Free eBooks by Herman Melville

Herman Melville is the author of Moby Dick (2018), Israel Potter (1925), Omoo (1924), Mardi, and a Voyage Thither (1923), Some Personal Letters of Herman Melville and a Bibliography (1922) and other 50 books.

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Moby Dick

release date: Mar 27, 2018
Moby Dick
“Call me Ishmael” says Moby Dick’s protagonist, and with this famous first line launches one of the acclaimed great American novels. Part adventure story, part quest for vengeance, part biological textbook and part whaling manual, Moby Dick was first published in 1851. The story follows Ishmael as he abandons his humdrum life on shore for an adventure on the waves. Finding the whaler Pequod at harbour in Nantucket, he signs up for a three year term without meeting the Captain of the ship, a mysterious figure called Ahab. It is only well into the voyage that Ahab’s thirst for vengeance against the eponymous white whale Moby Dick—and the consequences—become clear. The novel is semi-autobiographical: Herman Melville had had his own experience of whaling, having spent a year and a half aboard a whaling ship and further years travelling the world in the early 1840s. Herman used the knowledge gained from his experiences and wide reading on the subject to furnish Moby Dick with an almost encyclopaedic quality at times. The literary style varies widely, veering from soliloquies and staged scenes to dream sequences to comprehensive lists of ships provisions, but everything serves to further detail the world that’s being painted. Presented here is the New York edition, which was published later than the London edition and reverted numerous changes the original publishers had made, as well as including the initially omitted epilogue. This book is part of the Standard Ebooks project, which produces free public domain ebooks.

Omoo

Omoo
A failed mutiny lands the narrator in a Tahitian jail where he and his companion, Doctor Long Ghost, are treated with curiosity and kindness. After their eventual release, the two embark on a series of adventures as they work at odd jobs, view traditional rites and customs on the island, and contrive an audience with the Tahitian queen. Thought-provoking, humorous glimpses of a vanished 19th-century world in the South Seas.

Mardi, and a Voyage Thither

Mardi, and a Voyage Thither
The third book by American writer Herman Melville, first published in London in 1849. Beginning as a travelogue in the vein of the author's two previous efforts, the adventure story gives way to a romance story, which in its turn gives way to a philosophical quest.

Some Personal Letters of Herman Melville and a Bibliography

Some Personal Letters of Herman Melville and a Bibliography
This book contains a collection of excerpts from Melville's personal correspondences. It also includes an extensive bibliography of his published works.

White-Jacket; Or, The World in a Man-of-war

Typee : a Peep at Polynesian Life, During a Four Months Residence in a Valley of the Marquesas

The Confidence-man

The Confidence-man
General Books publication date: 2009 Original publication date: 1857 Original Publisher: Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans

The Piazza Tales

The Piazza Tales
This collection of short stories is the only such book published in Melville's lifetime. "Bartley the Scrivener," the collection's most famous story, concerns a clerk who works as a copyist for a well-to-do Manhattan lawyer. Bartleby steadfastly refuses to perform any of the tasks required by his job and his reply, "I would prefer not to," comes to haunt his employer. Today "Bartleby" is considered one of the most significant American short stories and a precursor to the absurdist fiction of Franz Kafka. Also notable is the novella "Benito Cereno." The story concerns a slave rebellion on board a Spanish slave-trading ship in 1799 and is noted for its foreboding atmosphere and dark, complex plot. Another novella in the collection, "The Encantadas," offers a philosophical look at the Galápagos Islands.
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