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Paul Royster

Date of this Version



John Marr and Other Sailors, Herman Melville’s penultimate published work, was printed by the De Vinne Press in 1888 in an edition of 25 copies.

Presented here is an electronic text-based facsimile of the 1888 first edition, in PDF format. All line and page breaks from the original have been preserved, as have spelling, punctuation, capitalization, drop capitals, page numbers, and signature identification numbers.

Ultimately, the Northwestern-Newberry edition will establish and make available the authoritative texts of these poems and prose pieces. Until such time, the texts here are offered for the use of researchers, scholars, and readers, who are encouraged to download, save, print, copy from, and link to these files, but are requested not to publish or post the complete work elsewhere without prior permission.

A facsimile of the 1924 Constable (Standard) edition in PDF format and the texts of both editions in ASCII format are also attached as supplemental “Related Files.” The Constable edition is of particular interest because it incorporates notes and alterations that Melville indicated in his and other copies of the first edition.

John Marr and Other Sailors includes the following poems and prose pieces:
Inscription Epistolary
John Marr
Bridegroom Dick
Tom Deadlight
Jack Roy
The Haglets
The Æolian Harp
To the Master of the “Meteor”
Far off-Shore
The Man-of-War Hawk
The Figure-Head
The Good Craft “Snow-Bird”
Old Counsel
The Tuft of Kelp
The Maldive Shark
To Ned
Crossing the Tropics
The Berg
The Enviable Isles
Pebbles I-VII

An ASCII format edition of John Marr and Other Poems by Herman Melville; with An Introductory Note by Henry Chapin, published by Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ, 1922) is available online at Project Gutenberg, EBook #12841 < >. It was produced by Geoff Palmer, and released July 7, 2004. That work is not the same as John Marr and Other Sailors (1888): it omits the prose portions of the 1888 John Marr, and includes verse selections from Timoleon, Battle-Pieces, Mardi, and Clarel.

JM1988-ASCII.txt (69 kB)
ASCII file of 1st edition (1888)

John Marr 1924.pdf (163 kB)
1924 Constable edition (PDF)

JM 1924-ASCII.txt (72 kB)
ASCII file of 1924 Constable edition