MELVILLE, Herman (1819-1891). The Works. London: Constable, 1922-24.

The standard edition, limited to 750 sets, including the first edition of Billy Budd. This set's publication is the result of the Melville revival amidst the rise of Modernism. Volume 13 contains the first edition of "Billy Budd," the first publication of nine sketches, and the first book publication of ten other stories and sketches. "Billy Budd" was left unfinished by Melville at his death; his widow attempted to put the manuscript in some order but eventually abandoned it. It was discovered in a cake tin almost 30 years later when the biographer Raymond Weaver paid a visit to Melville's granddaughter. The version in the present publication was prepared in relative haste. It was not until 1962 that the Melville scholars Hayford and Sealts published what is now considered the authoritative text. Raymond Weaver's work, Herman Melville, Mariner and Mystic was the first biography of Melville and appeared in 1921. Weaver's book "did much to encourage the resurgence of interest in [Melville's] writings" (Reese). BAL 13680. See Fussell, Mary Everett Burton. “‘Billy Budd’: Melville’s Happy Ending.” Studies in Romanticism 15, no. 1 (1976): 43–57.

16 volumes, octavo. Original blue cloth (sunning to a few spines).

Exhibited: "A Herman Melville Collection ... on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his death, from the collection of William S. Reese," Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, 1991, no. 44 (vol. 13).
Brought to you by

Related Articles

More from
The Herman Melville Collection of William S. Reese
Place your bid Condition report

A Christie's specialist may contact you to discuss this lot or to notify you if the condition changes prior to the sale.

I confirm that I have read this Important Notice regarding Condition Reports and agree to its terms. View Condition Report