Home > Detailed review of Les Misérables... First printing of Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Chiefly About War Matters"...
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Detailed review of Les Misérables...

First printing of Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Chiefly About War Matters"...



Item # 652426 THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY, (Boston), July, 1863 

* Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Chiefly About War Matters"
* an original, contemporary printing - 1st appearance
signed with the pen name "A Peaceable Man"
* same year review of Victor Hugo's, "Les Misérables"


When one thinks of Nathaniel Hawthorne, most minds are rightfully immediately drawn to his masterpiece, "The Scarlet Letter," which was very critical of Puritanical New England morays and hypocrisy. However, his pen also took a shot at supporters of the American Civil War with his noteworthy, but less recognized, "Chiefly About War-Matters" (signed using the pen name "A Peaceable Man"), which first appeared in The Atlantic Monthly of July, 1863 - and was approved by the editor without having been proofed - an act the editor later regretted (see the additional Wikipedia reference below). Of particular interest in Hawthorne's faux editorial notes which are scattered throughout (see select images for details).

Great to have this original printing, set in the context with an abundance of war-related poetry, articles, etc..

If this were not enough to make this issue compelling, also included on pages 124-5 is a detailed review of the newly published work by Victor Hugo: "Les Misérables." The entire text has been included within the images so that even if you are not able to purchase this issue, you will still be able to see how the renowned Atlantic Monthly viewed his work.

Complete in 128 pages; in very good condition - save for a small hole in the far left margin of page one.

Wikipedia states: "Scholars struggle over how to interpret "Chiefly About War Matters". It has been described as ironic black comedy or satire... Many readers of The Atlantic were offended by Hawthorne's essay, and the magazine received "cruel and terrible notes". The concern was partially because it was somewhat pro-southern, but also because it was antiwar. Others found it too ambiguous. George William Curtis condemned it as "without emotion, without sympathy, without principle. Hawthorne also offended many New Englanders by criticizing Ralph Waldo Emerson. Referring to John Brown as a 'blood-stained fanatic', Hawthorne dismissed Emerson's assessment that his execution has 'made the Gallows as venerable as the Cross!' Instead, Hawthorne concluded that 'nobody was ever more justly hanged.' In the latter reading, the Peaceable Man and the footnotes added by his fictitious editor both lampoon the state of the country, not only the slave-holding South but also the censorious North."

Item from Catalog 272 (released for July, 2018)...

Category: Yankee

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