London: Constable [through 1924], 1922. First Edition thus. Decorative Cloth. Limited Edition (one of only 750 copies printed) of Melville's fourth novel and most overtly autobiographical work. Royal 8vo (226 x 142mm): x,403,pp. Publisher's slate-blue cloth, spine and covers paneled in blind, spine lettered in gilt, top edge gilt, fore- and bottom edges untrimmed, coated maroon end papers, title page in French blue and black. An excellent example, firmly bound, spine lightly faded, text generally clean and crisp throughout. BAL 13680. Fine-. Item #BB1945
Volume V of the 16-volume Works of Herman Melville, Standard Edition, publication of which marked a key event in the Melville revival of the 1920s, rescuing the neglected writer from obscurity and securing him a prominent place in the American literary canon. "Redburn is simple in its conception—the story of a naïve adolescent’s first trip to sea, based upon Melville’s own first voyage when he shipped aboard a merchant vessel from New York to Liverpool in 1839, at the age of 19. Like Melville, Wellingborough Redburn is the child of a once-wealthy father who died in bankruptcy, and he tries the life of a sailor largely to escape his family’s suddenly reduced position. Much of the novel describes Redburn’s seagoing experiences. . . . In Liverpool, he is shocked by instances of abject poverty. On his return voyage, he witnesses the hardships of huddled immigrants to the U. S. All these episodes combine to banish Redburn’s illusions about the world, making the novel in many respects a conventional bildungsroman, or coming-of-age narrative." (Literary Encyclopedia) N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, carefully preserved in archival, removable polypropylene sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).