Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 – September 28, 1891) is best known for his epic novel, Moby-Dick. He amassed the subject matter of his most celebrated novel from his own adventures around the world as a merchant sailor and whaler. Despite his numerous artistic achievements in his various novels, Melville received little praise from critics and scant attention from book buyers. After failing to earn a living as a novelist he got a job as a customs inspector in New York and devoted his creative energies entirely to poetry.