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Typee is the first "romance" of the South Seas, a semi-autobiographical account of life in the Marquesas Islands in the 1840s. A blend of personal experience and the narratives of explorers and missionaries, it influenced many later writers on the Pacific, including Robert Louis Stevenson and Jack London.
Melville's first published novel, a literary foreshadow of the great heights he will achieve with "Moby Dick", is a semi-autobiographical account of his three week (though in the book, it's 4 month) stay as a captive of the rumored cannibalistic Typee tribe in the Polynesian Marquesas Islands. Melville's in depth anthropological perspective of the Typee and sensual tropical imagery marked the novel as a monumental achievement upon it's release, making Melville a household name overnight. Praised for its surprisingly sympathty with "the Savages" in a time of Pacific turmoil and for being a thrilling adventure, "Typee" has been sighted by proceeding authors as a prime source of influence in the genre of Polynesian adventures.--Submitted by Anonymous
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