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The Loss of the Ship Essex, Sunk by a Whale: First-Person Accounts

Authors: Nickerson, Thomas & Chase, Owen
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
BISAC/Subject: HIS036040, TRV010000, BIO006000
ISBN: 9781101661659, Related ISBNs: 0140437967, 1101661658, 9780140437966, 9781101661659
Classification: Non-Fiction
Number of pages: 256,
Audience: General/trade
Synopsis: The gripping first-hand narrative of the whaling ship disaster that inspired Melville’s Moby-Dick and informed Nathaniel Philbrick’s monumental history, In the Heart of the Sea
 
In 1820, the Nantucket whaleship Essex was rammed by an angry sperm whale thousands of miles from home in the South Pacific. The Essex sank, leaving twenty crew members drifting in three small open boats for ninety days. Through drastic measures, eight men survived to reveal this astonishing tale. The Narrative of the Wreck of the Whaleship Essex, by Owen Chase, has long been the essential account of the Essex’s doomed voyage. But in 1980, a new account of the disaster was discovered, penned late in life by Thomas Nickerson, who had been the fifteen-year-old cabin boy of the ship. This discovery has vastly expanded and clarified the history of an event as grandiose in its time as the Titanic
 
This edition presents Nickerson’s never-before-published chronicle alongside Chase’s version. Also included are the most important other contemporary accounts of the incident, Melville’s notes in his copy of the Chase narrative, and journal entries by Emerson and Thoreau.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
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