‘Typee’ & ‘Omoo’ in First Issue

[Typee.] Narrative of a Four Months’ Residence among the Natives of a Valley of the Marquesa Islands; or, A Peep at Polynesian Life [with:] Omoo: A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas.

London: John Murray, 1846-7.

Price: $4,500.00

About the item

First editions of Melville’s first two novels: Typee in first issue, p.19 l.1 reading “Pomarea”; Omoo with signature P present on p. 209 (BAL state A). Map printed on p. [xviii] of first work; frontispiece chart in second work. Pp. [xviii], 285, [1, imprint]; [xiv], 321, [1, imprint]. Bound without ads. 2 vols. 8vo. ‘Typee’ & ‘Omoo’ in First Issue. Nineteenth century half green calf and marbled boards, gilt spines, by Bowron, period spine labels. Front joint of Omoo a bit tender, else fine. Green cloth clamshell box. BAL 13652 & 13655; for Bowron, cf. Ramsden, London Bookbinders, p. 41; Packer, Bookbinders of Victorian London, p. 21.

Item #234587

Melville’s first novel was based upon his experiences living in the Marquesas after he deserted from the whaler Acushnet in 1842. Published in England under the title Narrative of a Four Months’ Residence, and in America shortly thereafter, Typee gained Melville an international reputation that was further cemented by Omoo.