Two memorable and stirring works in one volume. Bartleby, (also called Bartleby the Scrivener ) is a haunting moral allegory set in the business world of 19th-century New York. Benito Cere, a harrowing tale of slavery and revolt aboard a Spanish ship, is regarded by many as Melville's finest short story.
Herman Melville (1819-1891) found early success with stories inspired by his adventures in the South Seas. His fortunes declined with the 1851 publication of Moby-Dick, now recognized as a masterpiece but scorned by Melville's contemporaries. The author was obliged to work as a New York City customs inspector and died in obscurity, three decades before the critical reassessment of his work.