"Melville was a born romancer. One cannot account for the success of his early romances by saying that in the Great South Sea he had found and worked a new field for romance, since evidently it was not his experience in the South Sea that had led him to romance, but the irresistible attraction that romance had over him that led him to the South Sea. He was able not only to feel but to interpret that charm, as it never had been interpreted before, as it never has been interpreted since." (Eulogy editorial in the New York Times, 1891)
A lot of ink has been spilled covering the lives of history's most influential figures, but how much of the forest is lost for the trees? In Charles River Editors' American Legends series, listeners can get caught up to speed on the lives of America's most important men and women in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known.
The life and legacy of Herman Melville have taken on various incarnations in the nearly 200 years since he was born. When he died in 1891, Melville was remembered for his series of well-received works back in the mid-19th century, particularly his first novel, Typee, a best seller when it was initially published.
This is a good, quick overview of Herman Melville's life and works. It describes jobs he held, places he traveled, and people he met. It touches on his relationships with members of his family and briefly discusses authors who influenced him and whom he influenced. It provides summaries of many of his works, while placing these works in the context of personal and historic events.
This is worth listening to if you want either a high-level introduction to learn about Herman Melville or a quick refresher of what you learned about Melville years ago.