A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder

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Drifting on a sailing boat off the Canary Islands, four British gentlemen take turns reading a manuscript that they find inside a copper cylinder discovered floating in the Atlantic Ocean. The manuscript recounts Adam More's adventures after being lost at sea during an Antarctic voyage in 1844 and his life with the Kosekin, a lost civilization living at the South Pole. The values of the Kosekin are opposed to the civilized norm—they love death, abjection, and poverty. Their society may be well suited to their ...

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A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder

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Overview

Drifting on a sailing boat off the Canary Islands, four British gentlemen take turns reading a manuscript that they find inside a copper cylinder discovered floating in the Atlantic Ocean. The manuscript recounts Adam More's adventures after being lost at sea during an Antarctic voyage in 1844 and his life with the Kosekin, a lost civilization living at the South Pole. The values of the Kosekin are opposed to the civilized norm—they love death, abjection, and poverty. Their society may be well suited to their particular evolution, but it is profoundly disconcerting to the narrator, and it is radically contentious to the Victorian gentlemen who read and debate More's account.
This Broadview edition of James De Mille's classic recreates the format of the posthumous 1888 Harper's Weekly serial, including 18 original illustrations by Gilbert Gaul. The appendices allow the novel to be seen in terms of other satirical and scientific romance, Antarctic exploration, and contemporary geology. The introduction and notes tap into recent scholarship to bring to life De Mille's genre innovations and his use of Orientalist and colonialist discourses.

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Editorial Reviews

Gerry Turcotte
"Daniel Burgoyne's Broadview edition of A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder is a refreshing, re-energised insight into an old classic. It is both scholarly and accessible, bringing important scholarship, key graphics, and of course the work itself, into fresh perspective. What I especially value is the way the volume will appeal to both general readers and critics, and the way that more recent scholarship on the novel has been updated and synthesized to produce new understandings of this unusual Canadian phenomenon."
From the Publisher
"De Mille writes in succinct and easy sentences, free of adjectives and drawn-out syntactic pretenses. His pen even allows cliches to sound moving . . ."- Aidan Johnson, The Hamilton Spectator
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781551119595
  • Publisher: Broadview Press
  • Publication date: 10/12/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Burgoyne is University-College Professor in the Department of English at Vancouver Island University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction
James De Mille: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text
A Kosekin Glossary
A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder
Appendix A: Antarctic Exploration
Antarctica Exploration Timeline
From James Cook and Tobias Furneaux, A Voyage Towards the South Pole and Round the World (1777)
Book 1, Chapters 2-3, January 1773
Book 2, Chapter 6, January 1774
From Charles Wilkes, Synopsis of the Cruise of the U.S. Exploring Expedition During the Years 1838-1842 (1842)
From Captain Sir James Clark Ross, A Voyage of Discovery in the Southern and Antarctic Regions (During the Years 1839-43) (1847)
Volume 1, Chapter VII, 10 January 1841
Volume 1, Chapter VII, 27 January 1841
Volume 1, Chapter VIII, 28 January 1841
Appendix B: Nineteenth-Century Geology and Paleontology
From Richard Owen, Geology and the Inhabitants of the Ancient World (1854)
Pterodactyle
Iguanodon
Hylaeosaurus
Megalosaurus
Teleosaurus
Enaliosauria (Ichthyosaurus and Plesiosaurus)
Labyrinthodon
From Louis Figuier, The World Before the Deluge (1866)
"whale of the saurians"
Ideal Landscapes
Coal Period Vegetation: From Louis Figuier, The World Before the Deluge (1866)
From Elijah H. Burritt, Atlas Designed to Illustrate the Geography of the Heavens (1845)
Appendix C: Savages and Cannibals
From James Cook, A Voyage Towards the South Pole and Round the World (1777)
Volume 1, Book 2, Chapter 5, November 1773, Queen Charlotte’s Sound, New Zealand
Volume 2, Book 3, Chapter 5, August 1774, Vanuatu Archipelago
From Charles Darwin, Journal of Researches into the Geology and Natural History of the Various Countries Visited by H.M.S. Beagle (1846)
Appendix D: Historical Mythology: Caves and Troglodytes
From Plato, The Republic of Plato (c. 380 BCE): The Allegory of the Cave
From Penny Cyclopaedia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (1843)
From Thomas Hodgkin, "On the Ancient Inhabitants of the Canary Islands" (1848)
Appendix E: Scientific Romance and Lost Worlds
From John Cleves Symmes Jr., Symzonia; Voyage of Discovery (1820)
From Edgar Allan Poe, "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym" (1838)
Preface
A History of Antarctic Exploration
From Edward Bulwer Lytton, The Coming Race: or The New Utopia (1871)
Orientalism
Gender
From Jules Verne, A Journey into the Interior of the Earth (1877)
From Samuel Butler, Erewhon or Over the Range (1880)
From Jonathan Swift, Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver (1726)
Appendix F: Reviews
New York Times, 21 May 1888
Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 3 June 1888
The Week, July 1888
The Athenaeum, 15 December 1888
Works Cited and Recommended Reading

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2013

    Told and written in late 1800s

    Started out slow but got better as the tale unfurled. Must like old- time tales. I wanted to know more at the end. More about the "lost" sailor and more about the 4 "Sunday" sailors who found the copper kettle.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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