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Herman Melville (1819—1891) American novelist and short-story writer


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Sketches by Melville, published under the pseudonym Salvator R. Tarnmoor in Putnam's Magazine (1854) and reprinted in The Piazza Tales (1856). Seven of the ten sketches are descriptions of the uninhabited Galápagos Islands in the Pacific, “a group rather of extinct volcanoes than of isles; looking much as the world at large might, after a penal conflagration.” The remaining three are narratives of people who lived temporarily in the islands. These include a Creole adventurer from Cuba, who acquires title to Charles's Isle, brutally rules his colonists, and is overthrown and banished by them; a half-breed woman who is stranded on Norfolk Isle while searching for tortoise oil, and finally rescued by an American ship; and the hermit of Hood's Isle, who enticed and then enslaved deserting sailors, until he in turn was imprisoned by their captains.

Subjects: Literature.

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