It's a fine piece, but there is one odd phrase, describing Melville as:
The philosophically inclined child of a Christian father and pious Calvinist mother.Yikes. This is the sort of thing I get from my students (though from them, it's usually: "Catholics and Christians"). Last I checked, Calvinists were indeed Christians. And pretty serious ones, too. Ever heard of the Puritans? or at least the Pilgrims?
Although Tablet describes itself as "a new read on Jewish life," I don't think this is what was intended.
Charitably interpreted, perhaps Sugarman meant merely that the father was of conventional generic Christian disposition in contrast to the more fervent mother. But then, one should say what one means.
A little proof-reading here? Please?