“One of the great strengths of this third edition is Hershel Parker’s inclusion of commentary on Moby-Dick from its publication in 1851 right into the 21st century to answer why Moby-Dick—boisterous, beautiful, filled with soaring language, forever questioning, and nearly 200 years old—is more popular than ever.” —MARY K. BERCAW EDWARDS, University of Connecticut
This Norton Critical Edition includes:
• Melville’s classic novel of whaling and revenge, based on Hershel Parker’s revision of the 1967 text edited by Harrison Hayford and Hershel Parker.
• Twenty-six illustrations, including maps, contemporary engravings, and diagrams of whaleboat rigging.
• Background and source materials centering on whaling and whalecraft, Melville’s international reception, the inspirations for Moby-Dick, and Melville’s related correspondence.
• Forty-four reviews and interpretations of the novel spanning three centuries.
• A revised and updated Selected Bibliography.
About the Series
Read by more than 12 million students over fifty-five years, Norton Critical Editions set the standard for apparatus that is right for undergraduate readers. The three-part format—annotated text, contexts, and criticism—helps students to better understand, analyze, and appreciate the literature, while opening a wide range of teaching possibilities for instructors. Whether in print or in digital format, Norton Critical Editions provide all the resources students need.
About the Author
Herman Melville was born in New York City on August 1, 1819, the third child of Maria and Allan Gansevoort Melvill. (The final e was added to the family name later.) His father’s financial difficulties and his early death while Melville was still a youth disrupted his formal education. Instead, Melville tried his hand at a variety of occupations before joining the crew of a merchant ship bound for England in 1839. Two years later he sailed to the South Seas aboard the whaler Acushnet. His early fiction, like the novels Typee (1846) and Omoo (1847), drew upon and often embellished his exotic maritime adventures, earning him both popular and critical acclaim. But by the time he published Moby-Dick in 1851, his writing career was in decline, as both sales and praise of his works dwindled. Although he would subsequently publish two more novels and a number of short stories—including the masterpieces “Bartleby, the Scrivener” and “Benito Cereno”—Melville spent the last three decades of his life primarily writing poetry. Largely forgotten at the time of his death on April 19, 1891, Melville, along with his unfinished novella Billy Budd, was rediscovered and his reputation revived in the early decades of the twentieth century.
Hershel Parker is a co-editor of The Norton Anthology of American Literature, and of the Norton Critical Edition of Melville’s The Confidence-Man and Moby Dick. He is co-editor of the multi-volume The Writings of Herman Melville (Northwestern-Newberry).