Herman Melville Biography | Author of Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street

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Herman Melville was born in New York City on August 1,1819. He was the son of Allan Melville, a successful merchant, and Maria Gansevoort Melville, who came from an old New York family of distinction and wealth. Although their family name was well respected, the Melvilles went bankrupt in 1830. Allan Melville tried to re-establish his business in Albany, New York, but his financial burdens drove him to a mental and physical breakdown. In 1832, when Herman was twelve, his father died, leaving the Melville family heavily burdened by debt. The experience of his father's financial ruin and mental collapse left a deep impression on the young Melville, who later explored issues of sanity and the pressures of capitalism in such stories as "Bartleby the Scrivener."

After his father's death, Melville left school and worked odd jobs. Melville briefly considered becoming a legal scrivener but was unable to secure a job...

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This section contains 530 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Bartleby the Scrivener, A Tale of Wall Street Study Guide
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