Israel Potter

Israel Potter Cover

Israel Potter

His Fifty Years of Exile

By Herman Melville; Robert Levine (Introduction by); Robert Levine (Notes by)

Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143105237, 247pp.

Publication Date: March 1, 2008

Description
The authoritative edition of Melville's only historical novel
Based on the life of an actual soldier who claimed to have fought at Bunker Hill, "Israel Potter" is unique among Herman Melville's books: a novel in the guise of a biography. In telling the story of Israel Potter's fall from Revolutionary War hero to peddler on the streets of London, where he obtained a livelihood by crying "Old Chairs to Mend," Melville alternated between invented scenes and historical episodes, granting cameos to such famous men of the era as Benjamin Franklin (Potter may have been his secret courier) and John Paul Jones, and providing a portrait of the American Revolution as the rollicking adventure and violent series of events that it really was.
This edition of "Israel Potter," which reproduces the definitive text, includes selections from Potter's autobiography, "Life and Remarkable Adventures of Israel R. Potter," the basis for Melville's novel.
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About the Author
Herman Melville was an American novelist, poet, and lecturer best known for his classic novel Moby-Dick, as well as for his short fiction "Bartleby, the Scrivener," and the unfinished "Billy Budd, Sailor." Educated as a teacher and later as an engineer, Melville s writing was heavily influenced by his time aboard the whaling ship Acushnet, and his month-long captivity by Typee natives on Nuka Hiva island. Although Melville experienced success early in his writing career, public indifference to his masterpiece, Moby-Dick, resulted in waning attention, and his work was almost entirely disregarded by the time of this death in 1891. Melville s work experienced a revival in the early twentieth century, and he is now considered one of the pre-eminent American writers of his time. He is also one of the most-studied novelists, and was the first writer to be collected and published by the Library of America.

ROBERT LEVINE, M.D., served as Chief of Neurology at Norwalk Hospital in Norwalk, Connecticut, for 22 years, and is now in private practice. He is also Associate Clinical Professor at Yale University School of Medicine.

ROBERT LEVINE, M.D., served as Chief of Neurology at Norwalk Hospital in Norwalk, Connecticut, for 22 years, and is now in private practice. He is also Associate Clinical Professor at Yale University School of Medicine.