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The Tragic History of the Sea: Shipwrecks from Jonah to Titanic

Overview

Is there any tale more thrilling than a shipwreck? Disaster at sea is an ever-present peril, inspiring ancient legends, great works of fiction, and countless yarns of deadly typhoons, vessels consumed by fire, and desperate castaways alone on an empty ocean. Before Homer composed The Odyssey, sailors were already telling their terrifying stories, and Anthony Brandt has culled only the very best for this essential and engrossing chronicle of shipwrecks through the ages.

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Overview

Is there any tale more thrilling than a shipwreck? Disaster at sea is an ever-present peril, inspiring ancient legends, great works of fiction, and countless yarns of deadly typhoons, vessels consumed by fire, and desperate castaways alone on an empty ocean. Before Homer composed The Odyssey, sailors were already telling their terrifying stories, and Anthony Brandt has culled only the very best for this essential and engrossing chronicle of shipwrecks through the ages.

Brandt's selections range from Icelandic sagas to Mark Twain to Titanic and beyond. The Tragic History of the Sea draws from tales around the globe: the doomed Medusa, whose survivors were abandoned to their fate, to live on only in a famous painting in the Louvre; the infamous Essex and her fatal cruise which inspired Melville's Moby Dick; or the harrowing wreck of the Wager, which left kinsman to poet Lord Byron, starving on Patagonia's bleak shores.

A riveting anthology of high adventure and astonishing survival against all odds, this storm-tossed voyage through history's gales and across unforgiving seas represents the best of a storytelling tradition that goes back centuries. Each extraordinary tale is linked to the next by Brandt's expert annotations and commentary, which sets them in context, provides a wealth of maritime and literary background and places this volume of shipwreck tales in a class by itself.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...will rivet anyone else who’s ever been drawn to the mystery, beauty and danger of the ocean." —American Profile
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780792259084
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 8/15/2006
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.23 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Anthony Brandt is an expert in the history of travel and adventure and is the book review editor for Adventure magazine. He has edited more than 20 books for National Geographic including the The Journals of Lewis and Clark and is a contributor to GQ, Esquire, the New York Times Sunday Magazine and other publications.
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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 The shipwreck of Apostle Paul 1
Ch. 2 New world tempests 5
Ch. 3 The story of Pedro Serrano 11
Ch. 4 The shipwreck of a Portuguese Vessel 16
Ch. 5 The wreck of the delight 24
Ch. 6 The last voyage of Thomas Cavendish 29
Ch. 7 The wreck and redemption of Sir Thomas Gates 43
Ch. 8 A most dangerous voyage 51
Ch. 9 Letter of James Pierpont 59
Ch. 10 God's protecting providence 63
Ch. 11 The loss of the Nottingham Galley 76
Ch. 12 Alexander Selkirk : castaway 87
Ch. 13 The wreck of the Wager 99
Ch. 14 The ordeal of the Peggy 122
Ch. 15 The loss of the Halsewell 127
Ch. 16 Loss of the Lady Hobart 137
Ch. 17 The loss of the Polly 147
Ch. 18 The treachery 152
Ch. 19 The raft of the Medusa 171
Ch. 20 The loss of the Essex 205
Ch. 21 The loss of the Kent 216
Ch. 22 The sufferings of Miss Ann Saunders 242
Ch. 23 Narrative of a shipwreck, captivity & sufferings 251
Ch. 24 The shipwreck 267
Ch. 25 The runaways 277
Ch. 26 The burning of the clipper ship Hornet at sea 287
Ch. 27 A report of events on the coast of Peru 304
Ch. 28 Story of a Hoodoo Ship 310
Ch. 29 Unsinkable 313
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