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The Confidence-man

by Herman Melville

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Book Description
The text of The Confidence-Man reprinted here is again that of the first American edition (1857), slightly corrected. The Second Edition features significantly expanded explanatory annotations, particularly of biblical allusions.

"Contemporary Reviews" includes nineteen commentaries on The Confidence-Man, eight of them new to the Second Edition. Better understood today are the concerted attacks on Melville by, especially, Presbyterian, Congregationalist, and Methodist reviewers.

A new section, "Biographical Overviews," embodies the transformation of knowledge about Melville's life that has occurred over the last three decades. This section provides a wide range of readings of Melville's life by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Dennis Marnon, and Hershel Parker, among others.

"Sources, Backgrounds, and Criticism" is thematically organized to inform readers about movements and social developments central to Melville's America and to this novel, including utopias, cults, cure-alls, Transcendentalism, Indian hating, the Bible, and popular literature.

A Selected Bibliography is also included.

About the Series: No other series of classic texts equals the caliber of the Norton Critical Editions. Each volume combines the most authoritative text available with the comprehensive pedagogical apparatus necessary to appreciate the work fully. Careful editing, first-rate translation, and thorough explanatory annotations allow each text to meet the highest literary standards while remaining accessible to students. Each edition is printed on acid-free paper and every text in the series remains in print. Norton Critical Editions are the choice for excellence in scholarship for students at more than 2,000 universities worldwide.

About the Author
Hershel Parker is Professor of English Emeritus at the University of Delaware. He is the author of Herman Melville: A Biography, Associate Editor of the Northwestern-Newberry The Writings of Herman Melville (Vols. 1-13) and General Editor of The Writings of Herman Melville (Vols. 14-15, the final two volumes). He is the editor of the Norton Critical Edition of Moby-Dick. Mark Niemeyer is Associate Professor of English at the Sorbonne. He is Associate Editor of the multi-volume Pléiade edition of Herman Melville, Oeuvres, Associate Editor of Literature on the Move: Comparing Diasporic Ethnicities in Europe and co-author of a French high school textbook on British and American history.



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