Shipwreck of the Whaleship Essex

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9781558218789: Shipwreck of the Whaleship Essex

An account of a ship's encounter with a great white whale.

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From the Back Cover:

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)

Review:

"The effect is kaleidoscopic. A vivid portrait emerges of the shipwrecked men's privatations and fundamental moral dilemma: literally to eat or be eaten" -- Lawrence Norfolk "Chase's book still has an almost Biblical power" Mail on Sunday "An incredibly vivid journal of survival" Scotsman "The reading of this wondrous story...had a surprising effect on me" -- Herman Melville "When I found myself popping the notes I attach to potential quotes to virtually every page, I realised I might as well just deliver a rousing injunction to read the book for yourselves" -- Christina Hardyment Independent

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Owen Chase, Tim Cahill (Foreword)
Published by Lyons Press (1999)
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