The Encantadas Concise Annotated Bibliography
Anderson, Charles R. Melville in the South Seas. New York: Columbia University Press, published in co-operation with the Modern language Association of America, 1939.
p. 49-51: historical information about the course of Melville's journey on the Acushnet. Considers whether or not Melville read any of Darwin's works before writing The Encantadas.
Companion to Sketch Eighth. Considers a number of editorial omissions that were made in Sketch Eighth. Examines the cross motif that associates Hunilla, an Indian woman, with Jesus. Makes an effort to find source texts and to explain Hunilla’s aposeopoesis, suggesting that Hunilla was likely raped by seamen who then left her on the island to die, just as they found her.
Reads the Encantadas as a dystopian work, each sketch “a burlesque or parody of a republican ideal of political community” (92); particularly wth the Dog King sketch – “Does our life add up to anything more, Melville seems to be asking, than the scratches on the rock left by the galapagos tortoises? If this is all we will leave behind us, utopian fantasies can only prove delusive.”
p. 354-360: contemporary Reviews on the Piazza Tales; “Melville is a kind of wizard; he writes strange and mysterious things that belong to other worlds beyond this tame and everyday place we live in.”
Constant, Pierre. The Galapagos Islands: A Natural History Guide. Hong Kong: Odyssey Publications Ltd., 2007.
Very useful, concise guidebook to the Galapagos, including geological data, flora and fauna, a brief history, and great descriptions, lists of animals, and photographs.
D. Mathis Eddy, "Melville's Response to Beaumont and Fletcher: A New Source for The Encantadas," American Literature, Vol. 40, No. 3 (Nov., 1968), pp. 374-380.
A companion the Sketch Sixth, identifies souces for the sketch including Shakespeare’s As You Like It, and The Tempest; and a Renaissance satirical play by Beaumont and Fletcher’s Wit Without Money (I,i).
Richard H. Fogle, "The Unity of Melville's 'The Encantadas,'" Nineteenth-Century Fiction, X, 38 (June, I955).
Another excellent article attempting a unified reading of all ten sketches as unifed under the idea of a fallen world. Consideres the themes of humor, irony, and endurance. "To Melville reality is one, indivisible, and complex. He accepts its unity as an unchallengeable first premise. Reality is indivisible in that no single element of it can be extricated from its relationships and used to explain the whole."
Higgins, Brian, and Hershel Parker. Herman Melville: The Contemporary Reviews. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
p. 467-483: more contemporary reviews, for example —
p. 478 Boston Christian Freeman and Family Visiter, 13, June 1856 “And ‘The Encantadas, or Enchanted Islands,’ another of the tales in this volume, could not have been writeen by man of ordinary imagination."
p. 480 New York Times 27 June, 1856, “Benito Cereno” is melodramatic, not effective. The sketches of “The Encantadas” are the best in the volume."
William Howarth, "Earth Islands: Darwin and Melville in the Galapagos," The Iowa Review,
Vol. 30, No. 3 (Winter, 2000/2001), pp. 95-113.
A wonderful introductory article including useful current information about the Galapagos Islands; compares the Darwinian and Melvillian perspective of the islands.
Melville, Herman, Harrison Hayford, Alma A. MacDougall, G T. Tanselle, and Merton M. Sealts. The Piazza Tales: And Other Prose Pieces, 1839-1860. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1987.
p. 600-617: authoritative scholarly text of Herman Melville’s Piazza Tales; publication history; Melville's travels in the Galapagos; influences; personal experiences; his pseudonym; sources of the sketches; consideration of typographical anomalies such as the description of Ablemarle as resembling the capital letter 'E'; notes on Meville's reading and library.
Ilse Newbery, “’The Encantadas’: Melville’s Inferno.” American Literature 38 (1966): 49-68.
Discussion of evil in the Encantadas; hell, analysis of the useage of Spenser's quotations from The Faerie Queen; discussion of the tortoises as symbols, the dog king; an excellent article
M. M. Sealts, Jr., "The Publication of Melville's Piazza Tales," Modern Language Notes, LIX, 56 (Jan., I944).
A brief description of the publication history of the Piazza Tales, including the original profits and losses accrued with the first edition.
Denise Tanyol, "The Alternative Taxonomies of Melville's 'The Encantadas,'" The New England Quarterly, Vol. 80, No. 2 (Jun., 2007), pp. 242-279.
Another comparison of Darwin and Melville, which reads Melville as a direct response to Darwin; considers instances in which Melville seems to mock the Darwinian taxonomic/scientific conception of the Galapagos.
Russell Thomas, “Melville’s Use of Some Sources in The Encantadas,” American Literature 3 (January, 1932).
Considers a number of possible sources for the excerpts and sketches; posits that Melville was using three maps to inform his understanding of the geography of the Galapagos.
Margaret Yarina, “The Dualistic Vision of Herman Melville’s ‘The Encantadas’” The Joural of Narrative Technique 3 (1973): 141-48.
Considers the difficulty in applying any single unified meaning to The Encantadas; considers the role of duality, and engages in particularly good analysis of Sketch Third, Fourth, and Eighth.