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The Loss of the Ship Essex, Sunk by a Whale

Owen Chase - Author

Thomas Nickerson - Author

Thomas Philbrick - Introduction by

Nathaniel Philbrick - Editor/introduction

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ISBN 9780140437966 | 256 pages | 01 May 2000 | Penguin Classics | 5.07 x 7.79in | 18 - AND UP
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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.


The Loss of the Ship Essex, Sunk by a Whale - Thomas Nickerson, Owen Chase, and Others

Edited and Introduced by Thomas Philbrick and Nathaniel Philbrick

Introduction
Suggestions for Further Reading

THE ESSEX NARRATIVES

First Reports
1. The Paddack Letter
2. The Macy Letter

The Mate's Story
1. Chase's Narrative of the Most Extraordinary and Distressing Shipwreck of the Whale-Ship Essex
2. Herman Melville's Annotation of Chase's Narrative

The Boy's Story
1. Nickerson's "Desultory Sketches"
2. Nickerson's Letter to Lewis

The Captain's Story
1. Excerpt from Ridgely's Letterbook
2. Excerpt from Wilke's Autobiography
3. Excerpt from Tyreman and Bennet's Journal

The Boatsteerer's Story
1. An Account of the Loss of the Essex
2. Excerpt from the Journal of the Surry

Extracts: Memories and Apocrypha

Notes


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