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78 Herman Melville 1819-1891
The Whale
London, Richard Bentley, 1851
Ignored by the reading public and misunderstood by the critics, Melville's masterpiece, Moby Dick; or, the Whale, was first published in England under the title, The Whale; the work was dedicated to his close friend and fellow author Nathaniel Hawthorne. The first edition in three volumes, published in London on October 18, 1851, was bound in blue cloth boards and cream cloth spines with a sounding whale gilt-stamped on the spines. This copy, from the Jack Harris Samuels Library, was once owned by William T. R. Powell of Nanteos, near Aberystwyth, Wales. The first American edition, issued approximately one month later on November 15, was published by Harper & Brothers, and the contract for this edition, the original of which is in the Harper & Brothers papers, was signed by the author's brother and attorney, Allan Melville, on September 12.
Bequest of Mollie Harris Samuels

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