A DIARY IN AMERICA by Frederick; Jackman.  W. Ed Marryat

A DIARY IN AMERICA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Carefully edited by ney Jackman, and with an excellent biographical foreword, this ""diary"" of an English naval captain and novelist, author of Mr. Midshipman Easy, etc., tells of travels in America in 1837-38, and both supplements and disputes two similar volumes. Mrs. Trollope's Domestic Manners of the Americans (1832) and Harriet Martin's in (1837). Marryat, born in 1792, as a boy joined the British Navy, leaving it at to travel and write successful and now almost forgotten sea-novels. In April, 187, he came to America to ""examine the effects of a democratic form of government and climate upon a people ... which may still be considered English"". At first welcomed, Marryat, who tried to be fair, was given to outspoken and not always accurate comments which irritated the Americans who, he says, ""insulted and annoyed him from one end of the country to the other"". However, he enjoyed himself, journeying from city to city, from Canada, where he met the abortive ""civil war"" of 1837, to Wisconsin and the South, where he wrote of slavery and the Negro. Stating that ""to write about America as a nation would be absurd"", he tells of sectional disputes, manners, means of travel, hotels, scenery and endless other matters, and predicts a Civil War, not between North and South, but between East and West. Although Marryat is often didactic and lacks Mrs. Trollope's pungency and Miss Martineau's social awareness, his diary is a readable and valuable addition to the annals of the period and will appeal to amateur and professional students alike; it belongs in all collections of early 19th-century Americana.

ISBN: 0559467168
Publisher: Knopf