Billy Bud

fiction, Novel by Herman Melville


Written some 40 years after "Moby Dick, Herman Meville's "Billy Buddis a moving tale of good versus evil. Set aboard a British navy ship at the end of the eighteenth century, a young, innocent sailor's charm and good nature put the men around him at ease. Ship-life agreed with Billy. He made friends quickly and was well liked, which infuriated John Claggart, the ship's cold-blooded superior officer. Mutiny was a continual threat greatly feared by naval officers. In order to keep crews in their place, even minor offenses, regardless of guilt or innocence, were harshly dealt with. The envious Master-at-Arms - obsessed with the destruction of the "Handsome Sailor" - tormented the young man until his false accusations led to an eventual charge of treason against Billy.

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