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About Herman Melville
The writing career of Herman Melville (1819 - 1891) peaked early, with his early novels, such as Typee becoming best sellers. By the mid-1850s his poularity declined sharply, and by the time he died he had been largely forgotten. Yet in time his novel Moby Dick came to be regarded as one of the finest works of American, and indeed world, literature, as was Billy Budd, which was not published until long after his death, in 1924.
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Interspersed with graphic sketches of life aboard a whaling vessel, and a wealth of information on whales and 19th-century whaling, Melville's greatest work presents an imaginative and thrilling picture of life at sea, as well as a portrait of heroic determination. The author's keen powers of observation and firsthand knowledge of shipboard life (he served aboard a whaler himself) were key ingredients in crafting a maritime story that dramatically examines the conflict between man and nature.
“A valuable addition to the literature of the day,” said American journalist Horace Greeley on the publication of Moby-Dick in 1851 — a classic piece of understatement about a literary classic now considered by many as “the great American novel.” Read and pondered by generations, the novel remains an unsurpassed account of the ultimate human struggle against the indifference of nature and the awful power of fate.
When Spenser is approached by Walter Clive, president of Three Fillies Stables, to find out who is threatening his horse Hugger Mugger, he can hardly say no: He's been doing pro bono work for so long his cupboards are just about bare. Disregarding the resentment of the local Georgia law enforcement, Spenser takes the case. Though Clive has hired a separate security firm, he wants someone with Spenser's experience to supervise the operation.
Despite a veneer of civility, Spenser encounters tensions beneath the surface southern gentility. The case takes an even more deadly turn when the attacker claims a human victim, and Spenser must revise his impressions of the whole Three Fillies organization--and watch his own back as well.
With razor-sharp dialogue, eloquently spare prose, and some of the best supporting characters to grace the printed page, Hugger Mugger is grand entertainment.
Herman Melville (1819–1891) was an American novelist, short story writer, and poet of the American Renaissance period. His best known works include Typee (1846), a romantic account of his experiences in Polynesian life, and his whaling novel Moby-Dick (1851).
“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.
This new digital edition of Moby Dick includes a newly corrected text and an image gallery showcasing original illustrations from early editions of the novel, as well as several portraits of author Melville.
"One of the strangest and most wonderful books in the world." - D. H. Lawrence.
Ishmael describes Moby Dick as having two prominent white areas around "a peculiar snow-white wrinkled forehead, and a high, pyramidical white hump", the rest of his body being of stripes and patches between white and gray. The animal's exact dimensions are never given, but the novel claims that the largest sperm whales can reach a length of ninety feet (larger than any officially recorded sperm whale) and that Moby Dick is possibly the largest sperm whale that ever lived. Ahab tells the crew that the White Whale can be told because it has an unusual spout, a deformed jaw, three punctures in his right fluke and several harpoons embedded in his side from unsuccessful hunts. Yet Ishmael insists that what invested the whale with "natural terror" was that "unexampled, intelligent malignity" which he had shown in his assaults. When he fled before "exalting pursuers", giving every symptom of alarm, he would suddenly turn round and stave their boats to splinters or drive them back to their ship. What seemed the White Whale's "infernal aforethought of ferocity" that every dismembering or death that he caused was not wholly regarded as that of an "unintelligent agent". He bit off Ahab's leg, leaving Ahab to swear "wild vindictiveness" on him. Ishmael, however, is haunted by a "nameless horror" so "mystical and well nigh ineffable" that he could hardly express; it was "the whiteness of the whale that above all things appalled me".
At the end of the novel, Moby Dick destroys the Pequod. Ahab and the crew are drowned, with the exception of Ishmael. The novel does not say whether Moby Dick survives or not.
Though best-known for his epic masterpiece Moby-Dick, Herman Melville also left a body of short stories arguably unmatched in American fiction. In the sorrowful tragedy of Billy Budd, Sailor; the controlled rage of Benito Cereno; and the tantalizing enigma of Bartleby, the Scrivener; Melville reveals himself as a singular storyteller of tremendous range and compelling power. In these stories, Melville cuts to the heart of race, class, capitalism, and globalism in America, deftly navigating political and social issues that resonate as clearly in our time as they did in Melville’s. Also including The Piazza Tales in full, this collection demonstrates why Melville stands not only among the greatest writers of the nineteenth century, but also as one of our greatest contemporaries.
This Penguin Classics edition features the Reading Text of Billy Budd, Sailor, as edited from a genetic study of the manuscript by Harrison Hayford and Merton M. Sealts, Jr., and the authoritative Northwestern-Newberry text of The Piazza Tales.
For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Moby-Dick is an 1851 novel by American writer Herman Melville.
The book is sailor Ishmael's narrative of the obsessive quest of Ahab, captain of the whaling ship Pequod, for revenge on Moby Dick, the giant white sperm whale that on the ship's previous voyage bit off Ahab's leg at the knee.
A contribution to the literature of the American Renaissance, its reputation as a "Great American Novel" was established only in the 20th century, after the centennial of its author's birth.
William Faulkner said he wished he had written the book himself, and D. H. Lawrence called it "one of the strangest and most wonderful books in the world" and "the greatest book of the sea ever written". Its opening sentence, "Call me Ishmael", is among world literature's most famous.
A True Classic that Belongs on Every Bookshelf!