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TYPEE: A Peep at Polynesian Life by  Herman Melville - First Edition - 1849 - from Sumner & Stillman and Biblio.com

TYPEE: A Peep at Polynesian Life

by Melville, Herman

Condition: See description


1849. during a Four Months' Residence in a Valley of the Marquesas; the Revised Edition, with a Sequel. New York: Harper & Brothers | London: John Murray, 1849. 9 pp undated ads (primarily for OMOO). Original blind-stamped dark blue-green cloth. "The Revised Edition, with a Sequel," first Harper printing. TYPEE was Melville's first book, first published in 1846, a nonfiction (but romanticized) account of his own 1842 experiences as a crewmember on the whaling ship Acushnet, and of the desertion by himself and Richard Tobias ("Toby") Greene at Nukuheva Island in the Marquesas. Melville escaped from the (cannibalistic) Tai Pi people on an Australian merchant ship just a month later; when TYPEE first came out four years later, he still thought "Toby" had succumbed to the Tai Pi -- but soon after publication, the two were reunited. Thus Melville "revised" TYPEE to include "A Sequel" -- "The Story of Toby," which came out later in 1846.~There were several printings of this "Revised Edition" during the years 1846-1848, all by the original publisher Wiley & Putnam; in the Spring of 1847, Harper became Melville's American publisher with the appearance of his second book OMOO, and this first Harper printing of TYPEE came out in 1849. (Two years later, Harper would be Melville's publisher for MOBY-DICK.) Included is the frontispiece map of the Marquesas, and both the original Preface and the Preface to the Revised Edition.~This copy is in dark blue-green cloth, one of several cloth colors used without precedence; copies were also issued in wrappers. Condition is near-fine (a few tiny nicks in the spine ends, a faint glass-ring on the front cover). Blanck 13723.


Typee is American writer Herman Melville's first book, partly based on his actual experiences as a captive on Nuku Hiva (which Melville spelled as Nukuheva) in the South Pacific Marquesas Islands and the title comes from a valley there called Tai Pi Vai. It was Melville's most popular work during his lifetime; for 19th century readers his career seemed to go downhill afterwards, but during the early 20th century it was seen as just the beginning of a career that peaked with Moby-Dick (1851).




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