In the Heart of the Sea
The Epic True Story that Inspired ‘Moby Dick’ (Text Only)
The epic true-life story of one of the most notorious maritime disasters of the nineteenth century – and inspiration for ‘Moby-Dick’ – reissued to accompany a major motion picture due for release in December 2015, directed by Ron Howard and starring Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker and Cillian Murphy.
When the whaleship Essex set sail from Nantucket in 1819, the unthinkable happened. A mere speck in the vast Pacific ocean – and powerless against the forces of nature – Essex was rammed and sunk by an enraged sperm whale, and her twenty crewmen were forced to take to the open sea in three small boats. Ninety days later only a handful of survivors were rescued – and a terrifying story of desperation, cannibalism and courage was revealed…
One of the greatest sea yarns ever spun, ‘In the Heart of the Sea’ is the true story of the extraordinary events that inspired Herman Melville’s masterpiece ‘Moby-Dick’.
‘As gripping as it is grisly, with a cracking narrative, a complex cast of characters and a terrible moral dilemma at its heart’ Daily Mail
‘A classic … one of the most chilling books I have ever read’ Sebastian Junger, author of ‘The Perfect Storm’
‘Fascinating … When it comes to extremes, ‘In the Heart of the Sea’ is right there at the edge’ Wall Street Journal
‘Superbly readable … elegantly written … a compelling study of the infinite human meanings of the sea itself’ Guardian
‘Utterly gripping’ Daily Telegraph
‘Brilliant’ The Times
About the author
NATHANIEL PHILBRICK is the bestselling and award-winning
author of many books including Pulitzer Prize finalist ‘Mayflower’, ‘Sea of Glory’, ‘The Last Stand’ and ‘Bunker Hill’. He has further contributed to the scholarship on the whaleship Essex and ‘Moby-Dick’ through two notable books, editing ‘The Loss of the Ship Essex’, ‘Sunk By a Whale’, a collection of first-person accounts by Essex crew members, and is the author of ‘Why Read Moby-Dick?’, a powerful, personal treatise on the enduring merits of a classic novel. Philbrick lives on Nantucket.
In 1821, a whaling ship came upon a small boat off the coast of Chile containing two deranged men surrounded by human bones that they alternately chewed and clutched to their shriveled bodies. The two were survivors of one of the most well-known marine disasters of the 19th century: the sinking of a 240-ton Nantucket whaleship by an 80-ton sperm whale. A maritime historian, Philbrick recounts the hellish wreck of the Essex (which inspired Melville's Moby-Dick) and its sailors' struggle to make their way to South America, 2,000 miles away. Of the 20 men aboard the two boats, only eight would remain alive through the ravages of thirst, hunger and desperation that beset the voyage. With a gracefulness of language that rarely falters, Philbrick spins a ghastly, irresistible tale that draws upon archival material (including a cabin boy's journal discovered in 1960). Philbrick shows how the Quaker establishment of Nantucket ran a hugely profitable whaling industry in the 18th and 19th centuries and provides a detailed account of shipboard life. A champion sailboat racer himself, Philbrick has a particular affinity for his subject. His fastidious, extensive notes and bibliography will please historians, but it's his measured prose that superbly re-creates a cornerstone of the early American frontier ethos. 16 page photo insert not seen by PW. 15-city author tour; foreign rights sold to nine countries.