The Sea Shall Embrace Them: The Tragic Story of the Steamship Arctic

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9780743235037: The Sea Shall Embrace Them: The Tragic Story of the Steamship Arctic

The 1854 collision at sea between the American ship Arctic and the Vesta, a much smaller French steamship, set in motion one of the most harrowing events in maritime history. David W. Shaw has based this fascinating account on the firsthand testimony of the few who survived the wreck, including the Arctic's heroic captain, James C. Luce, who was forced to fight his mutinous crew as they took the lifeboats and left hundreds of passengers to suffer a cruel and painful death. Not only did 400 people -- including Luce's own frail son -- die by daybreak, but the wreck also ended the domination of the seas by the American maritime fleet for the rest of the nineteenth century.
Utterly compelling, The Sea Shall Embrace Them is a stirring slice of heretofore little-known American history. Beautifully written, it puts the reader on deck as a ship full of men, women, and children do battle both with a mighty ocean and with their own baser instincts.

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By the mid-19th century, steamships were eclipsing traditional sailing ships in the lucrative transatlantic trade. The largest of these, the American Arctic, collided with a smaller vessel in 1854 with a frightful, and unnecessary, loss of life. David W. Shaw's The Sea Shall Embrace Them tells the story of this disaster, eerily similar in many ways to the later sinking of the Titanic. Shaw lays out the immediate and secondary causes of the disaster: bad weather, no established shipping lanes, the ship's owners' preference for speed rather than prudence, and an appalling lack of safety precautions. As well, he describes the suffering and grotesque deaths of many aboard and dozens of acts of pure cowardice on the part of the crew. The writing for the most part is vivid and effective, though the physical layout of the ship is somewhat murky. The story of the Arctic is not only sad and the tragedy avoidable, but one that, as Shaw points out, would be repeated many times in the decades to follow. --H. O'Billovitch

About the Author:

A journalist for nearly twenty years, David W. Shaw has written extensively about nineteenth-century American history in four of his previous books. His most recent is America's Victory, a riveting account of the world's most famous yacht race in 1851. Shaw's expertise as a sailor and his in-depth knowledge of the Civil War make him ideally suited to tell the story of Confederate raider Charles W. Read and his infamous voyage of 1863. Shaw has contributed articles to numerous publications, including The New York Times, Sail, Entrepreneur, Cruising World, Woman's World, and New Jersey Monthly. He lives in New Jersey with his wife.

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Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. In 1854, one of the worst maritime disaster in the early days of steam occurred when the liner Arctic collided with a small steamship and sank, causing the loss of nearly 400 lives off of Cape Race, Newfoundland. The horror of the shipwreck was compounded by the mutinous actions of the crew; most of them failed to carry out their duty to assist their commander. Only two officers, Captain James C. Luce and the third mate, remained aboard to try to save the ship and her passengers. The majority of the crew, and a few male passengers, fled with all but one of the lifeboats. Not one woman or child survived. Using first-hand testimony from survivors, including Captain Luce, THE SEA SHALL EMBRACE THEM is a stirring narrative of the events surrounding the loss of Arctic and the struggle of the castaways as they clung to life after the ship sunk. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780743235037

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Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.In 1854, one of the worst maritime disaster in the early days of steam occurred when the liner Arctic collided with a small steamship and sank, causing the loss of nearly 400 lives off of Cape Race, Newfoundland. The horror of the shipwreck was compounded by the mutinous actions of the crew; most of them failed to carry out their duty to assist their commander. Only two officers, Captain James C. Luce and the third mate, remained aboard to try to save the ship and her passengers. The majority of the crew, and a few male passengers, fled with all but one of the lifeboats. Not one woman or child survived. Using first-hand testimony from survivors, including Captain Luce, THE SEA SHALL EMBRACE THEM is a stirring narrative of the events surrounding the loss of Arctic and the struggle of the castaways as they clung to life after the ship sunk. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780743235037

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Book Description Free Press. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 256 pages. Dimensions: 8.3in. x 5.5in. x 0.7in.The 1854 collision at sea between the American ship Arctic and the Vesta, a much smaller French steamship, set in motion one of the most harrowing events in maritime history. David W. Shaw has based this fascinating account on the firsthand testimony of the few who survived the wreck, including the Arctics heroic captain, James C. Luce, who was forced to fight his mutinous crew as they took the lifeboats and left hundreds of passengers to suffer a cruel and painful death. Not only did 400 people -- including Luces own frail son -- die by daybreak, but the wreck also ended the domination of the seas by the American maritime fleet for the rest of the nineteenth century. Utterly compelling, The Sea Shall Embrace Them is a stirring slice of heretofore little-known American history. Beautifully written, it puts the reader on deck as a ship full of men, women, and children do battle both with a mighty ocean and with their own baser instincts. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780743235037

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