin a new venture as a traveling lecturer. Melville as Lecturer is based primarily upon the fifty-four newspaper reports of Melville’s various lecture engagements.

In the absence of manuscripts of the lectures themselves, presumably destroyed by Melville when he abandoned lecturing in 1860, Merton Sealts has provided an illuminating reconstruction of the original texts through collation of the newspaper articles. Melville’s lectures, though of minor literary importance in themselves, are seen here as constituting a bridge between his earlier fiction and his later works. In them recur the familiar theme of travel and the sharp-eyed social criticism well-known to his readers since Typee. Found also are reflections on art and civilization that anticipate Clarel, and there are other signs which point to Billy Budd.

These newspaper reviews, properly interpreted, furnish a basis for reconsideration of Melville’s place in his time, and also they bring out striking regional differences in public taste which will appeal to many persons of wide historical and cultural interests.

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Cover: A Theory of Justice: Original Edition, by John Rawls, from Harvard University Press

John Rawls: Speaking in a Shared Political Language

On the occasion of the anniversary of the publication of A Theory of Justice, Andrius Gališanka, author of John Rawls: The Path to a Theory of Justice, reflects on some of Rawls’s ideas on moral and political reasoning