WMR reviews W. Stillman's historical narrative
|Topic||WMR reviews W. Stillman's historical narrative|
|Notes||Stillman former US ambassador to Greece|
|↳||see Letters, 141.|
74 October 31 Academy
Review of William Stillman's historical narrative book.
Rossetti, William M. "The Cretan Insurrection of 1866-7-8." Academy (October 31, 1874): 130. Web. 21 Sept. 2011.
Under the heading "Literature," Rossetti reviews The Cretan Insurrection of 1866-7-8 (by William Stillman, late U.S. Consul in Crete, New York: Holt & Co., 1874). The essay seems less a book review in the critical sense of qualitative analysis and more a confirmation of the narrative, presumably from the narrative itself but it is not clear that this is the only source of information drawn upon. Rossetti relates the details of the insurrection in detail, then refers to it as "a very scanty outline."
Rossetti makes qualitative judgments regarding Stillman, some of them rooted in popular opinion; some seem to be his own based on his take on the insurrection and the politics he believes in. The only completely quantitative criticism of the book is the lack of a map.
Nonetheless, Rossetti recommends this volume as an example of how important yet obscure historical events should be recorded and preserved by someone like Stillman who took part in the events.
Rossetti discusses Stillman and this manuscript as far back as 1866, recommending the writing to Swinburne, who Rossetti at the time presumed to be working as Editor of "Moxon's Magazine" (Letters 139, 141), and Rossetti maintained an active correspondence with Stillman over the ensuing years and had several social meetings with Stillman, the former US Consul to Greece (Letters 176, 240). It is clear from the letters and the discussion of Stillman that Rossetti had with associates and editors that Rossetti felt that Stillman's narrative was important historically, even if the writing was less than topnotch.
Further, Rossetti reports in his memoir that Stillman's wife, born of the Spartali family, was a close friend of Lucy Rossetti. In addition, the Spartali family scion was an acquaintance of Rossetti's circle of artists and a supporter of their activities (Reminiscences 2:492).
Standards of Judgment:
"The outspokenness of the ex-Consul about various officials is, if not excessive, at least extreme;"
Rossetti, William Michael. Some Reminiscences of William Michael Rossetti.. Vol. 2. New York: Charles Scribner, 1906. Print.
---. Selected Letters of William Michael Rossetti. Ed. Roger Peattie. University Park: Pennsylvania State UP, 1990. Print.