Herman Melville's Mardi (1849) has stood the test of time as a superb allegorical fantasy, and as the third in a trilogy reflecting on Melville's experiences on the sea. Set on a fictional Pacific island, this adventure, love story, and exploration of the metaphysical sets the stage for later writers in the twentieth century who delve into the psychological.
Herman Melville (1819-1891) was born into a once-affluent family and held several jobs while writing both fiction and poetry. Many of his well-known works were based on his experiences on the water, including Typee, and Omoo, the other two works in Melville's South Seas trilogy, and Moby-Dick, his masterpiece. Often misunderstood by his contemporaries, Melville's works have garnered increasing appreciation from the 1920s onward and now enjoy a strong literary following as classic American works.