Salt on Melville

Henry S. Salt, who I believe I mentioned in a recent post, was a 19th-century humanitarian reformer involved in causes ranging from socialism to pacifism to animal rights. Salt wrote a number of books, including books on social reform, animal rights, and vegetarianism, as well as studies of Thoreau and Shelley. (When Gandhi was living in England, it was Salt’s Plea for Vegetarianism that provided him with an ethical foundation for his vegetarianism, which he had previously been sticking to because of a promise he’d made to his mother.)

I recently ordered a used copy of Salt’s book Animals’ Rights Considered in Relation to Social Progress, and in searching for a little more information on him I came across this article he wrote on Herman Melville, published in the Scottish Art Review in 1889. Interestingly, Salt seems to consider Typee, Melville’s earliest novel, to be his best, though he does have some positive things to say about Moby-Dick.

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