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Billy Budd is among the greatest of Melville's works and, in its richness and ambiguity, among the most problematic. Outwardly a compelling narrative of events aboard a British man-of-war during the turmoil of the Napoleonic Wars, Billy Budd, Sailor is a nautical recasting of the Fall, a parable of good and evil, a meditation on justice and political governance, and a searching portrait of three extraordinary men. In this edition are also eight shorter tales, reprinted from the most authoritative recent editions and are supplemented by a penetrating introduction and full notes.