MELVILLE, Herman (1819-1891). Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life. New York: Wiley and Putnam, 1846.

First American edition in original wrappers of Melville’s first book, the most popular during his lifetime. Melville returned from his adventures in the South Seas in October 1844 and wrote Typee the following spring. It was based on his desertion of the whaling ship Acushnet in 1842 and subsequent adventures through the Marquesas Islands with Richard Tobias Greene, who would inspire the main character Toby. Harper's, much to their later regret, initially rejected Typee on the grounds that it was too incredible to be believed as an autobiographical tale. BAL 13653. See Reese, Narratives of Personal Experience, no. 65.

Two volumes, octavo. (Some light foxing internally.) Original printed wrappers (some light soiling, chipping at ends of backstrips with some glue repair).

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. 2.
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