This volume, first published in 1856, collects three of Melville's most important pieces of prose fiction. In `Bartleby, the Scrivener', a Wall Street lawyer hires a melancholy young clerk called Bartleby, whose sudden and mysterious refusal to work plunges the firm into disarray. `Benito Cereno' is a historical account of a mutiny on a slave ship, which has been seen as a critique of slavery and contemporary attitudes towards race. `The Encantadas, or Enchanted Isles' is a series of travel sketches about the Galapagos Islands which was a huge success with the reading public and contains some of Melville's most celebrated prose. Also included in this volume are `The Lightning-Rod Man', `The Bell Tower' and a story written especially for the collection, `The Piazza'. Taken together, these tales, in their masterful use of irony and concision, show the author of Moby Dick in a different light.
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