First edition of Melville's first and most popular novel, published subsequently in America as Typee. Octavo, bound in three quarters morocco over marbled boards with three raised gilt bands to the spine, black morocco spine label lettered in gilt, map of the Marquesa islands on p. [xviii]. In very good condition. Based upon his experiences living in the Marquesas after he deserted from the whaler Acushnet in 1842, Melville's first novel gained him an international reputation and was the most popular novel published during his lifetime. A provocative and lively account of his exploits in the exotic South Seas, the novel soon became "[a] classic of American literature [and] the pioneer in South Sea romance" (Arthur Stedman).