Herman Melville (1819–1891) was an American novelist, short-story writer, essayist, and poet who is often classified as part of dark romanticism. He is best known for his novel Moby Dick and novella Billy Budd, the latter which was published posthumously. His first three books gained much attention, the first becoming a bestseller, but after a fast-blooming literary success in the late 1840s, his popularity declined precipitously in the mid-1850s and never recovered during his lifetime. When he died, he was almost completely forgotten. It was not until the "Melville Revival" in the early twentieth century that his work won recognition, most notably Moby Dick, which was hailed as one of the chief literary masterpieces of both American and world literature.
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