(1819 - 1891)
Herman Melville was an American writer best known for the novel Moby Dick. His first three books gained much contemporary attention (the first, Typee, became a bestseller), but after a fast-blooming literary success in the late 1840s, his popularity declined precipitously in the mid-1850s and never recovered during his lifetime.
Moby Dick or The Whale (1851)
Moby Dick or The Whale has a good claim to the title of The Great American Novel. Based on the story of the Essex, whaler, destroyed by a whale in the southern Pacific Ocean, Melville draws on his own experiences as a seaman. Read online at Hathitrust.
Moby Dick or The White Whale (1922)
Moby Dick or The White Whale has a good claim to the title of The Great American Novel. Based on the story of the Essex, whaler, destroyed by a whale in the southern Pacific Ocean, Melville draws on his own experiences as a seaman. Read online at Hathitrust.
In this sequel to Typee, the narrator is taken off the island by a whaleman, but soon discovers the captain and mate are incompetent. Along with most of the crew he jumps ship in Tahiti and is briefly jailed as a mutineer. On his release he bums about the islands with a companion.
Loosely based on his own adventures, Herman Melville here tells the story of two American sailors who jump ship on the island of Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas Islands and spend four months with the natives. While roundly condemned as fictitious at the time of publication, Melville’s companion Toby Greene later corroborated his account.
Read online at archive.org.