Herman Melville (1819-1891) is considered one of the greatest American authors of all time. Melville was Born in New York City to a family of merchants of English and Dutch descent. The family business flourished at first, but later went bankrupt. Melville’s father died soon after, and the young son was sent to work to support the family financially. He worked as a bank clerk at 13, and later became a common sailor on merchant ships. These experiences left their mark on young Melville, and he incorporated them in his writings. After getting married and settling down in a farm in Massachusetts, he was acquainted with author Nathaniel Hawthorne, and the two became friends. Melville was deeply influenced by Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, which had just been published then, and dedicated his own work-in-progress, Moby-Dick, to his friend. Melville’s writings, which are partially based on his experience at sea, have produced many critical interpretations and wide literary debates. His widey known works are the monumental novel, Moby-Dick, considered by many as perhaps the great American novel; Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-Street; and Billy Budd, Sailor, which was published posthumously.