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Herman Melville born Melvill ; [a] August 1, — September 28, was an American novelist, short story writer, and poet of the American Renaissance period. Among his best-known works are Moby-Dick , Typee , a romanticized account of his experiences in Polynesia , and Billy Budd, Sailor , a posthumously published novella. Although his reputation was not high at the time of his death, the centennial of his birth in was the starting point of a Melville revival and Moby-Dick grew to be considered one of the great American novels. Melville was born in New York City, the third child of a prosperous merchant whose death in left the family in financial straits. He took to sea in as a common sailor on a merchant ship and then on the whaler Acushnet but he jumped ship in the Marquesas Islands.
In the first place there is present at these dinners an array of notables such as it would be difficult to bring together under one roof for any other purpose and by any other society Among the guests were John D. Rockefeller and J. Morgan, Thomas W.