In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

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Wheeler Pub., 2000 - Shipwrecks - 427 pages
5 Reviews
Winner of the 2000 National Book Award for Non-Fiction! The ordeal of the whaleship Essex was an event as mythic in the nineteenth century as the sinking of the Titanic was in the twentieth. In 1819, the Essex left Nantucket for the South Pacific with twenty crew members aboard. In the middle of the South Pacific the ship was rammed and sunk by an angry sperm whale. The crew drifted for more than ninety days in three tiny whaleboats, succumbing to weather, hunger, disease, and ultimately turning to drastic measures in the fight for survival. Nathaniel Philbrick uses little-known documents-including a long-lost account written by the ship's cabin boy-and penetrating details about whaling and the Nantucket community to reveal the chilling events surrounding this epic maritime disaster. An intense and mesmerizing read, In the Heart of the Sea is a monumental work of history forever placing the Essex tragedy in the American historical canon.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - NewsieQ - LibraryThing

The 1819 sinking of the whaling ship Essex following an “attack” by a sperm whale was the basis for Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick. In this book, the author tells the tale as it happened, based on ... Read full review

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User Review  - BookConcierge - LibraryThing

The true story that inspired Melville's [Moby Dick]. I was fascinated by the tale of these whalers who managed to survive the loss of their ship. It does bog down a bit in the middle (but then, they ... Read full review

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Contents

CHAPTER
39
CHAPTER THREE
62
CHAPTER FOUR
86
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Nathaniel Philbrick was born in Boston Massachusetts on June 11, 1956. He received a bachelor's degree in English from Brown University and a master's degree in American literature from Duke University. In 1978, he was Brown University's first Intercollegiate All-American sailor and he won the Sunfish North Americans in Barrington, Rhode Island. After graduate school, he worked for four years at Sailing World magazine. Afterward, he worked as a freelancer for a number of years and wrote/edited several sailing books including Yachting: A Parody. After moving to Nantucket in 1986, he became interested in the history of the island and wrote Away Off Shore: Nantucket Island and Its People. In 2000 he published In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex. A motion picture of the book was released in December 2015. His other books include Sea of Glory: America's Voyage of Discovery, The U.S. Exploring Expedition; Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War; The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn; Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution; and Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution.

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