1819 - Herman Melville, born on the 1st of August n New York City into an established merchant family. He was an American novelist, essayist and poet. During his lifetime, his early novels were popular, but his popularity declined later in his life. His father became bankrupt and insane, dying when Melville was 12.
1826 - A bout of scarlet fever left him with permanently weakened eyesight.
1835 - He attended Albany New York Classical School.
1839 - In search of adventures, he shipped out as a cabin boy on the whaler Achushnet. He later joined the US Navy, and started his years long voyages on ships, sailing both the Atlantic and the South Seas.
1846 - The fictionalized travel narrative, Typee, an account of his stay with cannibals, was first published in Britain, like most of his works.
1847 - Its sequel, Omoo, was based on his experiences in the Polynesian Islands, and gained as huge a success as the first one.
- Married Elisabeth Shaw, daughter of the chief justice of Massachusetts. After three yeas in New York, he bought a farm, "Arrowhead", near Nathaniel Hawthorne's home at Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and became friends with him for some time.
1849 - Throughout his career Melville enjoyed a rather higher estimation in Britain than in America. His third book, Mardi And A Voyage Thither was published.
1851 - American author, best known for his novels of the sea and especially for his masterpiece Moby Dick, a whaling adventure dedicated to Nathaniel Hawthorne. The work was only recognized as a masterpiece years after Melville's death.
1891 - Died of heart failure on the 28th of September.
1924 - Through the narrator of Moby Dick, Ishmael, the author meditated questions about faith and the workings of God's intelligence. He returned to these meditations in his last great work, Billy Budd, a story left unfinished at his death and posthumously published.
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- "There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes the whole universe for a vast practical joke."
- "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."
- "It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation."