The bent line is not a curve

The importance of the lateral

How I found a reference to an article about Sarah Orne Jewett in the letters of Edward Garnett and John Galsworthy.

"The voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tacks." wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson in his diary on 21 June 1839 (Emerson 2022, p. 314). Seen from a sufficient distance, the back and forth would become a straight line with one direction again. How my mood directs me was also Dorothy Leigh Sayer's motto for my favourite literary detective character, Lord Peter Whimsey. And so my essay on Sarah Orne Jewett's book "The Land of Pointed Firs", published by Manesse, has been lying here for almost three months now.

But you, dear readers, will have to wait a little longer for that, because I found some new material today.

At the end of a long chain

Galsworthy and his editor and friend Edward Garnett

I have grown fond of the little books published by Manesse. Almost every week my library grows with these beautifully published books in their colourful covers. I look for them, get offers and buy them in second-hand bookshops. It all started with the book flea market on the Hardt in Wuppertal, where the first books from the Swiss publisher came into my hands.

And on 25 December last year, 'Master Tales' by John Galsworthy, the writer of the Edwardian age and friend of Joseph Conrad, author of 'Heart of Darkness', which later provided the basis for films such as Apocalypse Now and Aguirre, the Wrath of God. Galsworthy, who is particularly well known for his 'Forsyte' saga, also wrote a whole series of short stories, some of which can be found in this booklet with a translation by Irma Wehrli and an afterword by Andreas Fischer.

I will also write about this booklet and Galsworthy's skill in setting the scene for landscape and characters. Galsworthy was a sharp-tongued writer and, in my opinion, was excellent at putting his ideas of humanism and his criticism of the materialism, pretentiousness, callousness, greed and hypocrisy of the people of his time into sophisticated forms. As I have been doing for the last year or two, I am trying to understand the author better, to learn more about him first-hand or second-hand.

Letters from John Galsworthy, 1900-1932


In addition to the beautiful text that Galsworthy wrote about his friend and colleague Joseph Conrad - Joseph Conrad A Disquisition, The Fortnightly Review, April 1908 - the letters of Joseph Conrad, I also found the correspondence edited by Edward Garnett at Letters from John Galsworthy, 1900-1932; published in 1934. I then borrowed the book from and started to copy the English text (for later use) into my card index.

It must have been a similar feeling when collecting stamps, and on a cursory perusal I found a hit on page 51.

The most outstretched human antennae

The Cearne
Friday Night June, 1903

Dear Galsworthy,

I am glad you are trying Constable. I have written Seccombe, telling him to look out for the book. Constable are rather enterprising, so it will be specially interesting to see what chances they see for The Pharisees making a hit.
The more I think of it, the more I see it is a matter of advertising the novel boldly, and impressing the reviewers that way, by starting boldly. It is very good of you to send me that gift. It is a most welcome and delightful gift. I don't really deserve any gift from you — but I will take it, my dear fellow, as active evidence of our warm desires to serve each other as friends may, and should. I am also grateful for your desire to encourage me and egg me on re the Criticism book. I will consider you are my audience, and will soon let you see my Synopsis, and then tack the things together.
I have just finished an Essay on Hudson's Nature Book, for the Humane Review. God knows what I have written! as I tried to go deep, and may have fallen into weltering 'fine writing', and dire confusion. My paper on Miss Jewett was rejected by The Spectator, The Times Supplement and The Pilot in succession! So I have sent it on to the last refuge, The Academy.
I will bring you up a remarkable book; Samuel Butler's The Way of All Flesh - S.B. attacks the English of the generation 1850-1880, with the driest and the most caustic humour.

Yours, Edward Garnett.
PS, - Get Hudson's Hampshire Days from the library.

Quelle: Galsworthy, John; Garnett, Edward (Hrsg) : Letters from John Galsworthy, 1900-1932; Hrsg. 1934

And there it was, and why shouldn't it be true?

»My paper on Miss Jewett was rejected by The Spectator, The Times Supplement and The Pilot in succession! So I have sent it on to the last refuge, The Academy.«

I didn't want to give up the author's hopes of publication even when searching for the text. I couldn't find any proof of publication. And finding digitised magazines is not that easy, but I did manage to find an online list that linked to digitised copies at the Haiti Trust. But they were all behind a copyright wall.

Somehow, I thought, I should be able to find them at This quickly brings us back to the topic of OCR, the poor text recognition. Search terms are smoke and mirrors, you simply can't find the texts if Jewett was digitised with Ioweff, no wildcards help. I tried this and that and then found the 1903 annual table of contents (see Sources). And in it, sorted not by author but by subject and title, the proof that Garnett's efforts were crowned with success. "Jewett's (Miss Sarah Orne) Tales of New England, 40".

That seemed feasible. And after a little further searching for the year's single issues, here it is, in screenshot only for now. Edward Garnett on Sarah Orne Jewett's stories from New England.


tl, dr;

How I found an article by Edward Garnett (1868 - 1937) in the English literary magazine The Academy.


  • Emerson, Ralph Waldo, und Brôcan, Jürgen (Translator) : Tagebücher: 1819 - 1877. Erste Auflage. Berlin: MSB Matthes & Seitz Berlin, 2022.
  • Galsworthy, John; Garnett, Edward (Hrsg) : Letters from John Galsworthy, 1900-1932; Jonathan Cape, New Bedford Square, London; Charles Scribner & Sons, New York 1934 (vis. 26.01.2024)
  • Jewett, Sarah Orne; Schnack, Elisabeth (Translator) : Das Land der spitzen Tannen. Zürich: Manesse Verlag, 1961. Mit einem Nachwort von Elisabeth Schnack.
  • Galsworthy, John; Wehrli, Irma : Meistererzählungen; 2. Aufl. Manesse-Bibliothek der Weltliteratur. Zürich: Manesse-Verlag, 1985. Mit einem Nachwort von Andreas Fischer
  • The Academy and Literature 1903: Vol 65 Table of Contents, (vis. 26.01.2024)

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