Text: Edgar Allan Poe (ed. J. A. Harrison), “Review of Life on the Lakes,” The Complete Works of Edgar Allan PoeVol. IX: Literary Criticism - part 02 (1902), pp. 77-78


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[page 77:]

LIFE ON THE LAKES: BEING TALES AND SKETCHES COLLECTED DURING A TRIP TO THE PICTURED ROCKS OF LAKE SUPERIOR. BY THE AUTHOR OF “LEGENDS OF A LOG CABIN.” NEW YORK. PUBLISHED BY GEORGE DEARBORN.

[Southern Literary Messenger, July, 1836.]

THE name of this book is in shockingly bad taste. After being inundated with the burlesque in the shape of [[Life in London,]] Life in Paris, Life at Crockford’s, Life in Philadelphia, and a variety of other Lives, all partaking of caricature, it is not easy to imagine a title more sadly out of keeping than one embracing on the same page this so travestied word Life and the — Pictured Rocks of Lake Superior. We have other faults to find with the work. It contains some ill-mannered and grossly ignorant sneers at Daniel O’Connell, calling him “the great pensioner on the poverty of his countrymen,” and making him speak in a brogue only used by the lowest of the Irish, about “the finest pisantry in the world.” The two lithographs, (Picture Rocks and LaChapelle) the joint work of Messieurs Burford and Bufford, are abominable in every respect, and should not have been suffered to disgrace the well printed and otherwise handsome volumes. In the manner of the narrative, too, there is a rawness, a certain air of foppery and ill-sustained pretension — a species of abrupt, frisky, and self-complacent Paul Ulricism, which will cause nine-tenths of the well educated men who take up the book, to throw it aside in disgust, after perusing the initial chapter. Yet if we can overlook these difficulties, Life on the Lakes[[,]] will be found a very amusing [page 78:] performance. We quote from the close of volume the first, the following piquant Indian Story, narrated by an Indian.

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Notes:

None.


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[S:1 - JAHCW, 1902] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe (J. A. Harrison) (Review of Life on the Lakes)