Moby Dick, also known as The Whale, is a novel first published in 1851 by American author Herman Melville. Moby Dick is widely considered to be a Great American Novel and a treasure of world literature. The story tells the adventures of the wandering sailor Ishmael, and his voyage on the whaleship Pequod, commanded by Captain Ahab. Ishmael soon learns that Ahab seeks one specific whale, Moby Dick, a ferocious, enigmatic white sperm whale. In a previous encounter, the whale destroyed Ahab's boat and bit off his leg. Ahab intends to take revenge.
About the Author
Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 - September 28, 1891) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. He is best known for his novel Moby-Dick and the posthumous novella Billy Budd. His first three books gained much contemporary attention (the first, Typee, becoming a bestseller), but after a fast-blooming literary success in the late 1840s, his popularity declined precipitously in the mid-1850s and never recovered during his lifetime. When he died in 1891, he was almost completely forgotten. It was not until the "Melville Revival" in the early 20th century that his work won recognition, especially Moby-Dick which was hailed as one of the literary masterpieces of both American and world literature. He was the first writer to have his works collected and published by the Library of America. Born in New York City, the son of New England merchant. He worked at odd jobs (clerk, garmhand, teacher) before sailing to the South Seas on the whaler Acushnet. He deserted his ship, lived among cannibals, mutinied on an Australian boat, then spent two years on an American boat returning to the U.S. He successfully romanticized these adventures, publishing seven novels in six years, including Moby Dick (1851), one of the masterworks of American fiction. His popularity waned, and by the time he died he was virtually forgotten. Billy Budd was his last great novel. As his writing declined, Melville sailed again, around Cape Horn to San Francisco on a clipper ship commanded by his brother.