The Wreck of the Whaleship Essex: A Narrative Account

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Iola Haverstick, Betty Shepard
Harcourt, Brace & World, 1999 - History - 124 pages
8 Reviews
On the morning of November 20, 1820, in the Pacific Ocean, an enraged sperm whale rammed the Nantucket whaler Essex. As the boat began to sink, her crew of thirty had time only to collect some bread and water before pulling away in three frail open boats. Without charts, alone on the open seas, and thousands of miles from any known land, the sailors began their terrifying journey of survival. Ninety days later, after much suffering and death by starvation, intense heat, and dehydration, only eight men survived to reach land. One of them was Owen Chase, first mate of the ill-fated ship, whose account of the long and perilous journey has become a classic of endurance and human courage. The elements of his tale inspired Herman Melville (who was born the year the Essex sank) to write the classic Moby Dick. A gallant saga of the sea, this riveting narration of life and death, of man against the deep, will enthrall readers.

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Review: The Wreck of the Whaleship Essex

User Review  - Robert - Goodreads

This accounting of the sinking whale ship Essex in 1820 in the Pacific. This book is the first hand account of First Mate Owen Chases experience. Twenty crew members were left stranded on three boats ... Read full review

Review: The Wreck of the Whaleship Essex

User Review  - J. - Goodreads

This is an amazing story of survival that is well told. I highly recommend this to those who like that type of story. Read full review

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About the author (1999)

Owen Chase (1798-March 8, 1869 (agednbsp;70)) was First Mate of the whale ship Essex, that was struck and sunk by a sperm whale on November 20, 1820. Chase wrote about the incident in Narrative of the Most Extraordinary and Distressing Shipwreck of the Whale-Ship Essex. This book, published in 1821, would inspire Herman Melville to write Moby-Dick.

Iola Haverstick was a reporter for Life for several years. She is a former book editor and reviewer.nbsp;

Betty Shepard, a longtime resident of Nantucket, first came across the Owen Chase Narrative through Nantucket's Whaling Museum.

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