Paradise of Bachelors and Tartarus of Maids and Other Stories


"The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids" is a short story written by American writer Herman Melville. It first appeared in the April 1855 edition of Harper's Magazine.[1] A combination of two sketches, one set in the center of London's legal industry and the other in a New England paper factory, this story can be read as an early comment on globalization.

Plot summary

In the first sketch, the London bachelors, all lawyers, scholars, or writers, enjoy a sumptuous meal in a cozy apartment near the Temple Bar. In the second sketch, the New England "maids" are young women working in a paper factory.


Melville was inspired to write "The Paradise of Bachelors" by a trip to the Inns of Court in December 1849. "The Tartarus of Maids" was inspired by his visit to Carson's Old Red Paper Mill in Dalton, Massachusetts in January, 1851.[2]

  1. ^ "Harper's Magazine as Matchmaker: Charles Dickens and Herman Melville". Harper's Magazine. 2008-01-13. Retrieved 2013-12-12. 
  2. ^ Johnson, Claudia Durst (2006). Labor and Workplace Issues in Literature. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-313-33286-9. 
External links
  • "The Paradise of Bachelors"
  • "The Tartarus of Maids"

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