07 November 2004

A Melville Chronology, 1841-51

  • January 3, 1841, ships as a foremast hand on the whaleship Acushnet.

  • July 9, 1842, deserts ship at Nukuhiva in the Marquesas Islands. Spends a month with the cannibals of the Taipi valley.

  • August 9, 1842, escapes by joining the crew of the Sydney whaler Lucy Ann.

  • October 5, 1842, placed ashore at Tahiti with ten other crewmen, and tried before the Consul for mutiny. Lightly imprisoned in Tahiti. A beachcomber on Moorea.

  • November 1842, ships on whaleship Charles & Henry.

  • May 1843, discharged at Lahaina, goes to Honolulu to work for a merchant as clerk and bookkeeper.

  • August 17, 1843, enlists on U.S. Navy ship United States. Ship calls at Nukuhiva, Tahiti, and Callao.

  • October 14, 1844, discharged from the navy at Boston.

  • 1846, very successful publication of Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life.

  • 1847, publication of a sequel, Omoo: A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas.

  • 1849, publication of Mardi.

  • 1850, publication of White-Jacket, or The World in a Man-of-War.

  • 1851, Moby-Dick published to mixed reviews.
SOURCE: In the Wake of Madness: The Murderous Voyage of the Whaleship Sharon, by Joan Druett (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2004), pp. 233

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