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2020-03-25 17:22:15
Youth's Companion. Vol. XI, No. 34. Boston, January 5, 1838.
Folio sheet, b/w wood engraving. On November 20, 1819, in the Pacific, the whale ship "Essex" was rammed in the fore-chains by a large sperm whale. While the crew watched aghast from their whaleboats the whale charged again. This time the ships bow was completely stove in and the ship went over on her beam ends. The crew saved what food and water they could and set out for South America in three boats. Of the twenty-one men who began the voyage, only eight survived. In all three boats the survivors resorted to cannibalism. In 1841 Herman Melville, who was then whaling on the "Acushnet," gammed with the son of one of the survivors. The lad told him the story of the "Essex," and Melville later used the incident as the climax of his great novel. This event was also the subject of Nathaniel Philbrick's bestseller "In the Heart of the Sea." Here the story is recounted with a domestic spin, "In this species the affection of a mother toward its young is very strong... When the mother of the young whale found that her progeny was killed she... came against the stern of the vessel with the greatest violence." The article c oncludes with a stern warning. "Boys... frequently get a notion of going to sea; they thinik it is a fine thing to go and see the world.... But it would be well for boys to think a little, before they decide on this course, of the privations and sufferings of a long voyage, and... the dangers of the whaling business." Very good condition. Framed, under plexiglass.
Bookseller: Ten Pound Island Book Co. [United States]
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