I have no language to paint the horrors of our situation. To shed tears was indeed altogether unavailing and withal unmanly; yet I was not able to deny myself the relief they served to afford me.This harrowing, first-hand account by First Mate Owen Chase was originally published in 1821, just months after he returned home to Nantucket, and the unfortunate Essex and her crew passed into legend. Twenty years after the wreck, young William Chase, Owen's son, was serving on the Lima when it met another whaler called the Acushnet. The crews spent some time together, and Chase told his father's story to 21-year-old Herman Melville, and lent him a copy of his father's book. The story clearly caught Melville's imagination--"The reading of this wondrous story upon the landless sea, and close to the very latitude of the shipwreck had a surprising effect on me"--and ten years later he published Moby Dick. Literary inspiration aside, The Wreck of the Whaleship Essex is a well-told, truly gripping tale. As Gary Kinder (who, as the author of Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea, knows a thing or two about shipwrecks) notes in his introduction, "As you sit in your chair, the subliminal thought recurs: My god, this really happened." --Sunny Delaney
This is a short read, but really deals with the depths to which we can still survive. A narrative that does not distract from the starkness of the circumstances that these whalers... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Alexander L. Brown
Similar to other reviews I am doing presently, I read this book for a history class at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. This was the main primary source that we read. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Amazon Customer
quite a saga, historical and probably a true "story"
when writing a review you gotta satisfy the requirements or it won't be accepted? and so who controls this
Great definitive stuff on the Essex for those history buffs like me. You will have a new perspective when you read "Moby Dick" again.Published on April 4, 2013 by woody
The writing is mediocre. The man was a sailor and wrote like one.
But the story of a Nantucket whaling crew's efforts to survive an attack by a crazed whale is... Read more