Spirit of America Bookstore

Herman  Melville

movie poster for the 1956 feature film 'Moby Dick' starring Gregory Peck                  short profile

primary works

other works

quotations of Herman Melville

works about Herman Melville

movies, plays, other media

Kindle Editions

image gallery

family & friends


                 color version of the common Herman Melville portrait (cropped)

"I would prefer not to." — Bartleby the Scrivener

"It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation."

"Heaven have mercy on us all – Presbyterians and Pagans alike – for we are all dreadfully cracked
about the head and desperately in need of mending."

"We Americans are the peculiar, chosen people – the Israel of our times; we bear the ark of liberties of the world."

"It is not down in any map; true places never are."

"Art is the objectification of feeling."

— Herman Melville

          B I O
          t e x t
          h e r e

The Melville Society [est. 1945] is based at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland
Herman Melville entry at Wikipedia
The Berkshire Historical Society [est. 1962] at Herman Melville’s Arrowhead Farm in Pittsfield, MA

browse books
browse audio
Herman Melville credits [since 1926] at Internet Movie Database
browse DVDs
46 online etexts at UPenn

'The Life and Works of Herman Melville' fansite {last update 2000}

Primary  Works

The Works of Herman Melville multi-volume set  "The Works of Herman Melville: Standard Edition In 16 Volumes" [1922-24]
from publisher Constable in London, Edited by Raymond M. Weaver

the complete set is long out of print and quite scarce, and not showing on Amazon at all (2015)
The Shorter Novels of Herman Melville collection edited by Raymond M. Weaver - tan cover  The Shorter Novels of Herman Melville collection edited by Raymond M. Weaver - blue cover from Fawcett Premiere  "The Shorter Novels of Herman Melville" [1928]
Edited & with an Introduction by Raymond M. Weaver

each is not really long enough to qualify as a novel: "Bartleby, The Scrivener" [1853 novelette]; "Benito Cereno" [1855 novella]; "Billy Budd, Foretopman" [1924 novella]; and "The Encan-tadas" [1854 novella]
Liveright Publng (aqua cover) 7½x4¾ pb [9/78] for $20.38
Fawcett (tan cover) mass pb [11/80] out of print/used
Fawcett Premier (blue cover) 10¾x6½ pb [1967] out of print/used
Grosset & Dunlap Universal Library pb [1928] out of print/used
Liveright Publng 'Black & Gold' hardcover [1942] out of print/used

Library of America Herman Melville  

Library of America Herman Melville College Edition  

Herman Melville: "Typee", "Omoo", "Mardi" [1982] Edited by G. Thomas Tanselle
Library of America 8¼x5¼ hardcover [5/82] for $30.97
includes South Pacific tales "Typee" [1846], "Omoo" [1847] and "Mardi" [1849]
Herman Melville: "Redburn", "White-Jacket", "Moby-Dick" [1983]
Edited by G. Thomas Tanselle

Library of America 8¼x5¼ hardcover [4/83] for $30.67
includes Atlantic sea tales "Redburn" [1849], "White-Jacket" [1850] and "Moby -Dick, or The Whale" [1851]
Herman Melville: "Pierre", "Israel Potter", "The Piazza Tales", "The Confidence-Man", "Billy Budd", Uncollected Prose [1985] Edited by G. Thomas Tanselle
Library of America 8x5¼ hardcover [4/85] for $31.50
includes "Pierre" [1852], "Israel Potter" [1856], "The Piazza Tales" [1856], "The Confidence-Man" [1857], and "Billy Budd, Sailor" [1924]
Herman Melville: Moby Dick, Billy Budd and Other Writings [2000]
Edited by G. Thomas Tanselle

Library of America College Editions 8x5 pb [8/2000] out of print/used
includes "Moby-Dick" [1851], "Billy Budd, Sailor" [1924], stories "Bartleby, The Scrivener" & "The Encantadas, or Enchanted Isles" [1856], an essay on Hawthorne, and 21 poems

¨            ¨

"Typee: A Peep At Polynesian Life" [1846] ()

"Omoo: A Narrative of Adventures In The South Seas" [1847] ()

"Mardi: And A Voyage Thither" [1849]

"Redburn: His First Voyage" [1849]

"White-Jacket; or, The World In A Man-of-War" [1850]

  BLUE CHECK: listed #2 on U.K. Telegraph Best 100 Novels (8/2014)  epic novel "Moby-Dick; or, The Whale" [1851]

Monomaniacal Captain Ahab seeks vengeance on the white whale which ate his leg.
Moby Dick Restaurant on Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara, California

¨            ¨

"Moby-Dick In Pictures: One Drawing For Every Page" graphic novel [2011] Illustrated by Matt Kish

"The Great Floodgates of The Wonderworld: A Memoir" [Graywolf Press 2/2014] by Justin Hocking
A young man's journey to understand his obsessions: Moby-Dick, skateboarding and surfing - 9781555976699

Moby Dick video  "Moby Dick" feature film [1956]
Directed by John Huston; script by Ray Bradbury, John Huston & Norman Corwin, based on the epic 1851 novel by Herman Melville; starring Gregory Peck, Richard Basehart, Leo Genn, Royal Dano & Orson Welles
MGM/UA DVD [6/2001] for $16.99
MGM/UA VHS video [8/99] for $13.99
full credits from IMDbmovie entry at Wikipedia
Green Shadows, White Whale novel by Ray Bradbury  "Green Shadows, White Whale: A Novel of Ray Bradbury's Adventures Making Moby Dick With John Huston In Ireland" [1992] by Ray Bradbury [1920-2012]
Harper Perennial 8x5¼ pb [9/98] for $13.99
Spectra mass pb [7/93] out of print/used
Knopf 8¾x6 hardcover [5/92] out of print/many used

"Moby Dick" [1998 TV] by coppola


®           ®


"Moby-Dick: A Grand Opera" [2010]
Heggie and Scheer's 'Moby-Dick' Grand Opera book by Robert K. Wallace & Karen Almond  "Heggie and Scheer's Moby-Dick: A Grand Opera For The Twenty-First Century" [2013]
by Robert K. Wallace, Photographs by Karen Almond,
Foreword by Jake Heggie & Gene Scheer

Kindle Edition from Univ North Texas Press [6/2013] for $36.00 {sic}
Univ North Texas Press 9x11½ hardcover [6/2013] for $37.14
'Moby-Dick' performed by the San Francisco Opera, on DVD  "Moby-Dick" as performed by the San Francisco Opera [2013]
World premiere recording; "an opera that has everything"; both DVD & Blu-ray have subtitle options for English, German, French, Japanese, & Korean • Music by Jake Heggie; libretto by Gene Scheer; conducted by Patrick Summer; stage director Leonard Foglia; starring Jay Hunter Morris {as Capt. Ahab}, Stephen Costello {as Greenhorn}, Morgan Smith {as Starbuck}, Jonathan Lemalu {as Queequeg}, and Talise Trevigne {as Pip}
193-minute EuroArts widescreen color Blu-ray [10/2013] for $31.13
193-minute EuroArts widescreen color DVD [10/2013] 2 disks for $21.19

the whaling-ship 'Essex' [built 1799, sunk 1819]

"Narrative of The Most Extraordinary and Distressing Shipwreck of The Whale-Ship Essex" [1821] by Owen Chase

"Shipwreck of The Whaleship Essex" [8/1999] by Owen Chase and Tim Cahill

"Narratives of The Wreck of the Whale-Ship Essex" [9/2015] by Owen Chase

Loss of The Ship Essex, Sunk By A Whale book edited by Nathaniel Philbrick  "The Loss of The Ship Essex, Sunk By A Whale" [2000]
Edited with Introduction by Nathaniel Philbrick

First-mate Owen Chase's classic account of the Essex disaster, "Narrative of The Most Extraordinary and Distressing Shipwreck of The Whale-Ship Essex" was published in 1821; the narrative of cabin boy Thomas Nickerson was discovered in 1981 and published locally; this book also includes other original source material from that era
Penguin Classics 7¾x5 pb [5/2000] for $10.15
In The Heart of The Sea book by Nathaniel Philbrick  "In The Heart of The Sea: The Tragedy of The Whaleship Essex" [2000]
by Nathaniel Philbrick
– book won the National Book Award
Kindle Edition from Penguin Books [2001 edition] for $12.99
Penguin Books 8x5¼ pb [5/2001] for $12.70
Viking Adult 9¼x6¼ hardcover [5/2000] for $16.63
ABRIDGED version for Young Readers "Revenge of The Whale: The True Story
of The Whaleship Essex" [10 years & up; 2002] by Nathaniel Philbrick

Puffin Books 7½x5 pb [3/2004] for $7.19
Scholastic 8¾x6 pb [9/2003] out of print/130+ used
Putnam Juvenile 9¼x6 hardcover [8/2002] out of print/70+ used

"The Whale" [BBC Two 2013?]
Announced 4/2013: A 90-minute drama set to begin shooting this month or next; the 'Titanic' news story of its day, and said to be the inspiration for Melville's
1851 novel "Moby-Dick"; the Nantucket whaleship Essex, far from home in the South Pacific in 1820, was rammed by an angry sperm whale and sank,
leaving twenty crew members floating in three small boats for ninety days; Alrick Riley is directing, signed cast include John Boyega, Charles Furness,
Joe Armstrong, Jassa Ahluwalia, Adam Rayner, Jonas Armstrong • latest info at IMDb

"In The Heart of The Sea" [Fox 2015?]  
Announced 6/2012: Feature film to be directed by Ron Howard; screenplay by Charles Leavitt, based on the Nathaniel Philbrick novel;
starring Chris Hemsworth • latest info at IMDb

"Pierre: or, The Ambiguities" [1852]

GOLD STAR: listed on Business Insider's The 35 Books Everyone Should Read At Least Once In Their Lifetime, 9/2013  "Bartleby The Scrivener: A Story of Wall-Street" novelette [1853]
Sometimes published as being a short story, sometimes (and wrongly) as a novel; online etext word count is 14,465, which makes it a novelette
(7,500 to 17,500 words). {Note that a novella is defined as 17,500 to 40,000 words, and a novel is over 40,000 or 50,000 words.}

"Benito Cereno" short story [1855]

"Israel Potter: His Fifty Years of Exile" [1855]

"The Piazza Tales" stories [1856]
includes "Bartleby, The Scrivener" (1853 novelette); "The Bell-Tower"; "Benito Cereno" (1855 novella); "The Encantadas, or Enchanted Isles"
(1854 novella - possibly incorporating a short rewrite of the lost "Isle of The Cross"); "The Lightning-Rod Man"; and "The Piazza"

"The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade" [1857]

"Battle-Pieces and Aspects of The War" poetry collection [1866]

"Billy Budd, Sailor: An Inside Narrative" [1891]
unfinished novella, published posthumously in 1924 as "Billy Budd and Other Prose Pieces"; authoritative edition published in 1962

Other Works

"Isle of The Cross" [circa 1853]
Melville’s publishers Harper & Brothers rejected his sixth novel; the manuscript was destroyed by the author.

poem "The Martyr" [1866]
one several of poems in a collection about the death of Lincoln

epic poem "Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage In The Holy Land" [1876]

"John Marr and Other Sailors" poetry collection [1888]

"Timoleon and Other Ventures" poetry collection [1891]

rare "Weeds and Wildings, With A Rose or Two" poetry collection []
which Melville wrote for his wife; available only in two of the Kindle Editions below

"The Apple-Tree Table and Other Sketches" collection [1922]
includes title piece; "Cock-a-doodle-doo !"; "The Fiddler"; "The ‘gees"; "The Happy Failure", "Hawthorne and His Mosses"; "I and My Chimney" (story);
"Jimmy Rose"; "The Paradise of Bachelors and The Tartarus of Maids"; and "Poor Man’s Pudding and Rich Man’s Crumbs"

Movies, Stageplays, Other Media

®           ®

Herman Melville credits (3 shows) at Internet Broadway Database

February 1951 Playbill for 'Billy Budd' stageplay  
"Billy Budd: A Play in Three Acts" [Biltmore Theatre, Feb-May 1951]
Written by Louis O. Coxe & Robert Chapman; based on the novel by Herman Melville; starring Dennis King, Torin Thatcher, Charles Nolte, Lee Marvin & Walter Burke; 105 total performances
official stageplay credits at Internet Broadway Database
Nov 1962 Playbill for Orson Welles's 'Moby Dick - Rehearsed'  "Moby Dick - Rehearsed" [Ethel Barrymore Theatre, Nov-Dec 1962]
The story begins with actors onstage discussing the production of a stageplay of 'Moby Dick'; the second act takes place on a wharf and then on the whaling ship Pequod.
Written by Orson Welles; loosely adapted from "Moby Dick" by Herman Melville; starring Rod Steiger in three roles, Bruno Gerussi & Lex Monson; 13 total performances
official stageplay credits at Internet Broadway Database
The entire play was filmed, but that footage is now presumed lost.
playscript by Orson Welles [1965]
76-page Samuel French 8x5 pb [11/2011] for $9.95
1969 Playbill for 'Billy' musical stageplay   "Billy" [Billy Rose Theatre March 1969]
Book by Stephen Glassman; music & lyrics by Ron Dante & Gene Allan; 'suggested by' the novel "Billy Budd" by Herman Melville; starring John Devlin, Laurence Naismith & Robert Salvio; 1 performance only
official stageplay credits at Internet Broadway Database
·            ·

Herman Melville credits [54 films since 1926] at Internet Movie Database
credits as character 'Herman Melville' at Internet Movie Database

Kindle  Editions
Nordell Bookstores Group Kindle Hardware & Content Page
with FREE Kindle Apps for PC, Mac, iPhone/iPod, iPad, Android & BlackBerry

Launched July 2014: Enjoy unlimited access to over 600,000 Kindle Edition titles and thousands of audiobooks on any device for just $9.99 a month — Or start your 30-day free trial!

Herman Melville Collection in Kindle format from A & L eBooks  "The Herman Melville Collection: 10 Novels, 16 Short Stories, and
4 Collections of Poetry" for Kindle [2011]

4,463-page Kindle Edition from A & L eBooks [7/2011] for $1.99
with an active table of contents for each book; the four poetry collections are
"Battle Pieces", "Clarel", "John Marr", and "Timoleon"

Complete Works of Herman Melville in Kindle format from Delphi Classics  "Delphi Complete Works of Herman Melville" for Kindle [2012]
5,430-page Kindle Edition from Delphi Classics [7/2012] for $2.51
many works with their original illustrations; many works annotated with concise introductions; many illustrations relating to Melville’s life and works; FICTION: all the novels (except "Billy Budd"), each with separate contents tables; and two short story collections; POETRY: the complete poetry collections, including the rare "Weeds and Wildings" (which Melville wrote for his wife - first time in digital print); uncollected poetry section, with rare works; separate chronologiccal and alphabetical contents tables for the poetry; NON-FICTION: Melville's complete essays 'available nowhere else'; and bonus collection of letters by Melville; PLUS: a criticism section, with essays on Melville by writers such as D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf; and Raymond Weaver's 'seminal biography' of Melville
NOTE: "Billy Budd, Sailor" and two short stories are not available in this collection due to U.S. copyright restrictions; once they enter the U.S. public domain in 2020, they will be added to the e-book as a free update.

Herman Melville Complete Collection of Works in Kindle format from Annotated Classics  "Herman Melville: Complete Collection of Works With Analysis and Historical Background (Annotated and Illustrated)" for Kindle [2013]
Kindle Edition from Amazon Digital Services [8/2013] for $1.99
Illustrated with the original images; alphabetical & chronological indexes; each book with its own active Table of Contents; analyses, footnotes, and famous quotes; contains 10 novels: "Billy Budd, Sailor"; "The Confidence-Man"; "Israel Potter"; "Mardi: and A Voyage Thither" (2 volumes); "Moby Dick"; "Omoo"; "Pierre"; "Redburn"; "Typee"; and "White-Jacket"; two short story collections: "I and My Chimney" and "The Piazza Tales"; and six books of poetry; plus biography, criticism, and chronology.

Herman Melville Complete Novels, Short Stories and Poems in Kindle format from Amazon Digital Services  "Herman Melville: Complete Novels, Short Stories and Poems" for Kindle [2014]
appears to be the multi-volume Complete Works [1922-24] from publisher Constable in London as edited by Raymond M. Weaver
Kindle Edition from Amazon Digital Services [2/2014] for $1.99
Amazon buyers complain that the indexing does not work; the short stories here include: "The Piazza Tales" (6 stories), "The Apple-Tree Table and Other Sketches" (10 stories), plus 'The Two Temples' and 'Daniel Orme'
Complete Works of Herman Melville in Kindle format from Amazon Digital Services  "The Complete Works of Herman Melville" for Kindle [2015]
Kindle Edition from Amazon Digital Services [1/2015] for $2.99
contains '15 complete works of Herman Melville': "Bartleby, The Scrivener"; "Battle-Pieces and Aspects of The War"; "The Confidence-Man"; "I and My Chimney"; "Israel Potter"; "John Marr and Other Poems"; "Mardi: and A Voyage Thither, Volumes I and II"; "Moby Dick"; "Omoo"; "The Piazza Tales"; "Pierre: or The Ambiguities"; "Redburn"; "Typee"; and "White Jacket"
Collected Works of Herman Melville in Kindle format from PergamonMedia  "The Collected Works of Herman Melville" for Kindle [2015]
Kindle Edition from PergamonMedia [4/2015] for $1.99
"complete 'significant works' in one e-book, 9,800 pages in easy-to-read and easy-to-navigate format"; the Table of Contents list on Amazon is quite confused, but seems to include: "Bartleby, The Scrivener"; "Battle-Pieces and Aspects of The War"; "The Confidence-Man"; "I and My Chimney"; "Israel Potter"; "John Marr and Other Poems"; "Mardi: and A Voyage Thither"; "Moby-Dick"; "Omoo"; "The Piazza Tales"; "Pierre"; "Poems From Timoleon" (16 poems); "Redburn: His First Voyage"; "Sea Pieces" (15 pieces); "Typee"; and "White Jacket" – plus Introductory Note, Supplement, and 'etc.'

Quotations of Herman Melville

"But oh! shipmates! on the starboard hand of every woe, there is a sure delight."

"We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers,
as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects."

"They talk of the dignity of work. The dignity is in leisure."

"Friendship at first sight, like love at first sight, is said to be the only truth."

"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written
on the flea, though many there be that have tried it."

"The symmetry of form attainable in pure fiction can not so readily be achieved in a narration essentially having less
to do with fable than with fact. Truth uncompromisingly told will always have it ragged edges . . ."

Works About Herman Melville

Herman Melville, Mariner and Mystic biography by Raymond M. Weaver  "Herman Melville: Mariner and Mystic" biography [1921]
by Raymond M. Weaver [1888-1948]

Kindle Edition from Leeaf Books/Amazon Digital Services [12/2012] for $5.99
Forgotten Books 9x6 pb [7/2012] for $11.18
HardPress Publng 9x6 pb [1/2013] for $15.95
Forgotten Books 9x6 pb [9/2015] for $19.57
Univ Michigan Library 8x5 pb [1921 edition] for $29.99
Nabu Press 9¾x7½ pb [2/2014] for $35.75
Andesite Press 9¼x6 hardcover [9/2015] for $28.95
George H. Doran Co. hardcover [1921] long out of print/used
Herman Melville biography by Newton Arvin  
"Herman Melville (American Men of Letters Series)" critical biography [Sloane 1950]
by Newton Arvin [1900-63]

won a National Book Award in 1950
Grove Press 9x6 pb [2/2002] out of print/used
Greenwood Press 8½x5½ hardcover [6/72] for $46.00
Melville biography by Laurie Robertson-Lorant  "Melville: A Biography" [1996] by Laurie Robertson-Lorant
Univ Massachusetts Press 9¼x6¼ pb [6/98] out of print/used
Univ Massachusetts Press 9¼x6¼ pb [6/98] out of print/used
Clarkson Potter 9½x6½ hardcover [5/96] out of print/many used
Bloom's Major Short Story Writers - Herman Melville book edited by Harold Bloom  "Bloom's Major Short Story Writers: Herman Melville - Comprehensive Research
and Study Guide" [1998] Edited & with an Introduction by Harold Bloom

Chelsea House Publng 9¾x6¼ library hardcover [5/98] for $31.95
Melville's World and Work book by Andrew Delbanco  "Melville: His World and Work" [2005] by Andrew Delbanco
Kindle Edition from Vintage/Random House [2/2013] for $13.99
Vintage/Random House 8x5 pb [9/2006] for $14.21
Knopf 6½c9½ deckle-edge hardcover [9/2005] out of print/70+ used
Cambridge Introduction to Herman Melville book by Kevin J. Hayes  "The Cambridge Introduction To Herman Melville" [2007]
by Kevin J. Hayes

Kindle Edition from Cambridge Univ Press [2007 edition] for rent $5.54, purch $22.00
Cambridge Univ Press 9x6 pb [3/2007] for $27.99
Cambridge Univ Press 9x6 hardcover [3/2007] for $89.99 {sic}
Famous Authors Series DVD about Herman Melville  "The Famous Authors Series: Herman Melville" [2007]
30-minute Kultur Video color DVD [6/2007] for $19.99
full credits at IMDb
New Cambridge Companion to Herman Melville book edited by Robert S. Levine  "The New Cambridge Companion To Herman Melville" [15 essays; 2013]
Edited by Robert S. Levine

Kindle Edition from Cambridge Univ Press [11/2013] for $13.30
Cambridge Univ Press 9x6 pb [11/2013] for $27.99
Cambridge Univ Press 9x6 hardcover [11/2013] for $80.00 {sic}

"Literary Greats: Herman Melville" [2/2004] by Milton Meltzer

"A Historical Guide To Herman Melville" [5/2005] by Giles Gunn

"The Private Melville" [8/2005] by Philip Young

"Hawthorne and Melville: Writing A Relationship" [6/2008] by Jana Argersinger and Leland Person

"Melville's Mirrors: Literary Criticism and America's Most Elusive Author" [11/2011] by Brian Yothers

"The Characteristic Theology of Herman Melville: Aesthetics, Politics, Duplicity" [11/2011]
by Bradley A. Johnson and David Jasper

"Frederick Douglass and Herman Melville: Essays In Relation" [9/2012] by Robert S. Levine & Samuel Otter

"Melville Biography: An Inside Narrative" [2013] Hershel Parker
"Herman Melville: A Biography (Volume 1, 1819-1851)" [] by Hershel Parker
"Herman Melville: A Biography (Volume 2, 1851-1891)" [] by Hershel Parker

"A Companion To Herman Melville" [Blackwell 8/2015] by Wyn Kelley

Image  Gallery

Family & Friends
[ Coming Soon ] **

literary critic & editor Raymond Melbourne Weaver [1888-1948]
published the 'seminal biography' of Melville in 1921 and edited the Constable editions of 1922-24

L i n k s
[ Coming Soon ] **

listed #100 on The Atlantic Monthly's Top 100 Most Influential Figures in American History [Dec 2006]
Nantucket Whaling Museum [built 1846, restored 2005], 13 Broad Street in Nantucket, Massachusetts

here on the Herman Melville [1819-91] Page at Spirit of America Bookstore

links here as at top

˜                   ˜

Visiting this webpage from outside the U.S.A.? It is possible to make purchases from these coded Amazon (USA) links
via other Amazon sites: just follow these instructions.

Online sales in association with  Amazon

top of this page    •    back to Spirit of America Bookstore homepage