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About the book
  • Published: 15 April 1997
  • ISBN: 9781857152326
  • Imprint: Everyman
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 478
  • RRP: $26.99

Complete Shorter Fiction


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PUBLISHED TO COINCIDE WITH THE BECENTENARY OF HORACE WALPOLE'S DEATH Horace Walpole was letter writer so energetic and fertile that his collected correspondence occupies forty volumes. Yet his energy and fertility were matched by such perceptiveness and wit, and his thoughts are expressed in such a delightful style, that the results are always entertaining, often brilliant and invariably gripping. As the prime minister's son and an habitue of the highest social and political circles, Walpole was well-placed to gather all the gossip of his day, great or small, and to form opinions on the great. As a celebrated novelist, amateur architect and man of taste, he also had an unrivalled eye for the customs and changing fashions of the time. His letter provide one of the most vivid pictures we have of the late eighteenth-century Britain. This collection contains 434 letters, arranged under sixteen headings for ease of reference: Boyhood and th Grand Tour; Politics; The Court: The Man about Town; Virtuoso and Antiquarian; Strawberry Hill his Literary Works; his Literary Criticism; his Family; Friends and Correspondents; Later Years; His Character; Current Historical Events; France and the French Revolution; Social Hisory.

  • Pub date: 15 April 1997
  • ISBN: 9781857152326
  • Imprint: Everyman
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 478
  • RRP: $26.99

About the Author

Herman Melville

Herman Melville was born on August 1, 1819, in New York City, the son of a merchant. Only twelve when his father died bankrupt, young Herman tried work as a bank clerk, as a cabin-boy on a trip to Liverpool, and as an elementary schoolteacher, before shipping in January 1841 on the whaler Acushnet, bound for the Pacific. Deserting ship the following year in the Marquesas, he made his way to Tahiti and Honolulu, returning as ordinary seaman on the frigate United States to Boston, where he was discharged in October 1844. Books based on these adventures won him immediate success. By 1850 he was married, had acquired a farm near Pittsfield, Massachussetts (where he was the impetuous friend and neighbor of Nathaniel Hawthorne), and was hard at work on his masterpiece Moby-Dick.

Literary success soon faded; his complexity increasingly alienated readers. After a visit to the Holy Land in January 1857, he turned from writing prose fiction to poetry. In 1863, during the Civil War, he moved back to New York City, where from 1866-1885 he was a deputy inspector in the Custom House, and where, in 1891, he died. A draft of a final prose work, Billy Budd, Sailor, was left unfinished and uncollated, packed tidily away by his widow, where it remained until its rediscovery and publication in 1924.

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