Herman Melville - Moby-Dick

Moby-Dick; or, The Whale

by Herman Melville

Published: 1851



Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is an 1851 novel by Herman Melville.


The book is narrated from the first-person point of view of a sailor named Ishmael and recounts the tale of the ship's captain, Ahab, and his quest for a great white whale named Moby-Dick. Ahab is bent on revenge after losing part of one leg during an encounter with the whale on a previous hunting voyage.


The book is considered to be one of the greatest novels in the history of American literature, but it was a commercial failure at the time of its release selling barely 3,000 copies during Melville's lifetime. The book fell out of print in the decades following its release, but it steadily gained its current reputation following the centennial of Melville's birth in 1919. By then, Melville had been dead for nearly 30 years.


The book is now considered to be Melville's greatest work and has gone on to sell millions of copies since its initial reprinting following his death in 1891.

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