Dear Mr. Shaw,

I need to set the record straight (at least as I see it) with you, for I believe you have misinterpreted my generally favorable review of your book. My occasional use of the pronominal "she" certainly does not "...enact a pusillanimous compromise with militant feminism..." as you impute. But for my misquoting you on your p. 171 ("...the cultivated sensibility that turns away in disgust from cannibalism..." it should have read), I apologize. It is my mistake and nothing more willful or ingenuously calculated that that. I made a bad mistake and did not catch it.

The spirit of your second paragraph is, from my vantage point, unfortunate. You imply I did not attend to your citations refuting the "Melville-as-radical imposture" when that is not the case. I am not current on Melville scholarship, I am happy to admit, but your childish bragging certainly advertises the "bristling hostility" I cited in your book and does not advance your argument. I agree much more than I disagree with your positions throughout your book but find your arrogance off-putting and offensive. Your letter, unfortunately for you, only gives further evidence of my statement: "The sniff of the battleground lingering through the book will either amuse or sadden Shaw's readers depending upon their orientation and degree of sympathy." I am sorry that your letter taxes my sympathy.

O. Alan Weltzien
Western Montana College-UM

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