Saturday, August 1, 2015

Happy Birthday Herman Melville!

Saturday marked the 196th birthday of celebrated author Herman Melville! Although he is widely regarded as a great classic writer today, Melville was not so appreciated in his lifetime.  His first novel, Typee, was a large success.  However, the work he is perhaps best known for today, Moby Dick, was not nearly as well received.  In fact, it was considered a commercial failure at the time.  He went on to write several short stories, including the well-known Bartleby, the Scrivener, but the spark of fame he received early in his career was never rekindled in his lifetime.

Around his 100th birthday, interest in Melville reignited, and a new generation grew to appreciate his work, elevating him to the honored position he holds in the literary world today.  Nearly 100 years later, Herman Melville holds his own with other enduring literary giants such as Charles Dickens and Louisa May Alcott, and his "commercial failure" Moby Dick is universally considered a classic novel.  Whether it's Moby Dick or one of his lesser known works, commemorate Herman Melville's birthday with a good book!

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