Moby Dick; Or, The Whale.

“I try all things, I achieve what I can": Rare First Edition Of Herman Melville's Moby Dick

Moby Dick; Or, The Whale.



Item Number: 111365

New York: Harper & Brothers, 1851.

First edition, first issue binding, with the circular Harper’s device of Melville’s masterpiece. Octavo, original “A” red cloth with publisher’s circular device and a heavy rule frame on the front and rear panels, original orange-coated endpapers. In excellent condition with a neat and sympathetic repair to the joints. Housed in a custom full morocco clamshell box with whale motif inlayed in white to covers and in gilt on spine. A very nice example.

Initially panned by critics and readers when published in 1851, "in the 20th century Moby Dick would be rediscovered and acknowledged as possibly the greatest of all American novels" (Chronology of American Literature). Arguably the greatest single work in American literature, Moby-Dick was initially “a complete practical failure, misunderstood by the critics and ignored by the public. Nevertheless, Melville’s permanent fame must always rest on the great prose epic of Moby-Dick, a book that has no equal in American literature for variety and splendor of style and for depth of feeling” (DAB).

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