Herman Melville Books In Order

Here is the full collection of all Herman Melville’s books, meticulously organized according to their publication dates. This guide offers a seamless journey through the progression of his literary career, allowing you to easily find and enjoy the many facets of his remarkable work.

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Moby Dick(1851)
Bartleby: The Scrivener(1853)
Israel Potter(1855)
The Confidence-Man(1857)
Billy Budd(1924)

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

The Piazza Tales(1856)
The Apple-Tree Table(1922)
I Would Prefer Not To(2021)

Publication Order of Anthologies

50 Great American Short Stories(1963)
War: An Anthology(1969)
Mysterious Sea Stories(1987)
Famous and Curious Animal Stories(1989)
The Short Story: 30 Masterpieces(1992)
Classic Sea Stories(1996)
Writing New York(1998)
40 Short Stories: A Portable Anthology(2000)
The Best Crime Stories Ever Told(2002)
50 Classic Novellas(2011)
Keys to the Bureau(2013)
Writers: Their Lives and Works(2018)
The Great Sea Adventure(2019)

More About Herman Melville – Author Bio

BirthplaceNew York City, New York, The United States
Birth dateAugust 01, 1819
DiedSeptember 28, 1891
GenreFiction, Poetry, Short Stories
InfluencesThomas Browne, Nathaniel Hawthorne, John Milton, Edgar Allan Poe, William Shakespeare 

Herman Melville, the literary luminary behind the epic novel “Moby-Dick,” was born on August 1, 1819, in New York City. His life was as adventurous and complex as the narratives he penned, with early prosperity giving way to financial struggles that deeply impacted his family and later works.

Melville’s father, Allan Melvill, was a successful merchant, ensuring a comfortable childhood for Herman. However, Allan’s untimely death and subsequent financial difficulties forced Melville into the workforce at a young age. This abrupt shift from comfort to hardship profoundly influenced his worldview and writing.

At 19, Melville’s thirst for adventure led him to sea, a defining experience that provided rich material for his future writings. His voyages aboard whaling ships, and later in the U.S. Navy, exposed him to the raw and brutal aspects of sea life, further shaping his literary voice. These experiences were vividly captured in his early novels, including “Typee” and “Omoo,” which reflected his encounters in the South Pacific and were notable for their critique of imperialism and exploration of cultural relativism.

However, it was “Moby-Dick,” published in 1851, that immortalized Melville in the annals of American literature. The novel, initially met with mixed reviews, is now celebrated for its profound insights into the human psyche, its intricate symbolism, and its exploration of man’s relationship with nature and the divine. Despite its now-legendary status, “Moby-Dick” was not a commercial success during Melville’s lifetime, a source of disappointment for the author.

Melville’s later years were marked by a gradual withdrawal from the public eye and a turn towards poetry and shorter works. His later novels, such as “The Confidence-Man,” reflected a darker, more cynical perspective, perhaps mirroring his own disillusionments.

After a series of professional and personal setbacks, Melville found stable employment as a customs inspector in New York, a position he held for nearly two decades. This period was marked by a significant decrease in his literary output, and it wasn’t until after his death on September 28, 1891, that his genius was fully recognized. Herman Melville’s legacy, marked by his deep exploration of the human condition, the enigmatic nature of existence, and the relentless quest for meaning in an often incomprehensible world, continues to resonate with readers and scholars alike.

His work, particularly “Moby-Dick,” stands as a testament to his mastery of narrative and his profound understanding of the complexities of life and nature.

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