Shipwreck of the Whaleship Essex

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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 ...

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Overview

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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What People Are Saying

Herman Melville
The reading of this wondrous story upon the landless sea, and close to the very latitude of a shipwreck had a surprising effect upon me.
—Herman Melville, on reading Owen Chase's narrative, an inspiration for Moby Dick
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558218789
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/28/1999
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.26 (h) x 0.49 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 12, 2010

    Highly Reccomended

    We have all heard of moby dick, a giant whale attacking and sinking a ship, but Moby Dick wasn't actually real, it was based upon another book "Narrative of the Most Extraordinary and Distressing Shipwreck of the Whale-Ship Essex" by Owen Chase. This book does a wonderful job of describing its surroundings, Owen was very descriptive in his writing. one of the things i don't particularly enjoy about this book is the fact that its written in "old" english which makes it pretty tedious to read sometimes. I am terrified of the ocean, and generally don't really like marine life, but this really did grip me more than i expected. While Chase was very descriptive with most things, he did jump around a lot unexpectedly geographically, he would go to a few places and summarised paragraphs about some and just sentences of other places but overall i think Owen Chase knew what was up with the whole whale scenario and retold it very accuratly. Another of his shipmates had their own version of what happenend and i read that he was a much better story teller. Solid book.

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