Herman Melville (1819-1891) was born in New York City and raised in upstate New York. After holding several clerical and teaching jobs, he shipped out on a Pacific-bound whaling ship in 1841. Melville’s experiences as a sailor served as raw material for the fiction he began writing in 1845. His first five novelsTypee (1846), Omoo (1847), Mardi (1849), Redburn (1849), and White-Jacket (1850)all featured colorful accounts of foreign travel and seagoing adventure punctuated with provocative commentary on the harshness of the sailor’s life. Melville’s increasingly bold experimentation with theme and narrative form is best exemplified by Moby-Dick (1851). The novel is recognized today as a landmark of literature and one of the most important works produced by an American writer. Poor sales of his next three novelsPierre (1852), Israel Potter (1855), and The Confidence Man (1857)convinced Melville to give up writing fiction and concentrate on poetry. He collected most of his short fiction in The Piazza Tales (1856) and much of his verse in Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War (1866). Melville served as a customs inspector in New York City from 1866 to 1885. His last work of fiction, Billy Budd, Sailor, was published posthumously.
Herman Melville: Seven Novels (Library of Essential Writers)by Herman Melville, Tommy Jenkins (Introduction)
In Herman Melville’s tales of the sea, powerful dramas that explore the human condition unfold against exotic backdrops rich with local color and authentic historical detail. Melville’s source materials were his own adventures as a sailor, and the sights he witnessed firsthand on his voyages to the South Seas. He universalized these personal/b>
In Herman Melville’s tales of the sea, powerful dramas that explore the human condition unfold against exotic backdrops rich with local color and authentic historical detail. Melville’s source materials were his own adventures as a sailor, and the sights he witnessed firsthand on his voyages to the South Seas. He universalized these personal experiences, mixing them with lore and legendry and lacing his everyday accounts of the sailing life with provocative metaphysical and philosophical insights.
This omnibus collects all of Melville’s seafaring novels, including Typee, Omoo, Mardi, Redburn, White-Jacket, and Moby-Dick, a landmark of American literature that D.H. Lawrence praised as “a surpassingly beautiful book.” In addition, it includes the short novel Billy Budd, Sailor first published thirty-three years after Melville’s death.
Herman Melville: Seven Novels is part of Barnes & Noble’s Library of Essential Writers. Each title in the series presents the finest workscomplete and unabridgedfrom one of the greatest writers in literature in magnificent, elegantly designed hardback editions. Every volume also includes an original introduction that provides the reader with enlightening information on the writer’s life and works.
Meet the Author
- Date of Birth:
- August 1, 1819
- Date of Death:
- September 28, 1891
- Place of Birth:
- New York, New York
- Place of Death:
- New York, New York
- Attended the Albany Academy in Albany, New York, until age 15
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