John Marr & other poems / by Herman Melville Melville, Herman, 1819-1891

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Melville, Herman, 1819-1891
Poetry.; Sea poetry.; Subjects & Themes.
In 1847 he married Elizabeth Shaw and after initially settling in New York they moved to Massachusetts. By 1851 his masterpiece, Moby Dick, was ready and published. It is perhaps, and certainly at the time, one of the most ambitious novels ever written. However it never sold out its initial print run of 3,000 and Melville's earnings on this masterpiece was $556.37. In succeeding years his reputation waned and he found life increasingly difficult. His family was growing, now four children, and a stable income was essential. By 1855 with his writings almost ignored he joined the New York Customs house and worked there for the next 19 years. He published his last book in 1857 to little notice. Despite periods of drinking, depression and other ails Elizabeth stood by her husband despite calls from other family members and the marriage held together. In the 1860's he wrote many poems, many based on the Civil War. But there was no publisher for him and no audience. In 1876 he was at last able to publish privately his 16,000 line epic poem Clare! It was to no avail. By 1885 with his wife's inheritances they were able to retire. Herman Melville, novelist, poet, short story writer and essayist, died at his home on September 28th 1891. He was the first writer to have his works collected and published by the Library of America. Her we publish his remarkable collection 'John Marr & Other Poems'.
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