Israel Potter

Israel Potter

His Fifty Years of Exile

Unknown - 2008
Average Rating:
Rate this:
1

The authoritative edition of Melville's only historical novel

Based on the life of an actual soldier who claimed to have fought at Bunker Hill, Israel Potter is unique among Herman Melville's books- a novel in the guise of a biography. In telling the story of Israel Potter's fall from Revolutionary War hero to peddler on the streets of London, where he obtained a livelihood by crying 'Old Chairs to Mend,' Melville alternated between invented scenes and historical episodes, granting cameos to such famous men of the era as Benjamin Franklin (Potter may have been his secret courier) and John Paul Jones, and providing a portrait of the American Revolution as the rollicking adventure and violent series of events that it really was.

This edition of Israel Potter, which reproduces the definitive text, includes selections from Potter's autobiography, Life and Remarkable Adventures of Israel R. Potter , the basis for Melville's novel.

Publisher: London : Penguin, 2008.
ISBN: 9780143105237
014310523X
Branch Call Number: FICTION MEL
Additional Contributors: Levine, Robert S. (Robert Steven), 1953-

Opinion

From Library Staff

Comment
Tyler__J Aug 20, 2015

This is a really great novel that, for some reason, few people seem to know about. A picaresque comic romp based on the dubious biography of a self-proclaimed veteran of the battle of Bunker Hill, it starts off rather slowly. However, when Melville departs from the text of his source material the... Read More »


From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment
Tyler__J Aug 20, 2015

This is a really great novel that, for some reason, few people seem to know about. A picaresque comic romp based on the dubious biography of a self-proclaimed veteran of the battle of Bunker Hill, it starts off rather slowly. However, when Melville departs from the text of his source material the book really comes to life. Potter's adventures are fast paced and peopled with many historical figures of the time (think of Forrest Gump set in 1776), making the story appealing to anyone who simply wants to be entertained, yet there is a great deal of art in the book as well. Offsetting the light-hearted tone are scenes of shocking violence presented in a dispassionate voice and depicted with such visual clarity that they would not be out of place in Blood Meridian, and a balance between the serious and the silly somehow is achieved. For readers who find the whale book too daunting, Israel Potter would be a more accessible introduction to the writing of Melville.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...
No similar edition of this title was found at CPL.

Try searching for Israel Potter to see if CPL owns related versions of the work.


Suggest for Purchase

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top