The Annotated Autocrat

What follows is a provisional set of annotations to The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table, by Oliver Wendell Holmes. It was created as a seminar project in English 442 -- "Oliver Wendell Holmes and Literary Boston" -- taught at Rutgers University in Spring semester 2013. Members of the seminar are pictured above, with the historic statue of William of Orange that stands in Rutgers' Old Queens quad.

The Annotated Autocrat was conceived as a collaborative project. We welcome corrections and further annotations from readers able to fill in details that in the following notes we have been compelled to leave blank, or that are either incomplete or conjectural.

Section 1 has been revised and edited in the format in our standard annotation format. In Section 1, blank items are signaled thus: [???]. We would especially appreciate hearing from readers able to fill these in. Incomplete items are signaled as [INC], and conjectural items as [CONJ]. You may send missing notes, corrections, or useful supplementary material to WCD at the address given at the head of this page. Please give the specific sources of anything you send. Any material we use will list you as a contributor.

The remaining sections are "rough cuts": unrevised and unedited lists of items that will eventually be revised, edited, and put into the same format as Section 1. In the meantime, we post them for readers of the Autocrat of the Breakfast Table who might find them helpful in their present form.

Definitions taken from the Oxford English Dictionary are parenthetically noted as OED.

Our notes are keyed to the page numbers in the Riverside edition of The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table (Houghton Mifflin, 1891). Links to sections listed below will go "live" as they are edited, proofread, and formatted for posting on the internet:


Section 1 (1-40)

Section 2 (41-80) [rough cut]

Section 3 (81-120) [rough cut]

Section 4 (121-160) [rough cut]

Section 5 (161-200)

Section 6 (201-240) [rough cut]

Section 7 (241-280) [rough cut]

Section 8 (281-314) [rough cut]