November 14, 1851

Moby-Dick_FE_title_page

 

Tuesday Nov 14th  Bridget has cleaned the store room

and I have been working about in the chambers

have put Franks chamber in order papered

a little trunk &c &c  Have been working about

the house all day  I can scarcely tell what 

Im about all the time but I find something 

to keep me busy and I scarcely sew at all

Frank has been making a fuss about a robin to wear

The American edition of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick or The Whale was first published on this date in New York, by Harper & Bros.  It followed a British edition that had come out about one month earlier.  Neither edition was a commercial success.

Today may have been a milestone for American literature, but the occasion went unnoticed by Evelina and most readers, discerning or otherwise. Evelina was focused, as usual, on domestic concerns “about the house,” including putting the bedroom or “chamber” of her youngest son, Frank Morton Ames, in order.  He, meanwhile, was complaining about an item of clothing that he needed to wear. Does anyone know what a “robin” is?

Old Oliver was, as usual, paying a farmer’s attention to the weather:  “this was a cloudy day most of the time the wind got round south west and was warmer than it has bin for several days past”.

2 thoughts on “November 14, 1851

  1. It seems to me I have heard an insertable stiff white vest (without a back) being called a “robin,” but I could be entirely wrong.

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