cover of book

Surviving the Essex: The Afterlife of America's Most Storied Shipwreck
by David O. Dowling
University Press of New England, 2016
Cloth: 978-1-61168-941-9 | eISBN: 978-1-61168-942-6 | Paper: 978-1-61168-907-5
Library of Congress Classification G530.E77D68 2016
Dewey Decimal Classification 910.91649

Surviving the “Essex” tells the captivating story of a ship’s crew battered by whale attack, broken by four months at sea, and forced—out of necessity—to make meals of their fellow survivors. Exploring the Rashomon-like Essex accounts that complicate and even contradict first mate Owen Chase’s narrative, David O. Dowling examines the vital role of viewpoint in shaping how an event is remembered and delves into the ordeal’s submerged history—the survivors’ lives, ambitions, and motives, their pivotal actions during the desperate moments of the wreck itself, and their will to reconcile those actions in the short- and long-term aftermath of this storied event. Mother of all whale tales, Surviving the “Essex” acts as a sequel to Nathaniel Philbrick’s In the Heart of the Sea, while probing deeper into the nature of trauma and survival accounts, an extreme form of notoriety, and the impact that the story had on Herman Melville and the writing of Moby-Dick.
Nearby on shelf for Geography (General) / Adventures, shipwrecks, buried treasure, etc.: