One of the most widely-read and respected books in all American literature, Moby Dick is the saga of Captain Ahab and his unrelenting pursuit of Moby Dick, the great white whale who maimed him during their last encounter. A novel blending high-seas romantic adventure, symbolic allegory, and the conflicting ideals of heroic determination and undying hatred, Moby Dick is also revered for its historical accounts of the whaling industry of the 1800s.iter to collect and publish.
Herman Melville was born in New York City on August 1, 1819, to Allan and Maria Gansevoort Melvill (Maria added the e to the family name following her husbands death in 1832). In the mid-1820s, young Herman fell ill to scarlet fever, and though he regained his health not long after, his vision was left permanently impaired by the illness. Melvilles family had enjoyed a prosperous life for many years due to Allan Melvills success as a high-end importer and merchant. However, when Allan made a failed attempt to branch into the fur trade in 1830, the familys fortune took a big hit. When Allan died suddenly soon after, in 1832, finances dwindled significantly.
It was much later in life that Melville wrote his most popular work, Moby-Dick (initially titled The Whale), which was first published in 1851. Moby-Dick, categorized as American Romanticism, is based on both Melvilles years of experience aboard whale ships and the real-life sinking of the Essex
Herman Melville was born in August 1, 1819, in New York City, the son of a merchant. Only twelve when his father died bankrupt, young Herman tried work as a bank clerk, as a cabin-boy on a trip to Liverpool, and as an elementary schoolteacher, before shipping in January 1841 on the whaler Acushnet, bound for the Pacific. Deserting ship the following year in the Marquesas, he made his way to Tahiti and Honolulu, returning as ordinary seaman on the frigate United States to Boston, where he was discharged in October 1844. Books based on these adventures won him immediate success. By 1850 he was married, had acquired a farm near Pittsfield, Massachussetts (where he was the impetuous friend and neighbor of Nathaniel Hawthorne), and was hard at work on his masterpiece Moby-Dick. Literary success soon faded; his complexity increasingly alienated readers. After a visit to the Holy Land in January 1857, he turned from writing prose fiction to poetry. In 1863, during the Civil War, he moved back to New York City, where from 1866-1885 he was a deputy inspector in the Custom House, and where, in 1891, he died. A draft of a final prose work, Billy Budd, Sailor, was left unfinished and uncollated, packed tidily away by his widow, where it remained until its rediscovery and publication in 1924. Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).