Herman Melville - Novelists, Timeline and Facts

Home  ›  American  ›  Herman MelvilleAugust 1, 1819134 views

0.0 based on 0 rates

Herman Melville's Personal Details

Herman Melville was an acclaimed American novelist and poet, best known for his novel ‘Moby-Dick’

InformationDetail
BirthdayAugust 1, 1819
Died onSeptember 28, 1891
NationalityAmerican
FamousBisexual, Writers, Novelists, Short Story Writers
SpousesElizabeth Shaw
SiblingsThomas Melville
Childrens Elizabeth Melville, Frances Melville, Malcolm Melville, Stanwix Melville
Universities
  • The Albany Academy (1836–1837)
  • The Albany Academy (1830–1831)
  • Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School
  • Lansingburgh Academy
Birth PlaceNew York City
GenderMale
FatherAllan
MotherMaria Gansevoort Melville
Sun SignLeo
Born inNew York City
Died at Age72

// Famous Bisexual

Herman Melville's photo

Who is Herman Melville?

One of the first authors to have his works published in the Library of America, Herman Melville was an acclaimed American novelist, poet and a short story writer. An enigma of American literature, Melville’s first few books brought him fame and literary recognition. He first gained critical acclaim with his book ‘Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life’, after which his most popular novel, ‘Moby-Dick’ elevated his status as a prolific writer. Some of his other books include, ‘Omoo: A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas’, ‘Mardi and a Voyage Thither’, White-Jacket’, ‘Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land’ and the posthumously published novel ‘Billy Budd’. Unfortunately, the books published before the success of ‘Moby-Dick’ did not do very well. In the 20th century, he was catapulted to great fame as a writer for his book ‘Moby-Dick’, a book that is regarded as one of the most acclaimed pieces of literature in the world. Although he was not a financially successful writer, yet he received worldwide recognition for his writings.

// Famous Short Story Writers

Childhood & Early Life

Herman Melville was born in New York City to Allan and Maria Gansevoort Melville. His father was a commission merchant and importer and spent most of his days abroad.

He attended the New York Male School. His father died when he was just twelve and the family was left with no money or resources. His mother had expected some inherited wealth from her family but she did not receive it.

He attended the Albany Academy during the 1830s. Here, he studied classic literature and participated actively in student debates. He also developed an interest in writing during this period.

Career

In 1841, he travelled from Fairhaven, Massachusetts on the whaler ship ‘Acushnet’ and the following year he deserted the ship. His travelling experiences formed the inspiration for many of his writings.

In 1846, his first book titled ‘Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life’ was published. The book was based on his real life experiences on the island of Nuku Hiva in French Polynesia, where he was held a captive.

In 1847, he published ‘Omoo: A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas’, depicting Tahiti and the customs and traditions of the place was published. It was a sequel to ‘Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life’.

In 1849, his book ‘Mardi, and a Voyage Thither’ was published. It narrates his experiences in South Pacific, after he abandoned his ship. The book was not received well and was a critical failure.

On September 29, 1849, his book ‘Redburn: His First Voyage’ was released. It was a semi-autobiographical work based on his experiences in the ship journey to Liverpool.

Published in 1850, ‘White-Jacket’ is a book that depicts his experiences in the U.S navy. It is a severe critique of the life of American naval officers.

In 1851, his most popular work ‘Moby-Dick’ was published. The novel is about the story of a wandering sailor and his adventures on the whale ship ‘Pequod’.

In 1852, The Harper & Brothers published ‘Pierre: or, The Ambiguities’, which was one of his most unsuccessful books and was both a critical and a financial failure.

Written in 1853, his unpublished and lost novel ‘Isle of the Cross’ is beloved to have been rejected by the publisher, Harper & Brothers.

In November 1853, his short story titled ‘Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street’ was published anonymously in the ‘Putnam's Magazine’ and was also re-published in ‘The Piazza Tales’.

In 1854, he published ‘The Encantadas’. Though the novel was a critical success, it was a commercial failure.

‘Israel Potter: His Fifty Years of Exile’ was published in parts in the ‘Putnam's Magazine’ from July 1854 to March 1855. The same was published in the form of a book by George Palmer Putnam in New York.

In 1857, he published ‘The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade’ and after the publication of this novel, he took-up the job of a lecturer.

‘Battle Pieces and Aspects of the War’ was published after the American Civil War in 1866. It consisted of over 70 poems but it received poor critical reviews.

In 1876, his epic poem titled ‘Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land’ was published. It was published in two volumes and stretches to 18,000 lines.

Published after his death, ‘Billy Budd’ was one of his most acclaimed works that won many laurels all over the world.

Major Works

‘Moby-Dick’ is considered his magnum opus that earned him worldwide literary acclaim. This novel is one among the ‘Great American Novels’ and is considered to be one of the greatest classics in world literature.

‘Billy Budd’ is one of his most celebrated works and considered a masterpiece. It was adopted on screen for Broadway in 1951 and won the Donaldson Awards and Outer Critics Circle Awards for best play.

Personal Life & Legacy

In 1826, he was hit by scarlet fever, after which his eye sight became permanently weak.

He got married to Elizabeth Shaw on August 4, 1847. She was the daughter of Lemuel Shaw, the Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

In 1850, he shifted to Massachusetts along with his wife. They had four children together.

He died at his New York home due to cardiac dilation at the age of 72. He was laid to rest at the Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx, New York.

Trivia

This acclaimed author suffered from a writer’s block until he read his friend Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story collection ‘Mosses From an Old Manse’, after which he was inspired to write.

This prolific American writer and poet once woke up his daughter at 2 AM so that she could proof read his poem!

// Famous Writers

Herman Melville biography timelines

  • // 1st Aug 1819
    Herman Melville was born in New York City to Allan and Maria Gansevoort Melville. His father was a commission merchant and importer and spent most of his days abroad.
  • // 1826
    In 1826, he was hit by scarlet fever, after which his eye sight became permanently weak.
  • // 1841
    In 1841, he travelled from Fairhaven, Massachusetts on the whaler ship ‘Acushnet’ and the following year he deserted the ship. His travelling experiences formed the inspiration for many of his writings.
  • // 1846
    In 1846, his first book titled ‘Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life’ was published. The book was based on his real life experiences on the island of Nuku Hiva in French Polynesia, where he was held a captive.
  • // 1847
    In 1847, he published ‘Omoo: A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas’, depicting Tahiti and the customs and traditions of the place was published. It was a sequel to ‘Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life’.
  • // 4th Aug 1847
    He got married to Elizabeth Shaw on August 4, 1847. She was the daughter of Lemuel Shaw, the Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
  • // 1849
    In 1849, his book ‘Mardi, and a Voyage Thither’ was published. It narrates his experiences in South Pacific, after he abandoned his ship. The book was not received well and was a critical failure.
  • // 29th Sep 1849
    On September 29, 1849, his book ‘Redburn: His First Voyage’ was released. It was a semi-autobiographical work based on his experiences in the ship journey to Liverpool.
  • // 1850
    Published in 1850, ‘White-Jacket’ is a book that depicts his experiences in the U.S navy. It is a severe critique of the life of American naval officers.
  • // 1850
    In 1850, he shifted to Massachusetts along with his wife. They had four children together.
  • // 1851
    In 1851, his most popular work ‘Moby-Dick’ was published. The novel is about the story of a wandering sailor and his adventures on the whale ship ‘Pequod’.
  • // 1852
    In 1852, The Harper & Brothers published ‘Pierre: or, The Ambiguities’, which was one of his most unsuccessful books and was both a critical and a financial failure.
  • // 1853
    Written in 1853, his unpublished and lost novel ‘Isle of the Cross’ is beloved to have been rejected by the publisher, Harper & Brothers.
  • // Nov 1853
    In November 1853, his short story titled ‘Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street’ was published anonymously in the ‘Putnam's Magazine’ and was also re-published in ‘The Piazza Tales’.
  • // 1854
    In 1854, he published ‘The Encantadas’. Though the novel was a critical success, it was a commercial failure.
  • // 1854 To 1855
    ‘Israel Potter: His Fifty Years of Exile’ was published in parts in the ‘Putnam's Magazine’ from July 1854 to March 1855. The same was published in the form of a book by George Palmer Putnam in New York.
  • // 1857
    In 1857, he published ‘The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade’ and after the publication of this novel, he took-up the job of a lecturer.
  • // 1866
    ‘Battle Pieces and Aspects of the War’ was published after the American Civil War in 1866. It consisted of over 70 poems but it received poor critical reviews.
  • // 1876
    In 1876, his epic poem titled ‘Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land’ was published. It was published in two volumes and stretches to 18,000 lines.
  • // 28th Sep 1891
    He died at his New York home due to cardiac dilation at the age of 72. He was laid to rest at the Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx, New York.
  • // 1924
    Published after his death, ‘Billy Budd’ was one of his most acclaimed works that won many laurels all over the world.

// Famous Novelists

Herman Melville's FAQ

  • What is Herman Melville birthday?

    Herman Melville was born at 1819-08-01

  • When was Herman Melville died?

    Herman Melville was died at 1891-09-28

  • Where was Herman Melville died?

    Herman Melville was died in New York City

  • Which age was Herman Melville died?

    Herman Melville was died at age 72

  • Where is Herman Melville's birth place?

    Herman Melville was born in New York City

  • What is Herman Melville nationalities?

    Herman Melville's nationalities is American

  • Who is Herman Melville spouses?

    Herman Melville's spouses is Elizabeth Shaw

  • Who is Herman Melville siblings?

    Herman Melville's siblings is Thomas Melville

  • Who is Herman Melville childrens?

    Herman Melville's childrens is Elizabeth Melville, Frances Melville, Malcolm Melville, Stanwix Melville

  • What was Herman Melville universities?

    Herman Melville studied at The Albany Academy (1836–1837), The Albany Academy (1830–1831), Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School, Lansingburgh Academy

  • Who is Herman Melville's father?

    Herman Melville's father is Allan

  • Who is Herman Melville's mother?

    Herman Melville's mother is Maria Gansevoort Melville

  • What is Herman Melville's sun sign?

    Herman Melville is Leo