Herman Melville Biography | Author of Billy Budd

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Herman Melville's reputation seesawed from popularity to obscurity and back again over much of his lifetime and beyond, but now his position is secure as one of America's greatest authors. Best known now for his masterpiece novel Moby-Dick (1851). Melville first became popular as a writer in the 1840s for his novels of adventure in the South Seas: Typee (1846) and Omoo (1847). Born in New York City in 1819, Melville had been attracted to the sea and ships at a young age. and his first two novels, fictional romances inspired by his own seagoing adventures, were warmly received by readers.

After his early success with Typee and Omoo, Melville disappointed his audience with his third novel, Manii (1849). which took a philosophical and metaphysical turn away from his previous narratives. More conventional sea novels Redburn (1849) and White-Jacket (1850) - his attempts to win his audience back - briefly appeased his readers, but...

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This section contains 517 words
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Buy the Billy Budd Study Guide
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