Posted on November 14th, 2014 by

You’ve heard undoubtedly of Herman Melville’s book Moby-Dick; or, The Whale.  However, you might not be aware that the original was published on this day in 1851.

It was a commercial failure upon its release, and the book languished for nearly 70 years in relative obscurity.

Everything changed in the 1920s following the publication of Herman Melville: Mariner and Mystic.  During the succeeding decades, the book’s fortunes changed with numerous printings and its eventual recognition as an American classic.

The library holds a first edition of the 1851 printing and the later book that changed the public’s perception of Melville and his 1851 tome about the pursuit of a whale.

If you’d like to see the original, please contact the Special Collections Librarian.  The 1920s volume can be found in the library’s circulating collection.


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