In the Heart of the Sea

In the Heart of the Sea : The Epic True Story That Inspired "Moby Dick"

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The Number One best-selling, epic true-life story of one of the most notorious maritime disasters of the 19th century, beautifully reissued. The sinking of the whaleship Essex by an enraged spermwhale in the Pacific in November 1820 set in motion one of the most dramatic sea stories of all time: the twenty sailors who survived the wreck took to three small boats (one of which was again attacked by a whale) and only eight of them survived their subsequent 90-day ordeal, after resorting to cannibalising their mates. Three months after the Essex was broken up, the whaleship Dauphin, cruising off the coast of South America, spotted a small boat in the open ocean. As they pulled alongside they saw piles of bones in the bottom of the boat, at least two skeletons' worth, with two survivors -- almost skeletons themselves -- sucking the marrow from the bones of their dead ship-mates.

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  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 05 Feb 2007
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • HarperPerennial
  • London
  • (Reissue)
  • 8 b/w plates (16pp)
  • 0007241798
  • 9780007241798
  • 375,447

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Author Information

Nathaniel Philbrick is a historian and broadcaster who has written extensively about sailing. He is director of the Egan Institute of Maritime Studies on Nantucket Island, and a research fellow at the Nantucket Historical Association. He was a consultant on the movie 'Moby Dick'. Aged 41, he has lived on Nantucket with his wife and two children since 1986.

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Review quote

'Utterly gripping.' Daily Telegraph 'Brilliant.' The Times 'Superbly readable!elegantly written!a compelling study of the infinite human meanings of the sea itself.' Guardian 'As gripping as it is grissly!a cracking narrative, a complex cast of characters and a terrible moral dilemma at its heart.' Daily Mail

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