Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (eds), The Writings of Herman Melville: The Northwestern-Newberry Edition, Vol. 2: Omoo: A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas

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pg 375List of Substantive Variants

In this list, which is a historical record of the substantive variants in the authorized editions during Melville's lifetime, the following abbreviations are used to designate the sources of readings:


American Edition (1847–1875)


English Edition (1847–1893)


Northwestern–Newberry Edition

Copy-text (A) readings are listed in the left column and readings differing from them in the right. (In the instances of emendations made by the present editors, the NN reading also appears in the left column to provide a reference to the text.) If a reading does not remain constant throughout all the impressions of a given edition, a date or inclusive dates are appended to the symbol to show the period during which new impressions carried the reading in question; superscript letters indicate states within a given year. Features of the styling or design of the American edition are not necessarily followed in the present edition, and such deviations are not recorded here (see the Note on the Text, p. 361, footnote 22).

xv.5       [not yet written]     A       New York, January 28. 1847.     E

20.5       priests     A       chiefs     E

pg 376

20.22       flask     NN

flash     A       flask     E

20.25–26       he before long     A       before long he     E

20.34       dove     A       dived     E

22.6       at     A       [omitted]     E

26.11       birdsnests     A       birds' nests     E

31.2       a     A       the     E

31.37       the gentlemen     A       gentlemen     E

32.13       this     A       his     E

35.15       doubt     A       no doubt     E

48.26       seaman     NN

seamen     A       seaman     E

53.24       than     A       then     E

58.17       dive     A       drive     E

59.2       sail     A       sails     E

64.12       it     A       its     E

64.17       instances     A       cases     E

66.23       rights     A       rites     E

70.6       council     NN

counsel     A       council     E

71.22       enter     A       entered     E

73.6       lay     A       lie     E

73.6       upon     A       up     E

74.11       also were     A       were also     E

75.4       due     A       due to     E

81.13       beach-comber     NN

beech-comber     A       beech-comber     E

82.3       two     A       too     E

84.39       for     A       the     E

98.3       close     A       closer     E

121.6       of late years has     A       have of late years     E

125.27       guaranties     A       guarantees     E

125.34       on     A       upon     E

128.7       fully     A       full     E

131.5       entire     A       whole     E

pg 377

134.9       of     A       [omitted]     E

139.17       could     A       would     E

143.27       so     A       to     E

150.20–21       give … fed     A       be quite at ease on the score of our clothing and food     E

169.31       trappings     A       strappings     E

170.33       meets     A       meet     E

173.9       mayors'     NN

mayor's     A       mayors'     E

182.37       are     A       were     E

186.15       comparative     A       comparatively     E

187.23       prompted     A       promoted     E

191.36       The     A       This     E

207.5       'ot     A       hot     E

210.27–28       Mouna … Mouna     NN

Mount … Mount     A       Mouna … Mouna     E

210.39       Wilkes's     NN

Wilke's     A       Wilkie's     E

213.9       shoulder     A       should     E

213.21       bullocks'     A       bullocks     E

231.8       beach-de-mer     A       biche-de-mer     E

231.10       birdsnests     A       birds' nests     E

235.32       rafter like     A       rafter-like     E

244.12       strown     A       strewn     E

244.18       the     A       a     E

247.26       he     A       be     E

248.7       all … him     A       his profession     E

251.2       hosts     A       host     E

254.31       one's     A

one's     E1847a

one     E1847b

one's     E1849–1893

257.7       called     A       call     E

262.1       considered     A       consider     E

262.11       an     NN

as an     A       an     E

pg 378

262.18–19       islander reposes     A       islanders repose     E

262.32       stone     A       stones     E

263.16       advances to     A       arrives at     E

263.17       lift     NN

lifts     A       lift     E

270.17       of the     A       of this     E

272.28       filling     A       filling it     E

273.5       dumbness     A       deafness     E

273.25       farther     A       further     E

282.16       a     A       [omitted]     E

282.38       needle     A       a needle     E

285.8–9       However, they in all cases     NN

But they always     A       However, they in all cases     E

289.31       come     A       came     E

290.10       whalers     A       whalemen     E

294.11       as affable     A       affable     E

295.19       on     A       in     E

299.10       the     A       an     E

299.38       ways     A       way     E

303.25       come     A       comes     E

303.39       were     A       was     E

304.23       It's     NN       Its     A         

It's     E

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