Biography and Criticism

Here we list and link to important biographical and critical studies about Melville that are accessible online--many courtesy of the HathiTrust Digital Library. It's a work in progress like the other melvilliana pages on Early Editions and Magazine Writings--not exhaustive, but intended to promote further study and appreciation of Herman Melville's world and writings, especially by independent readers, researchers, and scholars.


Biographies

Biographical Sketch of Herman Melville. 1891 newspaper memorial by Melville's Pittsfield friend J. E. A. [Joseph Edward Adams] Smith. Harvard volume, courtesy of the HathiTrust Digital Library.

Herman Melville, Mariner and Mystic. Raymond Weaver's landmark 1921 biography; Digitized by Google Books: the Harvard volume. Catalog record indicates that copies at Cornell and the University of Michigan are also available courtesy of the HathiTrust Digital Library.

Herman Melville, Mariner and Mystic. Same title as above, Raymond Weaver's landmark 1921 biography in the California Digital Library via Internet Archive.

Some Personal Letters of Herman Melville and a Bibliography. Meade Minnigerode's groundbreaking 1922 edition and bibliography. Cornell University volume via Internet Archive.

Some Personal Letters of Herman Melville and a Bibliography. Same title as above, the 1922 edition by Meade Minnigerode. This one is the Harvard volume courtesy of the HathiTrust Digital Library.

Herman Melville, by John Freeman. 1926 biography and "the first book on Herman Melville to be published in England." Digitized by Google Books: University of Michigan volume, courtesy of the HathiTrust Digital Library.

Criticism

The Best Sea Story Ever Written. Archibald MacMechan on Moby-Dick, from the Canadian journal Queen's Quarterly - October 1899.


On Melville, edited by Louis J. Budd and Edwin H. Cady. 1988 collection of essays from American Literature. Digitized by Google Books: University of Michigan volume, courtesy of the HathiTrust Digital Library.

Melville Unfolding: Sexuality, Politics, and the Versions of Typee. John Bryant's 2008 study and "fluid text" edition of Typee in manuscript. University of Michigan volume, digitized by University of Michigan Press and available online courtesy of the HathiTrust Digital Library.

 

Translations

Niels Lauritz Møller on Herman Melville in Tilskueven. Danish, 1904 overview on "Herman Melville" and translation of Moby-Dick, chapter 48 "The First Lowering." Digitized by Google Books: Cornell University volume, courtesy of the HathiTrust Digital Library.

Bibliographies

Some Personal Letters of Herman Melville and a Bibliography. 1922 edition by Meade Minnigerode ends with important bibliography of Melville's known works. Cornell University volume via Internet Archive. This and other copies of the same title are also accessible online, courtesy of the HathiTrust Digital Library.

A preliminary check-list of foreign language materials on the life and works of Herman Melville.
By Leland R. Phelps, 1960, Melville Society Special Publication Number 2. Digitized by Google Books: University of Michigan volume, courtesy of the HathiTrust Digital Library.

Doctoral Dissertations on Herman Melville. 1962, Directory of Melville Dissertations, compiled by Tyrus Hillway and Hershel Parker. University of California volume, courtesy of the HathiTrust Digital Library.

The Online Books Page / Criticism and Interpretation

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