Moby-Dick; or, The Whale (1851) is a novel by Herman Melville, in which Ishmael narrates the monomaniacal quest of Ahab, captain of the whaler Pequod, for revenge on the albino sperm whale Moby Dick, which on a previous voyage destroyed Ahab's ship and severed his leg at the knee. A commercial failure and out of print at the time of the author's death in 1891, its reputation grew immensely during the twentieth century. According to D.H. Lawrence, it is "one of the strangest and most wonderful books in the world," and "the greatest book of the sea ever written." Dedicated to Nathaniel Hawthorne, "in token of my admiration for his genius," Moby-Dick is considered a Great American Novel and an outstanding work of the Romantic Period in America, a period also known as the American Renaissance. "Call me Ishmael," is one of world literature's most famous opening sentences.