Herman Melville's reputation as a great writer has gradually evolved throughout the past century. Tempered by studies that emphasize the Western literary tradition, literary appreciation for Melville's use of folklore has been slow in developing. This ground-breaking study brings to the forefront the depth of Melville's immersion with and borrowing from oral traditions. Though intended as a survey of Melville's use of folklore, this book serves also as a general introduction to his work. Unencumbered by critical jargon and narrated in an engaging manner, this book will appeal to general readers as well as seasoned scholars of Melville.