Redburn

Redburn

His First Voyage : Being the Sailor-boy Confession and Reminiscences of the Son-of-a-gentleman, in the Merchant Service

Paperback - 2002
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Drawn from Melville's own adolescent experience aboard a merchant ship, Redburn charts the coming-of-age of Wellingborough Redburn, a young innocent who embarks on a crossing to Liverpool together with a roguish crew. Once in Liverpool, Redburn encounters the squalid conditions of the city and meets Harry Bolton, a bereft and damaged soul, who takes him on a tour of London that includes a scene of rococo decadence unlike anything else in Melville's fiction. In her Introduction, Elizabeth Hardwick writes, " Redburn is rich in masterful portraits--a gallery of wild colors, pretensions and falsehoods, fleeting associations of unexpected tenderness. . . . Redburn is not a document; it is a work of art by the unexpected genius of a sailor, Herman Melville."

This Modern Library Paperback Classic is set from the text of the first American edition of 1849.
Publisher: New York : Modern Library, 2002.
ISBN: 9780375760044
0375760040
Branch Call Number: FIC Melvi
Characteristics: xix, 382 p. --

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SeattleCentral
Jun 07, 2017

I read Redburn this past winter and loved the story since I've experinced something similar to the main character's dilemma myself. When I returned to England, an adult, after a brief childhood stay before age six, I found no relatives at all. That made it easy to commiserate with Redburn's main character and to enjoy reading about the port towns of yesteryear. A seaport city where the British are, through the author's eyes, rich and very spoiled is it seems only explained through the author's own poverty. The book's cover includes a work of art that depicts a ship's crew in one of ships of the time and their humanity the artist captured well enough to make it unusually fitting for the story.

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