Main Text

pg 353Note on the Text

This edition of Redburn presents an unmodernized critical text, reconstructed according to the theory of copy-text formulated by Sir Walter Greg.1 Central to that theory is the distinction between substantive variants (those which affect meaning, such as verbal changes) and accidental variants (those which affect form, such as changes in punctuation and spelling).2 When an author makes substantive revisions in printed forms of his work, he is not always equally concerned with accidentals. The fact that he does not alter certain accidentals which were not his own but were changes made by the copyist, publisher, or compositor does not amount to an endorsement of those accidentals. Since the aim of a critical edition is to establish a text which represents as nearly as possible the author's intentions, it follows that the formal texture of his work will be most accurately reproduced by adopting as copy-text3 either the fair-pg 354copy manuscript or the first printing based on it. The printed form is chosen if the manuscript does not exist or if the author worked in such a way that corrected proof became in effect the final form of the manuscript. This basic text may then be emended with any later authorial alterations (whether substantive or accidental) and with other obvious corrections. Following this procedure maximizes the probability of keeping authorial readings when evidence is inconclusive as to the source of an alteration in a later authorized edition. The resulting text is critical in that it does not correspond exactly to any authorized edition, but it is closer to the author's intentions—insofar as they are recoverable—than any single authorized edition.

As the preceding Historical Note has shown, the first English edition of Redburn, though it was published earlier than the first American, was set from the American proof sheets. The American edition was the one set directly from Melville's manuscript, and, in the absence of that manuscript, the first impression of the American edition becomes the copy-text for the present edition.4 Any impressions or editions published during Melville's lifetime are a potential source for emendations in this copy-text, since theoretically it would have been possible for Melville to make corrections or changes in them. The 1850 edition in Baudry's British Library can be ruled out, however, since it was pirated and any textual variants in it have no connection whatever with the author. The two authorized editions—those of Harper & Brothers in the United States and Richard Bentley in England—have been fully collated in the following pattern:

  1. 1. American against English Editions

    1. a. Three complete sight collations5 of the first American impression (1849) against the first issue of the English impression (1849)

    2. pg 355b. Two substantive sight collations of the first American impression (1849) against the first issue of the English impression (1849)

    3. c. One substantive sight collation of the first American impression (1849) against the second issue of the English impression (1853)

    4. d. One substantive sight collation of the second (or possibly third) American impression (1850) against the first issue of the English impression (1849)

  2. 2. Impressions of the American Edition

    1. a. One machine collation of the first impression of this edition (1849) against the last (1875)

    2. b. One machine collation of the first impression of this edition (1849) against the next-to-last (1863)6

  3. 3. Issues of the English Edition

    • Two machine collations of the first issue of this edition (1849) against the last (1853)7

The text was thus collated for record 11 times.8 In addition, routine procedures in the process of compiling, checking, and preparing the pg 356information for publication have resulted in a larger total number of collations.9

Analysis of the variants (in both substantives and accidentals) disclosed by these collations has resulted in the adoption of 37 emendations in the copy-text; and 16 other emendations, not taken from English variants, have been made by the present editors. In order to make clear the evidence and rationale on which these decisions rest, an account of the textual history of the work is given below, followed by a discussion of the treatment in this text of substantives and accidentals, and an explanation of the editorial apparatus through which the evidence is presented.

THE TEXTS

The manuscript of Redburn does not survive, and the closest text to the missing manuscript is not the one published first. Although the English edition was published on September 29, 1849, about six weeks earlier than the American, it was set from proofs of the American edition which Melville shipped to England in the middle of August. What is technically the second edition of the book (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1849) is the one set directly from the author's manuscript. Copies of this American edition dated 1849 on the title page exist in what appear to be two impressions from plates: in one, gathering R has ten leaves (three leaves of text followed by seven of advertisements), while in the other it has twelve (with nine leaves of advertisements). Since the words "I" and "my" on the second leaf of this gathering (at A387.26,28)10 are undamaged in copies with ten leaves and damaged in copies with twelve, and since this damage persists throughout later printings, the twelve-leaf gathering R is obviously later; furthermore, since the twelve-leaf R required reimposition, one may conclude that it is a second impression.

pg 357Copies with the second impression of sheet R, however, do not necessarily have a later impression (if indeed there was one) of the other sheets as well. The variations which have been detected in other sheets consist of the presence or absence of serious plate damage at four places: (1) in "stationery" and "her" at A37.4,5; (2) in "might" and "of" at A153.35,36; (3) in "with" and "him" at A275.32,34; and (4) in "pictures" and "leading" at A290.33,34. Although the damaged state in each case is later (since the damage reappears in all later printings), the later states of these four sheets and the later impression of sheet R do not consistently occur together in the same copies. Collation has revealed no further variations among copies dated 1849 which would indicate priority or differentiate states or impressions. The copy-text for a critical edition therefore should theoretically be defined as the 1849 Harper printing without damage in sheets B, G, M, N, and R. But since there are no textual differences among 1849 copies, for practical purposes a copy with mixed sheets can serve—as in the present edition—to provide the copy-text.11

The Harper edition was printed four more times from these plates between 1850 and 1875 with no deliberate changes; since all of the slight variations resulted from plate damage, none has any textual authority.12

pg 358The English edition, unlike the American, was printed only once but was issued at two different times, four years apart. The first issue (2 vols.; London: Richard Bentley, 1849) exists in various states, distinguishable by the relative positions of certain pieces of type in at least five places. Since the book was printed from type rather than plates, the shifting (or failure to print) of individual pieces of type does not furnish evidence of an irreversible progression. For example, the absence of the "5" in the page number "225" in the second volume may represent either an earlier or a later state. The other variations, usually matters of spacing (such as the spacing of the letters in "gay" at 219.27), do not occur at points where they create substantive differences. In 1853 Bentley issued the remaining sheets of his edition in one-volume form with a new title page (dated 1853); some of the variations present in copies with the 1849 title page (e.g., the variations in the position of initial "s" in "sweetmeats" at 19.12, or the presence or absence of "a" in "accessible" at 200.16) also occur in the same states in copies with the 1853 title page. In addition, a few other variations not so far discovered in any 1849 copies have been noted—such as the defective inking in some copies along the left margin of the last two paragraphs of Chapter 57 (Volume II, Chapter 26). None of these differences between copies of the English edition—except possibly the addition of the "5" in "225"—gives any evidence of intervention during the course of printing.

The text of the English edition differs substantively from the American edition at 79 points (there are many other changes in spelling and punctuation). Most of these English variants are simply the result of careless type-setting and proofreading or routine substitutions of English idioms,13 but pg 359five of them correct obvious substantive errors in the American edition.14 Only one difference involves more than one or two words; it occurs in a six-word clause in the first paragraph of Chapter 49 (247.9), where the American edition describes Harry's eyes as "large and womanly" and the English edition describes them as "quick, small, and glittering." This is also the only instance where both variant readings are apparently authorial.15

The third edition of Redburn was published in 1850 in Paris jointly by A. & W. Galignani and by Jules Baudry (as part of his "British Library"). Since it was pirated, it has no bearing on textual decisions but is of some historical interest as the only other edition of Redburn (in English) printed during Melville's lifetime.16 Its text, though condensed by several dozen omissions (ranging from only a few lines to entire pages), was based on that of the English (Bentley) edition.

Since Melville's death in 1891, Redburn has been set in type at least six times,17 and some of these editions have been reprinted or issued by more than one publisher. For example, the edition published in 1924 by the St. Botolph Society in the United States and Jonathan Cape in England has pg 360also appeared under the imprints of L. C. Page and D. D. Nickerson. This edition followed the American (Harper) text, as did the Boni (1924), Pick-wick (1928), the reset Cape (1937), and Doubleday Anchor (1957) editions. The Constable edition of Redburn (1922)—in the collected Works—is significant because it was the first edition of the book after Melville's death and because it is part of the only complete set of his work that has been available in the past (and is therefore often cited as standard). Its text (reprinted in "Constable's Miscellany" in 1929) is based on the Harper rather than the Bentley edition but often departs from it, especially in spelling and punctuation.18 None of these editions offers an explanation of its editorial policy or an account of the textual history of the work.

TREATMENT OF SUBSTANTIVES

The text of Redburn presents no complications, since the English edition follows the wording of the American except in a scattering of inconsequential variants and since Melville made no later revisions. An editor, after adopting some obvious corrections from the English variants, has only two problems. The first is to determine whether any of the remaining English variants are authorial, and if so whether to adopt them as later or to reject them as earlier than the corresponding American (copy-text) readings. The second is to find and correct any readings that are corrupt in both editions—readings, that is, where the English text follows the American in printing words that cannot be the ones Melville intended. Neither problem is particularly difficult in Redburn.

Five of the English variants are corrections obviously called for by the context (see p. 359, footnote 14). Whether compositors' errors or slips of the author's pen, the American readings can hardly have been intended by Melville, and whether the correction was made by Melville or by someone at Bentley's is immaterial.

In determining whether to adopt as authorial any of the remaining English variants, an editor must consider the question of the priority of American and English readings. In general, the English text is later, since the Bentley edition was set from Harper proof sheets. Most or all of the English pg 361readings are obviously not authorial alterations but changes introduced in the course of resetting the book in England; and even authorial English variants, if any exist, are not necessarily later than the corresponding American readings, since changes (authorial or otherwise) could theoretically have been made in the Harper proofs after Melville sent a set of proof sheets to England—in which cases the English text would of course preserve the earlier readings.19 However, only once do both the American and the English variant readings appear likely to be authorial—the description of Harry's eyes (247.9) as "large and womanly" in the American edition and "quick, small, and glittering" in the English. Only in this instance, therefore, does the priority of readings pose a real editorial problem. For reasons explained in the Discussions of Adopted Readings, the editors have retained the American reading.

In sum, the present editors have seen no reason to adopt any of the English variants except those few which correct obvious errors. The only other substantive emendations they have made are of corrupt readings, where the English edition follows the American in scribal or compositorial misreadings of Melville's manuscript (or in errors of the manuscript itself). In these instances, the emendations restore what Melville must originally have written or at least intended to write.20 No substantive emendations have been made under any other circumstances. If, for example, an English reading fits the sense of a passage as well as the copy-text reading (or is in some respects even better) but cannot be convincingly defended as Melville's, then the copy-text reading is retained (see, for instance, the discussion of the reading at 250.14). In other words, substantive emendations have not been made on the basis of the subjective stylistic judgments of the editors. Since the copy-text is likely to retain more manuscript readings than a later pg 362text, there is no choice but to follow it in those few cases which are otherwise indeterminable.

TREATMENT OF ACCIDENTALS

In the absence of a final manuscript, the degree to which the author was responsible for the accidentals—the punctuation and spelling—of a printed text is a matter impossible to settle conclusively. Greg's theory of copy-text provides a method for playing the odds to advantage: adhering to the printed text closest to the manuscript will allow a maximum number of characteristic authorial usages to be retained, since each successive impression or edition offers further opportunities for corruption, in the form of publishers' changes, compositors' errors, or plate damage. Even though changes in the spelling and punctuation of Redburn were undoubtedly made at Harper & Brothers, the American edition was nevertheless set directly from Melville's manuscript and inevitably preserves more of its accidentals than the English edition, another step removed, could possibly do. Even if some of the variants in accidentals in the English edition are changes Melville made on the proofs he sent to Bentley, it is impossible to determine just which ones; to accept the English variants which appear to be improvements would be to risk adopting many instances of non-authorial spelling and punctuation on the chance of acquiring a few authorial alterations—and to defeat the purpose of selecting a copy-text on Greg's principles.

Accordingly, the accidentals of the first American impression of Redburn have been retained in the present edition except in a few unusual instances, even when the spelling and punctuation may appear incorrect or inconsistent by mid-twentieth-century standards. Some of the inconsistencies in the spelling and punctuation may have been in the manuscript, and although Melville presumably did not intend them, they constitute a suggestive part of his total expression, since patterns of accidentals do affect the texture of a literary work. On the other hand, some of the inconsistencies in accidentals may have resulted either from an imperfectly realized attempt to make the manuscript conform to a house style or from compositorial alterations. To regularize the punctuation and spelling would be to risk choosing non-authorial forms.21 Therefore no attempt has been made to impose general pg 363consistency on either spelling or punctuation,22 and any changes have been made sparingly, according to the following guidelines:

Spelling. The general rule adopted here is to correct spellings which were unacceptable by the standards of 1849, but to retain any acceptable variants. One available guide for decisions about spelling is the 1847 revision of Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language (Springfield, Mass., 1848). Webster's was the dictionary used by Harper & Brothers at the time, for Melville remarked, in his letter to Murray on January 28, 1849: "my printers here 'go for' Webster." The Harper accounts show that Melville ordered at least three copies of Webster's (on April 10 and November 15, 1847, and on November 16, 1848), the third of which could have been the 1848 edition. In any case, the 1848 Webster's can be taken as a generally accepted standard in use in 1849, when Melville was writing Redburn. Recourse to it and to other contemporary dictionaries (and to editions of American novels and works of travel published in the 1840's by Harpers and other American publishers) has resulted in the retention of a good many anomalous-appearing copy-text forms (such as "accordeon," "bridle-bit," "courtesy" (for "curtsy" or "curtsey"), "doating," "half-cast," "havn't," "hoddin-gray," "imbittering," and "mahogony"); but a few other forms, not found in reliable parallels in such contemporary sources, have been corrected (such as "quintescence," "servicable," and "squealls"). Proper names are also brought under this rule, and copy-text spellings of proper names which are apparently not acceptable variants but mere authorial or compositorial errors are emended to forms standard at the time—for example, "Barbadoes" and "Hamburgh" are retained, while "Gibralter" is emended to "Gibraltar" and "Seutonius" to "Suetonius."

Punctuation. Emendations in punctuation have been made in two kinds of instances. First are the simple corrections of obvious typographical errors, such as the absence of periods after "steps" (222.16) and "business" (304.39), the comma instead of a period after "standing" (158.12), and various errors involving the misuse or omission of quotation marks.23 pg 364Second are the few corrections at places where a mark of punctuation (or the absence of one) creates an ambiguity serious enough to interfere with the meaning of a sentence. Such emendations are, in effect, substantive, since they impose one meaning on a passage that is ambiguous in its Harper punctuation.24

EDITORIAL APPARATUS

The basic evidence for textual decisions in the present edition is given in the preceding parts of this Note and in the four sections which follow it and complete the Textual Record:25

Discussions of Adopted Readings. These discussions take up any reading (whether a copy-text reading or an emendation) adopted in the Northwestern–Newberry text which seems to require discussion or explanation beyond the general guidelines already stated. Certain instances of decisions not to emend, as well as some actual emendations, are commented upon.

List of Emendations. This list records every change made in the copy-text for the present edition, accidentals as well as substantives. The left column gives the Northwestern–Newberry readings, the right column the rejected copy-text readings. Each emendation is followed by a symbol to indicate whether the source is the English edition (E) or the present editors (NN).26 Items marked with an asterisk are commented on in the Discussions of Adopted Readings.

Forty-two emendations have been made in accidentals, 11 in substantives. Of the accidentals, 32 are corrections made in the English edition, and the other 10 have been made by the present editors; of the substantives, 5 come from the English edition and 6 from the present editors. No emendations of any sort have been made silently; using the List of Emendations pg 365and the Report of Line-End Hyphenation, one can reconstruct the copy-text in every detail.27

Report of Line-End Hyphenation. Since some possible compound words are hyphenated at the ends of lines in the copy-text, the intended forms of these words become a matter for editorial decision. When such a word appears elsewhere in the copy-text in only one form, that form is followed; when its treatment is not consistent (and the inconsistency is an acceptable one, to be retained in the present text), the form which occurs more times in analogous situations is followed. If the word does not occur elsewhere in the copy-text, the form is determined by a survey of similar words, by the usage in the 1848 Webster's, and by any relevant evidence in a Melville manuscript. The first list in the Report of Line-End Hyphenation records these decisions, by listing the adopted Northwestern–Newberry forms of possible compounds which are hyphenated at the ends of lines in the copy-text. The second list records the copy-text forms of compounds which are hyphenated at the ends of lines in the Northwestern–Newberry Edition. No editorial decisions are involved in this second list,28 but the information recorded is essential for reconstructing the copy-text and making exact quotations from the present edition.

List of Substantive Variants. This list is a historical record of all variant substantive readings in the two editions authorized by Melville.29 The left column gives the readings of the first American impression (and also the Northwestern–Newberry readings when they differ from those of the copy-text). The right column lists the English substantive readings pg 366which are at variance with the copy-text. Editions are designated by three symbols: A (American), E (English), and NN (Northwestern–Newberry).

In these four lists the reader has before him all the copy-text readings and all the substantive variations from them in authorized editions. With the lists he can examine and reconsider for himself the textual decisions for the present edition and in the process see more clearly the relationships between the texts of Redburn available during Melville's lifetime and the one which is offered here as a more faithful representation of the author's intentions.

Notes

1. "The Rationale of Copy-Text," Studies in Bibliography, III (1950–51), 19–36. For an application of this method to the period of Melville, see Fredson Bowers, "Some Principles for Scholarly Editions of Nineteenth-Century American Authors," Studies in Bibliography, XVII (1964), 223–28; and his "A Preface to the Text," in the Centenary Edition of Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1962), pp. xxix–xlvii (reprinted in the later volumes of the Centenary Edition).

2. The line between the two is not rigid, for some changes of punctuation and spelling do affect meaning and accordingly could be classed as substantives.

3. "Copy-text" is the text accepted as the basis for an edition.

4. The particular copy of the first American impression which served (in the form of a marked Xerox reproduction) as printer's copy is M67–103–11 (See note 7).

5. Collations between two editions, which (because they are printed from different settings of type) cannot be performed on the Hinman Collator, are "sight collations." Those between impressions of the same edition are "machine collations"—so called because in them that machine, by superimposing page images, enables the human collator's eye to see differences, including minute changes not otherwise easily detected, such as resettings and type batter. A "complete sight collation" is one in which both substantive and accidental variants are recorded; a "substantive collation" is one in which only substantive variants are recorded. The terms edition, impression (printing), issue, and state, as used here, follow the definitions of Fredson Bowers in Principles of Bibliographical Description (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1949), pp. 379–426.

6. This collation of the first (1849) with the next-to-last (1863) impression of the American edition was made in place of a duplicate collation of the first and the last (1875) because only one copy of the last impression was available for collation.

7. The English edition of Redburn is in two volumes, the American edition in one. Since each volume of any multi-volume work is a separate entity, no bibliographical significance attaches to any particular combination of volumes. In these collations, therefore, no attempt was made to treat presently constituted sets as units, although only one set was in fact separated for collation. The copies used for these collations are here recorded by identification number (for books in the Melville Collection in The Newberry Library), or by library name and call number (for books not in the Melville Collection): (1a) M67–103–11 vs. M67–103–10; Northwestern 813.3M531r1849h vs. Gift M67–14 (W. M. Gibson copy); M66–2471–40 vs. Gift M67–14 (W. M. Gibson copy, I) and M66–2471–49 (II); (1b) Northwestern 813.3M531r1849 vs. M67–722–3; M66–2471–41 vs. M67–103–9; (1c) M66–2471–42 vs. Gift M67–15 (W. M. Gibson copy); (1d) M67–103–13 vs. William S. Akin copy; (2a) Gift M67–13 (W. M. Gibson copy) vs. City College of New York YR. M531R2; (2b) M66–2471–40 vs. M67–722–135; (3) Newberry Case Y255M5161 vs. M67–722–16; M67–103–9 vs. Gift M67–15 (W. M. Gibson copy).

8. The number of collations which must be performed in order to detect all significant variations in a given text can never be prescribed with certainty, since chance determines, at least to some extent, the particular copies available for collation. Whether or not variant states of a first impression are detected, for example, depends largely upon whether or not at least one copy of an earlier state is present in the collection of copies assembled for collation; regardless of the size of this collection, there is always the chance that an unknown earlier state is missing. To reduce the element of chance somewhat, the present editors have checked many points in every copy of Redburn in the Melville Collection at The Newberry Library and have examined numerous copies in other collections. For making copies of Redburn available, the editors are indebted to William S. Akin, William M. Gibson, M. Douglas Sackman, and Howard P. Vincent, and to the libraries of the City College of New York and Northwestern University.

9. Proofreading provided the chief opportunity for making these additional collations. Copies of the first American and the first English editions were simultaneously compared with two sets of the Northwestern–Newberry page proofs; besides this group proofreading, six individual proofreadings were made of the page proofs against copies of the first American edition.

10. Reference numbers with prefixed letters refer to page and line of the American edition (A) or to volume, page, and line of the English edition (E); when these letters do not appear, reference is to page and line of the Northwestern–Newberry Edition.

11. Historical facts about the dates, sizes, and background of the various printings and editions are given in the Historical Note; precise physical descriptions will appear in the full-scale bibliography to be published in conjunction with the Northwestern–Newberry Edition. The present discussion is not concerned with bibliographical details discovered in the process of collation unless they bear on textual questions. Type or plate damage, for example, which may distinguish the states within an impression or the impressions within a given year, is not reported here if it does not create a textual variant (as defined in the following footnote) and if the states or impressions involved are not otherwise of textual significance.

12. In the 1850 printing the comma after "around" as 52.24 disappeared, and the one after "earls" (159.24) became damaged so that it looked like a period, while three semicolons deteriorated into commas (after "icebergs", 41.35; "Bob", 132.36; and "ladies", 300.39) and one into a colon (after "out", 144.11); during the course of this impression another comma—after "Melville" in the Dedication—gradually disappeared. The 1855 printing contained three further instances in which semicolons looked like commas (after "this", 51.17; "subsided", 289.39; and "merry", 306.16), and the 1863 printing had two more (after "boy", 56.18; and "said", 56.21); in addition, three hyphens were lost in 1863 (in "myself", 153.12; "sword-point", 156.15; and "forty-eight", 238.14), as well as a comma (after "rugs", 230.14), and another semicolon became illegible (after "warren", 85.17). In the last printing (1875), two more commas (after "Thus", 139.13; and "railroad", 236.28) were missing. In this Note, when changes are listed within either the American or the English edition, the many instances of battered type or plates and missing letters are not included when it is clear what letter is intended, nor is missing end-punctuation listed when the absent mark is a period; and missing hyphens at the ends of lines are not reported when the divided word is not a possible compound. Missing commas, however, which might pass unnoticed, are listed. In other words, type or plate wear is noted only when it could pass unnoticed or be mistaken for intentional revision.

13. Among the outright errors in the English edition are the omission of the apostrophe in "it's" at 31.10, 232.29, and 244.16, and the inclusion of one in "yours" at 39.17; the change from the plural "books" to the singular form at 20.35; and such readings as "unless" for "useless" (162.23), "hand-dog" for "hang-dog" (192.22), "it" for "in" (273.3), "off" for "of" (291.2), or "pier-herd" for "pier-head" (308.31). Among the other variants (including some less obvious errors, such as casual anglicizations and routine compositorial substitutions) are about a dozen differences in nouns or verbs (the American "railroad" at 206.27, for example, is changed to "railway"); over two dozen changes in the forms of parts of speech (mainly nouns and verbs); several rearrangements of words or substitution of idioms, ranging from reversal of word order ("once been" at 134.10 becomes "been once") to slight shifts of syntax (such as the substitution of "to" for "and" following "proceed" at 119.31); and about a dozen omissions or insertions of single words (or, in one instance, of two words)—such as the omission of "all" after "bear" at 61.33 or the insertion of "his" before "arms" at 107.35. Since certain variants can be classified in more than one way, precise figures are not given here.

14. The chapter number "XXII" is corrected to "XXIII" (x.15), "a sort" is replaced by "a sort of" (62.11), "breach" is corrected to "breech" (175.8), "gentlemen" is made singular (208.5), and "there" is corrected to "their" (269.31).

15. Comment on certain individual readings will be found in the following section and in the Discussions of Adopted Readings.

16. Several extracts from Redburn appeared in the Literary World on November 10 and 17, 1849 (V, 395–97, 418–20). Melville was probably not in a position to have made revisions in the copy furnished to Evert A. Duyckinck, and a complete collation of the passages as published in the Literary World and as they appeared in the Harper edition reveals that the only differences between the two texts appear to be either editorial or compositorial changes. (Copies used for collation: M67–2444 vs. M67–722–108.)

17. The number cannot be stated with assurance, since new editions—which have not been discovered in an extensive search of catalogues, libraries, and bookstores—occasionally still turn up. Details of all these editions will be included in the forthcoming descriptive bibliography. The Melville Collection being formed at The Newberry Library during preparation of the Northwestern–Newberry Edition contains many of these later editions (and ideally will contain all of them in time). Charles R. Anderson, in Melville in the South Seas (New York: Columbia University Press, 1939), states that 14 "editions" of Redburn had been published by 1938 (p. 439); but he is not using "edition" is the sense employed here, as a technical bibliographical term which encompasses all the impressions from a given setting of type.

18. This generalization is based on a collation of a copy of the 1849 American edition (M67–103–12) with a copy of the Constable Redburn in the Russell & Russell reissue (New York, 1963; M67–722–123). For some background relating to the Constable texts, see Philip Durham, "Prelude to the Constable Edition of Melville," Huntington Library Quarterly, XXI (1957–58), 285–89.

19. Even if he had wished to, Melville was too busy with the composition of White-Jacket to make extensive corrections or revisions on the proofs of Redburn which he sent to Bentley in mid-August. Neither did he afterward request changes in the Harper text, except possibly a few corrections of misprints and one short alteration at 247.9. The English reading at that point (if it is the earlier) is a blunder, and Harpers had corrected just such a blunder in Omoo after the sheets had been sent to England.

20. Such changes are of course made only when the copy-text reading is unsatisfactory. The emendation must be a word that Melville would have used in the context (judging from his literary practice); it must be a word that improves the sense and fits the tone of the context; and it must be a word that in Melville's hand could have been misread as the word in the copy-text (or that Melville himself could mistakenly have written). Under these three criteria, "much" is emended to "must" (4.30), "in the windlass" to "on the windlass" (63.17), "heading" to "headway" (97.17), "women" to "woman" (184.23), and "unnaturally" to "naturally" (190.23).

21. Melville's habits in the extant manuscripts and letters are not definite enough to offer grounds to emend for consistency (and in any case the letters, not intended for publication, do not provide a parallel situation). Neither is the Harper house styling consistent enough to be helpful in determining precisely what elements of the punctuation of Redburn resulted from it.

22. For example, no emendations are made to secure consistency in the use (or nonuse) of capital letters; of apostrophes in contractions; of italics or of quotation marks (or both at once) for such items as foreign words, the first occurrence of special terms (nautical terminology, slang, and the like), names of ships, and titles of books.

23. In some cases there are beginning or ending quotation marks where none are required (for example, see the entries in the List of Emendations for 212.8; 234.39; and 307.15) or the reverse situation where necessary ones are omitted at the beginning or end of a passage (15.35; 22.32; 24.36; and 30.7); in other cases single quotation marks are used instead of the regular double ones (224.22 and 266.11). In no instance does emendation require a decision affecting the meaning, since nowhere does the misuse or omission of quotation marks call into question either who is speaking or what is said.

24. See the List of Emendations at 54.27, 113.6, and both entries at 115.36.

25. On file in the Melville Collection at The Newberry Library is a complete list of variants between the American and the English editions, including both substantives (which are reported in the List of Substantive Variants) and accidentals (which are reported in the List of Emendations only when they are adopted). Also on file is the evidence for the decisions in the first list of the Report of Line-End Hyphenation.

26. The presence of an NN symbol signifies only that the reading does not occur in the two authorized texts; it does not imply that no one has ever thought of it before.

27. That is, every textual detail: features of the styling or design of the copy-text print—such as the length of lines; the form and content of the title page and running titles; the typography and punctuation of chapter numbers and chapter titles; and the display capitalization of chapter openings and half-titles—are of course not recoverable from these lists. Opening quotation marks are omitted before the display capitals at the beginning of Chapter 1, p. 3; Chapter 46, p. 227; Chapter 57, p. 283; and Chapter 59, p. 294.

28. Except in the cases of words hyphenated at the ends of lines in the copy-text as well. These words, which appear in both lists and are marked with daggers, are given in the forms which the present editors adopted but which are obscured by hyphenation at the ends of lines in this edition.

29. Such variants as "mantelpiece/mantle-piece", "phial/vial", "sewed/sowed", "swapped/swopped", and "wharfs/wharves" are considered accidentals whenever the 1848 Webster's or other contemporary dictionaries classify them as interchangeable forms of the same word. Treated as a non-textual feature is the fact that the American edition numbered the chapters I–LXII and listed them in a single table of contents, whereas the English edition, in two volumes, numbered them I–XXXI in the first and also I–XXXI in the second, with a separate table of contents in each volume.

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