Of Note

Syracuse University Press is now distributing for Union College Press the first reprint of Judith Sargent Murray's The Gleaner since the 18th Century. The Syracuse University Press catalog lists the following description:

The Gleaner: A Miscellany
Judith Sargent Murray
With an Introduction by Nina Baym

Originally published in 1798 and unavailable for nearly two centuries, this collection of an early American feminist's writing includes one of the first American novels.

The recent resurrection of Judith Sargent Murray (1751-1820) in the new Heath Anthology of American Literature cannot begin to encompass all her inventive talents. Perhaps spurred by the example of Mercy Otis Warren, the leading female writer of the Revolutionary era, Murray began to write in the 1780s. Some two-thirds of The Gleaner, her major work, first appeared as a serial publication in the Massachusetts Magazine. Modeled on The Spectator and The Tatler, in the epistolary convention, and dedicated to John Adams, only 825 full sets of The Gleaner were published in 1798, and it had neither a second edition nor a sequel.

In this work, Murray emerges as a woman ahead of her time. Presented in its entirety in this collection is The Story of Margaretta, one of the first novels to be published in America by an American. Also included in this volume are two full-length dramatic comedies: Virtue Triumphant and The Traveller Returned.

This new volume now makes available all of the three original component publications of The Gleaner. An important addition to eighteenth-century American literature, Murray's work deserves a place in all American university libraries.

Cloth 828 pages $37.95

For information, contact Syracuse University Press at 1600 Jamesville Ave., Syracuse, NY 13244-5160

Contents, No. IX