Shipwreck of the Whaleship Essex

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Lyons Press, Aug 1, 1999 - Travel - 176 pages
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Shipwreck of the Whaleship Essex is the gripping account of a ship's encounter with a great white whale and the crew's harrowing plight for survival on the open seas. This edition contains Owen Chase's original 1921 narrative, as well as two others written by the captain and a shipmate of the Essex. Each tells of a sperm whale's attack on the ship, the sinking of the Essex, and the three dreadful months that followed as the remainder of the crew were left stranded in a few small open boats in the South Seas. Of the twenty men that escaped the ship, eight survived; and they did so only by resorting to cannibalism.Capturing all the elements of an ancient and powerful tragedy, this book is a thrilling tale of survival - as well as a frightful examination of man's darkest impulses - which allows the reader a gruesome glimpse behind the theatrical veil of honor and bravery that history often ascribes to such men of the sea. An age-old gem of maritime lore, this volume has made its mark as an inspiration for one of the most legendary American novels ever written. (51/2 X 81/4, 176 pages, narrative reproductions, map)

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Shipwreck of the Whaleship Essex

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On November 20, 1820, the Nantucket whaler Essex had its sides stove in by an angry sperm whale, sending the ship to the bottom. Three months later, a handful of the surviving crew made it home after ... Read full review

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I have read this and Moby Dick which it inspired. This has an immediacy personal touch which comes from personal experience. Herman Melville was probably the more stylistic writer. Now I have "The Whale" to look forward to on T.V. A truly gripping tale. I hope they do it justice.



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About the author (1999)

TIM CAHILL is the author of eight books, including Road Fever, Jaguars Ripped My Flesh, and A Wolverine Is Eating My Leg. He is a founding editor of Outside magazine and writes frequently for National Geographic Adventure and other national publications. He lives in Montana.

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