White Jacket (Signet classics)

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9780451517326: White Jacket (Signet classics)

Melville's (best known for his classic whaling novel) White Jacket was first published in 1850 and is considered to be a semi-biographical book, written from Melville's own personal experiences while returning home to the Atlantic Coast from the South Seas with the American Navy on a man-o'-war vessel. In the note preceding the novel, Melville states, "In the year 1843 I shipped as 'ordinary seaman' on board of a United States frigate then lying in a harbor of the Pacific Ocean. After remaining in this frigate for more than a year, I was discharged from the service . . ."

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About the Author:

Herman Melville[a] (1819 - 1891) was an American novelist, short story writer and poet of the American Renaissance period. His best known works include Typee (1846), a romantic account of his experiences in Polynesian life, and his whaling novel Moby-Dick (1851). His work was almost forgotten during his last thirty years. His writing draws on his experience at sea as a common sailor, exploration of literature and philosophy, and engagement in the contradictions of American society in a period of rapid change. He developed a complex, baroque style: the vocabulary is rich and original, a strong sense of rhythm infuses the elaborate sentences, the imagery is often mystical or ironic, and the abundance of allusion extends to Scripture, myth, philosophy, literature and the visual arts. --Wikipedia

Review:

Novel by Herman Melville, published in 1850. Based on the author's experiences in 1834-44 as an ordinary seaman aboard the U.S. frigate United States, the critically acclaimed novel won political support for its stand against the use of flogging as corporal punishment aboard naval vessels. It is not known if White-Jacket was directly responsible for the cessation of flogging; however, members of Congress received copies of the novel during the Congressional debate over the issue, and flogging in the U.S. Navy was abolished that year. Subtitled The World in a Man-of-War, the novel depicts life aboard a typical frigate, the Neversink, and describes the tyrannies to which ship's officers subject ordinary seamen and the appalling conditions under which the seamen live. -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature

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Herman Melville
Published by Signet Classics (1979)
ISBN 10: 0451517326 ISBN 13: 9780451517326
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Melville, Herman
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Herman Melville, Alfred Kazin (Introduction)
Published by Signet Classics (1979)
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