Facts about Herman Melville

Herman Melville died at 72 years old
Born: August 1, 1819
Best known as: The author of Moby-Dick

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Herman Melville Biography

Herman Melville was the celebrated author of several big 19th-century novels about the sea, most importantly the novel Moby Dick.

His first novel was Typee. Published in 1846, it recounted his experiences on a whaling ship in the early 1840s.

Moby-Dick (1851), the story of the fanatical Captain Ahab and his hunt for the great white whale of the title, is now considered one of the classics of American literature.

Melville’s other novels include Omoo (1847), and Billy Budd (published posthumously in 1924).

During his lifetime, Melville was neglected by audiences and critics for the most part and published little after 1860. It wasn’t until the 1900s that he gained his reputation as one of early America’s great authors.

Extra credit

Melville had a famous friendship with author Nathaniel Hawthorne, to whom he dedicated Moby-Dick… The 21st-century musician Moby is named in tribute to Melville… On film, Captain Ahab has been played by John Barrymore (1936), Gregory Peck (1956) and Patrick Stewart (1998, TV movie).


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