Herman Melville (1819-1891), was an American author known primarily for the writing of ''[[MobyDick Moby-Dick, or, The Whale]]'', which has become common reading material for high schools and has had quite a few adaptations made from it. ''Literature/BillyBudd'' is perhaps his second-best well-known novel and also highly regarded.
His first two novels, ''Typee'' and ''Omoo'' made him one of the most famous authors in the United States overnight. One of his short stories, "Bartleby, the Scrivener" is also quite well known. However, his most famous works were not successful in his lifetime. ''MobyDick'' failed pretty decisively and ''Literature/BillyBudd'' wasn't even published while he was alive. During his life, he was known for ''Typee'', a pretty ordinary travel story in Polynesia, which you would probably never read today unless you take a course entirely about him.