Herman Melville Facts

Herman Melville Facts
Herman Melville was an American writer during the American Renaissance period, best known for his whaling adventure novel Moby-Dick. He was born Herman Melvill to Allan, a commission merchant, and Maria Melvill on August 1st, 1819. Herman was the third child born out of eight in his family. Herman attended a variety of schools while growing up, and after his father's death, when only 14 years old, he worked at a bank to help support the family. He returned to school when finances at home improved, but later dropped out again due to money issues. He eventually landed a job on a ship bound for Liverpool, which became the inspiration to one of Herman's later works Redburn: His First Voyage.
Interesting Herman Melville Facts:
Herman's mother added the 'e' to the end of Melvill after her husband's death, making the family surname Melville.
Melville's first sea voyage was aboard the St. Lawrence. This voyage was the inspiration for Redburn: His First Voyage, although the book wasn't written for many years after the trip.
His second voyage was aboard the Acushnet in 1841. This ship was a whaling ship. This trip took three years and became the inspiration for his subsequent novel Typee. In Typee Herman and a crewmate were captured by cannibals and it took for months before they escaped onto another ship the Lucy Ann.
Herman Melville's most famous book Moby-Dick was published in 1851. It was based on Herman's experiences aboard whaling ships and a story about whalers on the ship the Essex that sank in 1920 after being attacked by a sperm whale.
When Moby-Dick was published it was not received well by readers or critics. It sold only 500 copies in the United Kingdom when it was published. It was nearly 100 years before it became popular and critically acclaimed.
Herman Melville wrote 11 books including Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life (1846), Omoo: A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas (1847), Mardi: And a Voyage Thither (1849), Redburn: His First Voyage (1849), White Jacket (1850), Moby-Dick (1851), Pierre (1852), Isle of the Cross (1853), Israel Potter: His Fifty Years of Exile (1855), The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade (1857), and Billy Budd, Sailor (1924).
Herman Melville wrote short stories, including Bartleby, the Scrivener (1853), Cock-A-Doodle-Doo (1853), The Enchantadas (1854), Poor Man's Pudding (1854), The Happy Failure (1854), The Lightning-Rod Man (1854), The Fiddler (1854), and many more.
In addition to novels and short stories Herman Melville wrote poetry collections and essays.
Herman Melville died on September 28th, 1891 in New York City from a heart attack. He never knew how popular or well-regarded his work became. Herman Melville is considered to be one of America's greatest literary writers and Moby-Dick is considered by many to be a masterpiece.
Since his death Herman Melville has been honored with Herman Melville Square in New York City, in 1985. It is the intersection of 26th Street and Park Avenue.
In 2010 a new species of giant sperm whale was named after him, Livyatan melvillei.

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