Widely believed to be among Melville's most popular works, "Redburn, His First Voyage" follows the young Wellingborough Redburn on his first journey at sea. A boy just on the verge of manhood, Redburn's decision to become a sailor is apparently at odds with his gentle upbringing, which has made him in many ways unprepared for the hardships of his chosen profession. He is unmercifully initiated into the life of a sailor by his fellow crewmen, a trying juxtaposition to his unalloyed wonder at the ocean and of England. Once landed in Liverpool, his innocence is tested by the harsh living and vice he witnesses. Melville skillfully guides Redburn through his coming of age in this semiautobiographical novel of the joys and hardships of manhood at sea.

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