Gothic Romance: UM-Machias Students Fall for Long-dead Author
The April 1st issue of the Maine Sunday Telegram featured an article on UMM's English and Book Arts program and a project students are working on to reprint the first novel published in Maine, "Julia and the Illuminated Baron."
MACHIAS — Students at the University of Maine at Machias feel like they are raising the dead.
"It's like bringing an extinct animal back," said Joshua W. Luman. "It's like the 'Jurassic Park' of the book world. Except when we do this, it won't be just the bones but a living, breathing thing."
A senior in the book arts and English department, Luman is overseeing a project to reprint the first novel published in Maine and one of the first gothic novels published in America: "Julia and the Illuminated Baron," written by Sally Sayward Wood of York and published in 1800 by Oracle Press in Portsmouth, N.H.
The book has been out of print in the United States for 212 years, but will have the rare chance to find a new audience this spring. That's when the Library of Early Maine Literature, a scholarly imprint of the University of Maine at Machias Press, will publish an edited and updated version of the historic book. Students at this tiny and remote university on Maine's Bold Coast have been working on the project for parts of two years.