Typee, Or a Peep at Polynesian Life

Philadelphia: David McKay Company, c.1925. Later printing. Octavo, publisher's brick red cloth, spine stamped in black, full-panel pictorial label inset to upper board, top edge stained red, endpapers printed orange and white.

Mid-1920s reprint edition for young readers of Melville's fist book, originally published in 1846. A fictionalized account of the author's time spent in captivity - after deserting from a whaling expedition - among the natives of Nuku Hiva, the largest of the Marquesas Islands, in present-day French Polynesia. Typee, along with his other early exotic romances Omoo and Mardi, made Melville a literary celebrity, but his reputation waned with the publication of Moby-Dick, and he died in obscurity. Issued as part of publisher McKay's Newbery Classics series, this volume dates roughly to the period of renewed interest in Melville, with the 1924 publication of his collected works. With color frontispiece illustration (repeating the image from the cover label) by nautical artist Ellis Silas, a disciple of Walter Sickert. Without scarce original dust jacket. Minor dampstaining to lower portion of front and rear boards, partially affecting pictorial label; early ink notation to front free endpaper. Very good. Item #122


See all items by