Melville, Herman

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Melville, Herman Gender: M
born on 1 August 1819 at 23:30 (= 11:30 PM )
Place New York, USA, 40n43, 74w00
Timezone LMT m74w00 (is local mean time)
Data source
Quoted BC/BR
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Rodden
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_leocol.18.gif 08°59' s_mo.18.gif s_sagcol.18.gif 16°24 Asc.s_taucol.18.gif 21°11'

Herman Melville


American author and poet, considered one of the greatest of novel writers, whose works included "Moby Dick," 1851, "Typee," 1846, and "Omoo," 1847.

Herman Melville was born the third of eight children. His father loved his family, but was not able with business savvy, and his death when Melville was 12 plunged the family into bankruptcy and debt. Young Herman was considered a slow learner. By the time he was 15 he was through with school and worked at a series of jobs for the next two years. At 17, he signed up as a cabin boy aboard the "St. Lawrence," heading for Liverpool, England. He fell in love with the sea.

In 1841, Melville became an ordinary seaman on the whaler "Acushnet." The ship's long trip around Cape Horn and into the South Pacific gave him a view of how harsh sea life can be. After 18 months, he jumped ship at the Marquesas Islands, where he lived with the natives, then signed up with an Australian whaler. At Tahiti, he stopped and went to work as a laborer, then signed on to the frigate "United States," being discharged 14 months later when the ship returned to Boston.

Those seafaring experiences became the basis of many of his works. Within six years, he published "Typee," "Omoo," "Mardi," "Redburn," and "White-Jacket." Later, he moved to a farm, "Arrowhead," near Pittsfield, MA, and it was here that he wrote "Moby Dick." He collapsed from exhaustion upon finishing it, and it was published in 1851. He published "Pierre" the following year. While his first books were popular, these latter two were not well received and largely ignored by the public.

Melville could not support his family from his writing and farming, so he became a lecturer. In 1863, he moved his family to New York where he became a customs inspector in New York City, a post he held for 19 years. He wrote several volumes of war poems in 1866 and a number of short stories. He completed the powerful, almost morbid "Billy Budd" three months before he died, but it was not published until 1924.

Melville's family included his wife and two daughters. His first child, a son, committed suicide. He died in obscurity at home of a heart attack, shortly after midnight on 9/28/1891 in New York City.

Link to Wikipedia biography



  • Work : New Job 1841 at 12:00 midnight in New York, NY (Seaman)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1846 (Book, "Typee")
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1847 (Book, "Omoo")
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1851 (Book, "Moby Dick")
  • Family : Change residence 1863 (Moved family to New York, NY)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1866 (War poems, short stories)
  • Death by Heart Attack 28 September 1891 (Age 72)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1924 (Book, "Billy Budd")

Source Notes

Constellations '77 quotes the family bible as reproduced by biographer J. Keyda in "The Melville Log," 1951


  • Traits : Mind : Exceptional mind (Through school by age 15)
  • Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Heart (Fatal attack)
  • Family : Childhood : Disadvantaged (Family in bankruptcy, debt)
  • Family : Childhood : Family large (Eight kids)
  • Family : Childhood : Family traumatic event (Age 12 when dad died)
  • Family : Childhood : Order of birth (Third of eight)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (One)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids 1-3 (Two)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids -Traumatic event (First son committed suicide)
  • Lifestyle : Work : Many job changes
  • Lifestyle : Work : Same Job more than 10 yrs (Customs Inspector)
  • Vocation : Education : Public speaker (Lecturer)
  • Vocation : Military : Military service (U.S. Navy)
  • Vocation : Politics : Government employee (U.S. Customs Agent)
  • Vocation : Travel : Adventurer
  • Vocation : Travel : Crew/ Ship, Train, Bus (Cabinboy, seaman)
  • Vocation : Writers : Fiction (Novelist)
  • Vocation : Writers : Poet (Secondary)
  • Vocation : Misc. : Farmer/ Rancher
  • Vocation : Misc. : Physical labor
  • Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession
  • Notable : Book Collection : American Book