Billy Budd and Other Stories, Paperback

Billy Budd and Other Stories Paperback

Part of the Wordsworth Classics series

3 out of 5 (1 rating)


Melville's short stories are masterpieces. The best are to be appreciated on more than one level and those presented here are rich with symbolism and spiritual depth.

Set in 1797, Billy Budd, Foretopman exploits the tension of this period during the war between England and France to create a tale of satanic treachery, tragedy and great pathos that explores human relationships and the inherently ambiguous nature of man-made justice.

Tales such as Bartleby, Benito Cereno, The Lightning Rod Man, The Tartarus of Maids or I and My Chimney, show the timeless poetic power of Melville's writing as he consciously uses the disguise of allegory in various ways and to various ends.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9781853267499


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'Moby Dick' is one of the most intense, amazing books I've ever read, but until recently it was the only thing of Melville's that I'd worked through. 'Billy Budd' appears on the 1001 list, and I found a copy, so I thought, why not?It was a struggle at times to see the plot for the words, so to speak; Melville's prose is not the refined English that one would expect from a more modern writer. It's full of excuses for why the story is being written, why characters are introduced, why places and scenes were chosen or visited. Nowadays this is all extraneous, and rightly so.The stories themselves were interesting though, and once I got used to Melville's style again I did quite enjoy myself.

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