In a tour de force of literary detection and scholarship, Jeanne Howes has conclusively proven that shortly after Herman Melville's return from the South Pacific in 1844 an anymous book published in Manhattan, Redburn: or the Schoolmaster of a Morning, is his first book. Early scholars pondered whether this book might have been written by Melville but dismissed it since t eugh was then kwn about Melville's life and writings. Serious scholarship did t begin until the 1920s, as Herman Melville, the great dark god of American letters had fallen into an obscurity so encompassing that at the time of his death in 1891 he was entirely forgotten by the literary community. Howes has spent several decades following the clues contained in the text, assembling proof through massive study of the minutiae of Melville's life and the period. Much has become kwn about Melville's life since those early scholars begged the question of this book's authorship. Jeanne Howes' quest more closely resembles C. Auguste Dupin's search in Edgar Allan Poe's The Purloined Letter wherein the clues are in plain view but require acumen and deductive powers of reasoning so as to decrypt them and discover that which has been hidden.