The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids

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"The Paradise of Bachelors and The Tartarus of Maids"
Author Herman Melville
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Short story
Publisher Harper's Magazine
Media type Print
Publication date April 1855

"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[edit]

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[edit]