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Read by Ghizela Rowe, Richard Mitchley & Gideon Wagner (Unabridged: 1hr 5mins)
Herman Melville was born in New York City on August 1st, 1819, the third of eight children.
At the age of 7 Melville contracted scarlet fever which was to permanently diminish his eyesight. <p>At this time Melville was described as being "very backwards in speech and somewhat slow in comprehension."
His father died when he was 12 leaving the family in very straitened times. Just 14 Melville took a job in a bank paying $150 a year that he obtained via his uncle, Peter Gansevoort, who was one of the directors of the New York State Bank.
After a failed stint as a surveyor he signed on to go to sea and travelled across the Atlantic to Liverpool and then on further voyages to the Pacific on adventures which would soon become the architecture of his novels. Whilst travelling he joined a mutiny, was jailed, fell in love with a South Pacific beauty and became known as a figure of opposition to the coercion of native Hawaiians to the Christian religion.
He drew from these experiences in his books Typee, Omoo, and White-Jacket. These were published as novels, the first initially in London in 1846.
By 1851 his masterpiece, Moby Dick, was ready to be published. It is perhaps, and certainly at the time, one of the most ambitious novels ever written. However, it never sold out its initial print run of 3,000 and Melville’s earnings on this masterpiece were a mere $556.37.
In succeeding years his reputation waned and he found life increasingly difficult. His family was growing, now four children, and a stable income was essential.
With his finances in a disappointing state Melville took the advice of friends that a change in career was called for. For many others public lecturing had proved very rewarding. From late 1857 to 1860, Melville embarked upon three lecture tours, where he spoke mainly on Roman statuary and sightseeing in Rome.
In 1876 he was at last able to publish privately his 16,000 line epic poem Clarel. It was to no avail. The book had an initial printing of 350 copies, but sales failed miserably.
On December 31st, 1885 Melville was at last able to retire. His wife had inherited several small legacies and provide them with a reasonable income.
Herman Melville, novelist, poet, short story writer and essayist, died at his home on September 28rh 1891 from cardiovascular disease.
In this compilation -
|01 - The Poetry of Herman Melville - An Introduction|
|02 - The Maldive Shark by Herman Melville|
|03 - The Eagle Of The Blue by Herman Melville|
|04 - John Marr and Other Sailors by Herman Melville|
|05 - The Stone Fleet by Herman Melville|
|06 - Father Mapples Hymn by Herman Melville|
|07 - After the Pleasure Party - Lines Traced Under an Image of Amor Threatening by Herman Melville|
|08 - The Berg, A Dream by Herman Melville|
|09 - The Temeraire by Herman Melville|
|10 - The Swamp Angel by Herman Melville|
|11 - Misgivings by Herman Melville|
|12 - The House Top (A Night Piece) by Herman Melville|
|13 - Immolated by Herman Melville|
|14 - The Enthusiast by Herman Melville|
|15 - The Land of Love by Herman Melville|
|16 - Aurora Borealis by Herman Melville|
|17 - Shelley's Vision by Herman Melville|
|18 - Art by Herman Melville|
|19 - Greek Architecture by Herman Melville|
|20 - On the Photograph of a Corps Commander by Herman Melville|
|21 - The Apparition by Herman Melville|
|22 - Malvern Hill by Herman Melville|
|23 - Look-Out Mountain by Herman Merlville|
|24 - Monody by Herman Melville|
|25 - The March into Virginia by Herman Melville|
|26 - Duponts Round Fight (November 1861) by Herman Melville|
|27 - The Released Rebel Prisoner by Herman Melville|
|28 - Billy in the Darbies by Herman Melville|
|29 - In The Prison Pen by Herman Melville|
|30 - The Mound by the Lake by Herman Melville|
|31 - The Martyr by Herman Melville|
|32 - Shiloh by Herman Melville|
|33 - The Portent by Herman Melville|
|34 - Memorial on the Slain At Chickamauga by Herman Melville|
|35 - A Dirge for McPherson by Herman Melville|
|36 - A Meditation by Herman Melville|
|37 - America by Herman Melville|
|38 - The Age of the Antonines by Herman Melville|
|39 - Gettysburg by Herman Melville|