Book Notice: The Newly Discovered William McLellin Manuscript

By August 3, 2009

Just in my email is a notice about a forthcoming publication from Eborn Books. In January the Deseret News had a story about a newly discovered William McLellin manuscript that had been previously known and subsequently lost.  Brent Ashworth, the owner of the manuscript has made it available for publication through Eborn Books with Harvard Heath as editor.  Details are slim, I don’t know of any set title or timetable for publication, but Brent Ashworth will be presenting on the manuscript this Thursday at the 2nd Annual Eborn Book Event. I will be going back and forth between the Eborn Book Event and the FAIR conference Thursday and will provide notes from selected presentations from each including Brent’s presentation.

This will, then expand the William McLellin canon to three books with The Journals of William E. McLellin 1831-1836” published in 1994 by BYU Studies and the University of Illinois Press and The William E. McLellin Papers 1854-1880 published by Signature Books in 2007.

Article filed under Miscellaneous


  1. I’ll be interested to learn anything you hear about the manuscript’s provenance beyond what little is in that article — not that I have any direct reason to doubt it, but the not-too-distant history of anything relating to McClellin, and to Ashcroft’s collecting, kinda demands thorough, frank disclosure, doesn’t it? The linked article uses words like “implies” and “believes” and “someone named” (followed by an incomplete name of an unknown individual) which doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the depth of study of provenance.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 4, 2009 @ 9:51 pm

  2. Did the manuscript’s postmark indicate that it came from the Federal prison? Perhaps Mark Hoffman is just trying to earn cigarette money.

    Comment by Floyd the Wonderdog — August 5, 2009 @ 6:07 am

  3. If this is so important, is Eborn Books the best publisher to be printing this document?

    Comment by GLBJ — August 5, 2009 @ 9:43 am

  4. GLBJ,

    I think a lot has to do with who controls the mss which is Ashworth, and I don’t know that he is particularly saavy on what’s academic, nor that he’d care. I’d imagine Eborn is in it to sell books, planning on people being interested in buying this, which they will be, but if Eborn is doing it to somehow prove they’re a serious press in the historical/academic realm, that’s just not going to happen any more than if Signature wanted to do so. Although, I’d rather they use Harvard Heath than some of the other editors floating around. So, in a perfect world it probably wouldn’t be Eborn, but a lot of factors come into play. At least it’ll be published at all and then with a competent editor.

    Comment by LukeS — August 5, 2009 @ 1:33 pm


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