Herman Melville (1819-1891) was an American velist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. His first two books gained much attention, though they were t bestsellers, and his popularity declined precipitously only a few years later. By the time of his death he had been almost completely forgotten, but his longest vel, Moby-Dick; or, The Whale (1851) - largely considered a failure during his lifetime, and most responsible for Melville s fall from favour with the reading public - was rediscovered in the 20th century as one of the chief literary masterpieces of both American and world literature. Melville is less well kwn as a poet and did t publish poetry until late in life. Other works include Typee (1846), Omoo (1847), Mardi and a Voyage Thither (2v/1849), Redburn: His First Voyage (1849), White-Jacket (1850), Pierre (1852), Israel Potter: Fifty Years of Exile (1855), The Piazza Tales (1856), Benito Cere (1856), Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War (1866), Timoleon (1891), The Apple-Tree Table (1922), John Marr and Other Poems (1922), The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade (1923), Billy Budd: Sailor (1924), and Journal up the Straits (1935).