A Biography

Book - 1996
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Baker & Taylor
An in-depth biography of Herman Melville draws on more than five hundred recently discovered family letters to provide a fresh perspective on the writer's complex relationships, literary endeavors, moral conflict, and turbulent, adventurous personal life. 10,000 first printing.

Blackwell North Amer
Herman Melville's towering achievement stands as a timeless monument to the richness and diversity of nineteenth-century American literature. Employing a singularly American idiom, his immortal masterpiece, Moby-Dick, broke the bounds of the novel as it was then known and understood. But Melville's place in the pantheon of American literature is all the more exceptional given the fact that he remained virtually unknown as a writer throughout the course of his lifetime. It wasn't until the 1920s, some thirty years after his death, that he gained his reputation when that era's most influential literary critics promulgated his genius. Drawing upon more than five hundred newly discovered family letters, Laurie Robertson-Lorant now provides a richly fascinating and altogether fresh perspective on this titan of American literature. With energetic prose, Robertson-Lorant immerses the reader in the political and social climate of the often turbulent world of Herman Melville, from his childhood to his adventurous seafaring days, to his intermittently successful but never fulfilling career as a writer.
With breathtaking scope and an unerring eye for psychological nuance, Robertson-Lorant pinpoints the forces that would shape the man: the women and children in Melville's life, his complicated and enigmatic relationship with Nathaniel Hawthorne, the psychosexual tensions that informed his art, his struggles against debt, his disappointment about failing to win a popular audience for his more serious work, and the alcoholism and violence that plagued his family. Melville is a major, lively, brilliantly researched account of a true giant and one of America's greatest literary geniuses.

& Taylor

Recounts the life of the novelist, places him in the context of his times, describes his relationships with his family and with Hawthorne, and discusses his works

Publisher: New York : Clarkson Potter/Publishers, c1996
ISBN: 9780517593141
Branch Call Number: Biography M497r
Characteristics: xxv, 710 p. : ill. ; 25 cm


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