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HERMAN OR HENRY?

Herman Melville's Moby Dick

Here is a story you can share at the dinner table.  You have probably read the famous book Moby Dick.  It’s a house hold name.  Moby Dick is not only an American Classic, but world reknown amongst literature academics.  The man that wrote Moby Dick was named Herman Melville.

You probably think of Herman as a famous “New York Times” best seller that made millions of dollars, held book signings and lectured events around the world.  The opposite is true.  His life was not as glamours as we imagine.  Herman was a simple man that ended up dying broke in New York City.

The rest of the story happens upon his death.  When they published Herman’s obituary in a New York newspaper they misspelled his name.  They called him ‘Henry Melville.’   That’s right they got the name of one of the most famous authors of all time wrong.  At the time no one probably noticed the misspelling and it is doubtful that an apology was ever given to his family.

During his lifetime he didn’t amount to much.  He was a man that would never see the height of his career because it came after his death.  At the time, if you met Herman at a coffee shop you would probably shrug your shoulders and think to yourself ‘he’s just another dreamer drifting through life.’  The fact of the matter is, he died doing what he loved.  He wrote,  “I never second guessed what he was put on earth for.”  They may have wrote the wrong name in one city paper that was printed just for a day, but he  wrote a story has been published through out the world and still read today.


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