|Redburn (1849) [Novel]|
by Herman Melville
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Melville's fourth book, Redburn, is a fictional narrative of a boy's first voyage, based loosely on Melville's own first voyage to and from Liverpool in 1839. Melville began the book under financial compulsion, wrote it hurriedly, disparaged it after completing it, and apparently never realized how interesting a book he had written. When he conceived it in a calculated attempt to regain the favor he had won in his first two books but seemed to be losing with his third, he regarded it at worst as a step backwards to the earlier picaresque, quasi-autobiographical level of Typee and Omoo and at best as an interruption of the progress toward greatness which he had made in his third book, Mardi, a metaphysical and political romance. Yet he declared that he had "spoken pretty much" as he felt, and the book contains a measure of intellectual and emotional substance unusual in works of its kind.
Original title: Redburn
Genre: Fiction→ Adventure→ Military and Naval Adventure