Billy Budd, Sailor
From: Wednesday, 31st October 2012
To: Friday, 2 November 2012
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In Billy Budd, Sailor a young seaman is press-ganged from a trading-ship to serve on a warship, in 1797, during the war between Revolutionary France and Great Britain, shortly after the British Navy's ?Great Mutiny' was brutally suppressed. Melville began by writing the ballad ?Billy in the Darbies' - and then worked and reworked the story until his death. Its closely-wrought themes of male companionship and frustrated desire reflect a lifelong obsession, partly resulting from his ship board experiences, but also deriving from his exceptionally deep and complex feelings for Nathaniel Hawthorne to whom he dedicated Moby Dick.
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