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History Guides - Lafayette


Selected Books - Reviews

  • A National Book Award Winner, In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick is a well-written and focused telling of the circumstances which surrounded the final sailing of the doomed whaleship, the Essex. From Nantucket, the story stretches across the Atlantic and up into the Pacific, where the men meet a whale which inspired the story of Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. Unlike other sperm whales, this large bull faces and attacks the ship which has been sent to find his kind. However, while the sinking is given due coverage, much of the book then looks at the 90+ days which the crew then faced in small whaleboats on the open ocean. While not a book which everyone would find interesting, as there are similarities between it and the Donnor Party, it is still, nevertheless, an important piece in the recorded history of whaling. Philbrick does a good job of pulling together the accounts of several survivors, as well as the insights of men like Melville.


Classics: History of Whaling

Along with the nonfiction titles and resources included above, here are classic pieces of fiction relating to this topic:

Print Books