Alonzo and Melissa and other works by Isaac Mitchell
These intriguing specimens of early American literature deserve to be available to scholars and others.Hugh MacDougall, Secretary, James Fenimore Cooper Society. Isaac Mitchell (1759-1812) was primarily a Republican (Jeffersonian) newspaperman. But he is known today primarily as the author of a work of fiction, Alonzo and Melissa which, in turn, is best known for having been successfully pirated by one Daniel Jackson, Jr., under whose name it was read by countless readers through most of the 19th century.
Requested by Hugh MacDougall, Secretary, James Fenimore Cooper Society.
The Poems of Sidney Lanier
American Civil War Poet; Requested by Byron Marshall
"The Spectator", by Steele & Addison (et. al.)
This famous journal containing a vast miscellany of humour, essays, politics and verse, though it lasted only a few years, was very popular in the 18th and 19th centuries in reprint form. Now out of print except in much-abridged editions, it is available in full at the Web Site of Rutger's University, New Jersey, USA.
The Ruins, or Meditation on the Revolutions of Empires by Count Constantin Francois Chasseboeuf de Volney
(orig. published, Paris, 1793). Hugh C. MacDougall, Secretary, The James Fenimore Cooper Society says:
"Almost immediately translated into English, it was printed and reprinted throughout the first half of the 19th century. Several American towns (New York and Virginia) were named after Volney, and hundreds of parents inflicted Volney on their male offspring as a first name. Volney, a French Revolutionary who had travelled through tne Near East, advanced a series of radical notions such as that: deserts and other disasters to humanity are caused by Man, not by God; all religions collapse in their own contradictions; provides a very early theory of the development of religious ideas over time; forsees a world government or united nations, based on rationalism; advances the notion that many of Man's first intellectual ideas originated in Africa, amongst a people now despised. His descriptions of the world as seen from space are also very original (and seem to have influenced Shelley's early poem 'Queen Mab.')."
The Idea of a University by John Henry, Cardinal Newman
His idea is of an institution dedicated to truth and wisdom, which would teach, in addition to its academic curriculum, the ideals of gentlemanliness, morality and self-discipline. The words "entrepreneurship" and "post-modernism" occur nowhere in it. No wonder it's out of print.
Requested by Professor Declan Kiberd of University College Dublin.
Originally written in Latin, approximately A.D. 61-65, by the Roman poet Lucan, its powerful depiction of civil war and its consequences have haunted readers for centuries, and prompted many Medieval and Renaissance poets to regard Lucan among the ranks of Homer, Virgil, and Ovid.
Requested by Paulina Milner
Florio's translation of Montaigne
This is the version Shakespeare used. There are more modern translations, but Florio is one of the great prose stylists.
Requested by Lee Harrison.
The Silver Fox, by Somerville and Ross
Edith OEnanthe Somerville and "Martin Ross" (Violet Martin) are best known for their humourous Irish R.M. stories; their novels The Real Charlotte and The Big House at Inver are also still deservedly popular. The Silver Fox , a short novel, was first published in 1898 and reprinted several times in the next ten years. It seems to have then fallen into complete obscurity and has not been republished since. This is a pity, for it is a miniature masterpiece. It has been included here at the request of Professor Declan Kiberd of University College, Dublin. Prof. Kiberd devotes an entire chapter of his definitive Irish Classics (Granta Books, 2000) to The Silver Fox, describing it as "a novella of true genius". We agree.
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