Herman Melville Proclaimed Great American Writer

Herman Melville was born in 1819 into a once-wealthy New York family. Throughout his childhood, his family was financially unstable. When his father died Melville attempted to support his relatives by working as a banker, teaching school, and finally becoming a seaman.�¯�¿�½

In 1845 Melville was on a voyage and captured and held for several moths by the Typees. When he finally returned unharmed his friends encouraged him to write down his adventure. He entitled the book

“Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life,” and it became his first written success. He followed it with “Omoo,” which contained a continuation of his adventures.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½

Melville ended his seafaring career and decided to improve his education, by reading. In 1847 he married Elizabeth Shaw, and moved to Berkshire, where he became close friends with Nathaniel Hawthorne.�¯�¿�½

Melville became engrossed in metaphysics and wrote “Mardi andÃ?¯Ã?¿Ã?½A Voyage Thither”. The book failed, but Melville would’t be put down. He quickly wrote “Redburn,” a comedy, which became a financial success. He used the money to finance another more symbolic novel, “White Jacket” also known as “The World in a Man-of War.”

In 1851 Melville completed his most famous novel, “Moby-Dick.” It didn’t receive much praise or success then, but it’s now recognized as one of the great American novels.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½

During the 1850s Melville supported his family by farming, and writing stories for magazines. In 1856 he travelled to Europe and saw his friend Hawthorne for the last time. It was apparent to him then that his novel-writing career was over. When he returned to New York he became a customs inspector, and wrote poetry.�¯�¿�½

In 1861 Melville happened to be visiting Washington D.C. while the senate was debating secession. The Civil War became a principal subject in his poetry from then on, he even made a visit to the front lines.�¯�¿�½

Melville’s first book of poems, “Battle-Pieces” and “Aspects of the War,” was published in 1866. Although his poems are said to be very good, he is seldom recognized as a poet.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½

September 28, 1891, Herman Melville died of a heart attack at the age of 72. His death went unnoticed. It wasn’t until the 1920s that Melville developed a following, and was called “one of America’s greatest writers.”

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