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Owen Chase was born in Nantucket. First Mate on board the Essex, he was rescued from its wreckage on 18 February 1821. He was later appointed Captain of the Carroll in 1832 and was to undertake two trips to the South Pacific before his career came to an end. He died in March 1869, aged seventy-one.
First published in 1821 and the inspiration for 'Moby Dick', this is an absolutely fascinating true story, detailing a subject that will make you wince, grimace and wonder. Owen Chase the author, was the First Mate aboard the Whaleship Essex, a ship that was rammed and sank by a whale, leaving 20 men fighting for their lives. Travelling back in time, in language, in livelihoods; this most definitely makes for an uncomfortable read at times. It’s worth having a map by your side, as the distance travelled by the men of the Essex is quite remarkable. This is a tale of ultimate survival that will no doubt leave you wondering what you would do, if left face to mesmerising face with death. The film adaptation, starring Chris Hemsworth is released in the UK on Saturday 26 December 2015. Click below to view the trailer. Visit our '50 Classics Everyone Should Read' collection to discover more classic titles.
Paphos Publishers offers a wide catalog of rare classic titles, published for a new generation.Narrative of the Most Extraordinary and Distressing Shipwreck of the Whale-ship Essex is the history of a whale ship attacked by a sperm whale, and the inspiration for Moby Dick.
Narrative of the Most Extraordinary and Distressing Shipwreck of the Whale-ship Essex is an account by first mate Owen Chase of the Essex, a whale ship from Nantucket, Massachusetts, that was sunk by a sperm whale in the Pacific Ocean near South American in 1820. Of the twenty-man crew, only eight survived the horrific ordeal; some men were stranded on an island, all remaining crew were forced to eat food tainted by seawater and drink their own urine, and finally, when members of the crew started dying, those still alive resorted to cannibalism until they were rescued. Narrative of the Whale-ship Essex inspired Herman Melville to write his enduring classic Moby-Dick in 1851; it also inspired the 2015 movie In the Heart of the Sea, based on the 2000 best-selling book of the same name.
In 1819, the American whaler Essex was sailing deep into the great equatorial hunting grounds of the Pacific when it was destroyed by a maddened sperm whale. By all reports, the 85-foot whale deliberately rammed the ship twice and sank it. The incident, which occurred in the same year that Herman Melville was born, became a primary source of inspiration for Moby-Dick. Indeed, much of the detail and color in the final chapter of Melville's work is drawn directly from these three eyewitness accounts. The book also served as the basis for the 2015 movie In the Heart of the Sea, directed by Ron Howard and starring Chris Hemsworth.The harrowing events are described in detail by the first mate, Owen Chase, and corroborated in all essentials by both the captain, George Pollard, and the second mate, Thomas Chappel. Although the ship sank quickly after the attack, the horror lingered for months, and ended in cannibalism as the survivors drifted helplessly in small boats across thousands of miles of open sea.These three narratives are reprinted from a rare limited edition. An introduction traces the incorporation of the real-life incident into Melville's fictional re-creation, and twelve beautiful wood engravings add a further note of drama.
The gripping first-hand story of the disaster that inspired Melville's Moby-Dick and is the basis for a major new feature film, In the Heart of the Sea. In 1820, the Nantucket whaleship Essex was sailing in the South Pacific when it was rammed by an angry sperm whale. The ship sank, leaving twenty crew members floating in three small boats for ninety days. By taking drastic measures, eight men survived to reveal their astonishing tale. This authoritative edition brings together the harrowing tales of the survivors, including Owen Chase's 'Narrative of the Wreck of Whaleship Essex' and an account by Thomas Nickerson, the 15-year old cabin boy who was steering the ship when the whale attacked. Thomas Nickerson and Owen Chase were two of the eight surviving crew members of the Ship Essex. Thomas Philbrick is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Pittsburg and has edited critical editions of the works of Joshua Slocum and Henry Dana Jr. Nathaniel Philbrick is the author of In the Heart of the Sea and director of the Egan Institute of Maritime Studies. He is also a research fellow at the Nantucket Historical Association.
On 20 November 1820, just south of the equator, the whaling ship Essex, out of Nantucket, spotted a 'shoal' of sperm whales. It was a fine clear day, about eight in the morning. Two whaling boats, lightly built for rowing speed, were lowered from the Essex. The crew pursued and harpooned tree of the whales, whereupon the largest of them - some 85 feet long - rammed the Essex twice in ten minutes and 'stove in her bows'. This remarkable incident was followed by an epic three-month journey in open boats across storm-tossed seas - a feat of navigation and survival that rivals those of Shackleton and Bligh. Only eight men survived, sustained by eating six of those who died. Twenty-three-year-old Owen Chase was first mate of the Essex. His narrative of these events makes compulsive reading. This edition also includes memoirs by another crew member and by ship's captain, as well as a facsimile of Herman Melville's notes on Chase's account. Capturing all the elements of an ancient and powerful tragedy, this book is a thrilling tale of survival - as well as a frightful illustration of man's darkest impulses.