Herman Melville

  • Period: to

    Birth- Death

  • Birth:

    He was born in New York City on August 1, 1819
  • Father goes bankrupt

  • First Sea Voyage

  • Second Voyage

    In January of 1841 Melville undertook a second voyage on the whaler Acushnet from New Bedford to the South Seas.
  • Returned to America

    Returned to America as a sailor on the United States, reaching Boston in 1844
  • First Novel -Typee

    Melville's adventures in this area became the basis for his first novel, Typee
  • Second Novel- Omoo

    Melville's second novel, Omoo (1847)
  • Marries

    In August 1847 Melville married Elizabeth Shaw
  • 2 Novels, One Son

    Melville publishes two novels this year, Mardi and Redburn. The Melvilles' first child, son Malcolm, is born.
  • White- Jacket Published

  • Moby Dick- Published

    IN 1851 Melville published his most renowned novel, Moby Dick.
  • 2nd son born

  • Melville Attacked

    The New York Day Book on September 8, 1852, published a venomous attack on Melville and his writings headlined HERMAN MELVILLE CRAZY.
  • Elizabeth is born

    3rd child, Elizabeth is born
  • Last child

    Fourth and final child, Frances is born
  • Last full- length novel

    On April 1, 1857, Melville published his last full-length novel, The Confidence-Man.
  • Sets Sail Again

    Melville agrees to sail around the Cape Horn with his brother Thomas, the captain of a clipper ship. He makes it to San Francisco before changing his mind about the voyage and returning home in November.
  • Sells Home

    Deeply in debt and behind on his mortgage payments, Melville is forced to sell Arrowhead to his brother Allan. He moves with his family back to New York City.
  • Visits the Front-line

    Melville visits the front lines of the Civil War, an experience that leaves a deep impression him.
  • Battle Pieces and Aspects Published

    After the end of the American Civil War, he published Battle Pieces and Aspects of the War, (1866) a collection of over 70 poems that generally was ignored by the critics, though a few gave him patronizingly favorable reviews.
  • Oldest son dies

    In 1867, his oldest son, Malcolm, shot himself,
  • 16,000 line poem published

    Melville spent years writing a 16,000-line epic poem, Clarel, inspired by his earlier trip to the Holy Land. His uncle, Peter Gansevoort, by a bequest, paid for the publication of the massive epic in 1876.
  • Second son dies

    Melville's son Stanwix dies of tuberculosis in San Francisco.
  • Retirement

    Melville retired in 1886,
  • Billy Budd was published

    Melville's final novel, Billy Budd, Sailor, is published, helping to rehabilitate Melville's legacy as a great writer. The finished but unpublished manuscript was found in Melville's desk after his death.