Stove by a Whale: Owen Chase and the Essex / Edition 1

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The first documented sinking of a ship by a whale and a harrowing account by the ship’s first mate of the survivors’ three months adrift in small boats. A thrilling narrative that inspired Herman Melville’s masterpiece Moby Dick.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Chase's Narrative "is a good catch for its own sake." —New York Times Book Review

"On November 20, 1820, a great whale rammed the Nantucket whaler Essex, 2,000 miles west of Ecuador. Owen Chase, her first mate, and 29 other men took to the boats; eight eventually survived. Herman Melville's debt to Chase's Narrative (1821) has been known since Moby Dick appeared, but little has been known about Chase and the survival of the crew . . . Heffernan's study belongs on the shelf of every Melville scholar and anyone interested in an exciting tale."

A "wondrous tale [to catch] the top-gallant delight of insatiable devotees of whaling lore and all true Melvilleans."—South Atlantic Quarterly

"The astonishing list of books, logs, manuscripts, court records, ships' registers, and museum records attest to the diligent weeks, months, and even years that have finally resulted in a volume that entrances the reader with yarns of the sea. All the drama is still there, intact."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819562449
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/1990
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,458,205
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

THOMAS FAREL HEFFERNAN is a Professor of English at Adelphi University New York. He is chairman of the Melville Society’s Centennial Committee, charged with planning the observance of the 100th anniversary of Melville’s death.

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Table of Contents

Chapter One: Owen Chase
Chapter two: Narrative of the Most Extraordinary and Distressing Shipwreck of a Whale-ship Essex, of Nantucket, by Owen Chase
Chapter Three: Ne Cede Malis
Chapter four: Next Lowering: Owen Chase after the Essex, George Pollard, Jr., The Other Survivors
Chapter Five: Telling the Story: The Authorship and Publication of Owen Chase’s Narrative, Herman Melville, Accounts and Borrowings
Appendices: Her man Melville’s Annotations and Markings in His Copy of Owen Chase’s Narrative, The Story of the Essex Shipwreck Presented in Captain Pollard’s Interrview with George Bennet, Thomas Chapple’s Account of the Loss of the Essex, March 7, 1821, Letter of Commodore Ridgely to the Secretary of the Navy, The “Paddack Letter” on the Rescue of Captain Pollard and Charles Ramsdell, Report of the Essex Shipwreck and rescue in the Sydney Gazette, June 9, 1821, Table of Islands from Bowditch’s Navigator, Chase Genealogy

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