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The Song of Songs   By: (1857-1928)

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Transcriber's Notes:

1. Page scan source: http://www.archive.org/details/3398065

2. The diphthong oe is represented by [oe].

THE SONG OF SONGS

BY THE SAME AUTHOR

REGINA; OR THE SINS OF THE FATHERS JOHN THE BAPTIST THE INDIAN LILY THE UNDYING PAST

THE SONG OF SONGS

BY HERMANN SUDERMANN

A New Translation by BEATRICE MARSHALL

With an Introduction by JOHN LANE

LONDON: JOHN LANE THE BODLEY HEAD VIGO STREET MCMXIV

Third Edition .

THE ANCHOR PRESS, LTD. TIPTREE, ESSEX.

THE PUBLISHER'S NOTE

In 1898 I published a translation of Sudermann's "Der Katzensteg," under the title of "Regina"; in 1906 of "Es War," under the title of "The Undying Past," and in 1908 of "Der Täufer," under the title of "John the Baptist." All these books were translated by Miss Beatrice Marshall, and the translations were received in England, America, and Germany with enthusiasm alike by critics and the public. I was therefore naturally anxious to publish Herr Sudermann's great novel, "Das hohe Lied," on which he had been working for a great number of years, but I found that Mr. B. W. Huebsch of New York, the well known American publisher, had purchased the world rights in the translation. My only chance therefore was to purchase from him the translation he had had made, and this I acquired in sheet form, as he had already copyrighted the book in this country. My edition of the work appeared here in October, 1910, under the title of "The Song of Songs."

Serious objections were then raised to it in certain quarters, and I should like to place on record here exactly what happened and in proper sequence, by first of all printing a letter which I wrote to Sir Melville Macnaghten. Chief of the Criminal Investigation Department, Scotland Yard; a circular letter which I sent to the book trade; and a circular letter which I sent to the Incorporated Society of Authors and the following well known novelists, together with such replies as I received:

E. F. Benson Eden Phillpotts Mrs. W. K. Clifford G. B. Shaw Sir A. Conan Doyle Miss May Sinclair Sir Gilbert Parker Thomas Hardy Miss Beatrice Harraden Miss M. P. Willcocks A. E. W. Mason Israel Zangwill H. G. Wells

London, W., December 9th , 1910.

Sir Melville Macnaghten, Criminal Investigation Department, New Scotland Yard, S.W.

Dear Sir,

I am told that Inspectors Lawrence and Duggan called at my office to day to inform me that complaint had been made of "The Song of Songs," by Hermann Sudermann, which was described as an obscene book. Through ill health I have not been at my office for several weeks, although I happen to be in London to day on my way to Brighton; but my manager immediately came to me and communicated what had passed. The officers informed him that you do not associate yourself at the present juncture with the opinion that has been expressed upon the book, but that their object was to draw my attention to the fact that complaint had been made.

I very much appreciate your kindness in causing the officers to call upon me, and they were quite right in their assumption that I should be the last person to wish to publish an obscene book. Although I am under doctor's orders, I have delayed my departure for Brighton to write letters to some of the most distinguished novelists of the day and to the Society of Authors, to whom I am sending copies of "The Song of Songs," asking them to acquaint me with their opinion, at the same time informing them of what has occurred... Continue reading book >>




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