This digital edition of The Marble Faun constitutes an effort not only to bring greater accessibility to the text, but also to revive the interactivity of past editions. Just months after the release of The Marble Faun: or, the Romance of Monte Beni (or Transformation in the English edition) in America in March 1860, Tauchnitz began to print copies of Hawthorne's romance (Wilsher 63). Bernhard Tauchnitz's publishing house based in Leipzig had a reputation for “small, light, portable editions of the best-sellers of the day” popular among English-speaking travelers in Europe (62).
Initially, The Marble Faun extended the Tauchnitz line of English literature about Italy popular among American tourists in Rome (Wilsher 63). Around 1868, printers began to “tip in”—to trim and paste in—photographs into the Tauchnitz edition (Williams 124 and 127). While other books at the time had images tipped into them, the printers of the Marble Faun allowed buyers “a personal selection of suitable illustrations from a large number of photographs offered for inspection” (Wilsher 63). These editions usually contained from 50 to 100 photographs, depending on the price (Williams 125). Many copies included images of works of art mentioned in the text, portraits of Hawthorne, images of Roman people, and Roman landscapes (Wilsher 65). Some readers even chose to deliberately leave blank leaves on which they wrote poetry related to the work and their Roman travels (Williams 143).
As readers curated images of their edition, they created a copy unique to their perspective of the novel and experience of Rome. The Tauchnitz edition transformed The Marble Faun “into a personalized souvenir [and] guidebook” (Williams 118), but it also forced readers to engage in the issues of aesthetics and perspective presented in the text. In “tipping in” images and annotations within this digital edition, we have created our own modern Tauchnitz edition of Marble Faun. We hope our “gentle readers” will not take our selection for granted, but reflect on how such interaction relates to the work.
This site makes two chapters of Nathaniel Hawthorne's 1860 novel The Marble Faun, "Beatrice" and "A Stroll on the Pincian," available in an enhanced digital form.
These chapters were selected because they contain prominent examples of the novel's engagement with visual culture and spatial rhetoric, inviting opportunities for digital mediation that at once highlights the mutlimedality of the original 1860 edition and new digital versions alike.
The site is navigable in several different ways, and includes a variety of resources:
An introduction to issues of space, visual culture, and print and digital mediation in The Marble Faun and this project.
To read the "Beatrice" and "A Stroll on the Pincian," click on "Chapters" and select which one you wish to read. Follow links within the text to related items and notes.
To contribute photographs or annotations in keeping with the practices of early Marble Faun "extra-illustrators," click on "Interactive Marble Faun."
Collections are groups of thematically similar items.
Williams, Susan S. "Manufacturing Intellectual Equipment: The Tauchnitz Edition of 'The Marble Faun'" Reading Books: Essays on the Material Text and Literature in America. Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 1996. 117-50. Print.
Wilsher, Ann. "The Tauchnitz 'Marble Faun'" History of Photography 4.1 (1980): 61-66. Print.