HERMAN MELVILLE - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 01/27 - HFSID 280141
Sale Price $13,600.00
Author Herman Melville wrote this letter to publisher George P. Putnam from Pittsfield, Massachusetts. It accompanied a proof of one of his stories. Melville's signature is one of the rarest of all, and handwritten letters by him are highly desirable.
Autograph letter signed "H Melville". 1 page, 4¾x7½, with embossing in top left corner. Pittsfield, Massachusetts, dated "Jan 27th". Addressed to George P. Putnam, Esq., 10 Park Place, New York City. In full: "Dear Sir: Re-enclosed is the proof [not included]. Very Truly Yours". We believe this letter was written between 1852 and 1855, when Putnam's publishing company G. Putnam Broadway was based at 1010 Park Place, New York City. Melville published a number of short stories through Putnam's Monthly Magazine during this time, including Bartleby the Scrivener (1853), The Encantadas, or: Enchanted Isles (1854) and Benito Cereno (1855). GEORGE PALMER PUTNAM (1814-1872, born in Brunswick, Maine) published many important American authors, like Melville, through his publishing house of G. Putnam Broadway, which later became G. P. Putnam's Sons. He was also one of the founders of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. HERMANMELVILLE (1819-1891, born in New York City) worked at a young age as a cabin boy and sailor on merchant vessels. During an unsuccessful whaling expedition, he took part in a mutiny, was jailed and escaped. His seafaring inspired many of his later works, including Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life (1846), Omoo, a Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas (1847) and his masterpiece, Moby Dick (1851). Moby Dick, unlike his earlier works, was neither a critical or financial success. Melville's later writings, such as Pierre (1852), The Confidence Man (1857) and the short stories Bartleby the Scrivener and The Encantadas reflected his despair and contempt for society's corruption, hypocrisy and materialism. Melville took a break from writing to work as a customs inspector on the New York docks, but returned shortly before his death to publish a collection of poetry, John Marr, and Other Sailors, as well as With Some Sea-Pieces (both in 1888). He also wrote a novel, Billy Budd, which went unpublished until 1924. One of the rarest of all signatures. Lightly toned and stained. Handwriting is lightly smeared in places but is legible. Otherwise in fine condition. Accompanied by PSA/DNA LOA.
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