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In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex
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January - June 2020 > Feb BotM "Heart of the Sea

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Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) | 140 comments Mod
Non-fiction history. In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick has actually been on my to-read list for awhile. I believe it was my mother who recommended it, and because I enjoyed the similar-ish book that she recommended, Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing, I've been wanting to read this.


Ralph McEwen | 22 comments If you listen to the audio book version I would recommend this ISBN: 9781101887912
The Narrator is Scott Brick who is a wonderful narrator.


Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) | 140 comments Mod
Ack. I got to the part where they did their damnedest to ruin the Galapagos, and after just getting through the explanation of how the whales were slain and then 'processed' I def. need to take a break. Disgusting & distressing. I may or may not pick it up again. Page 76.

The first chapter, about the history of the white settlement of Nantucket Island, was interesting. It reminded us that in a small community like this, with the men away to sea for years, the women had a fair bit of freedom and independence.

There's also the bits about how the Nantucketers, mostly Quakers, were generally the officers, and how the Wampanoag (because they'd been ensared by debt servitude), and later blacks and itinerant men, filled out the crews.

The brief exploration of how Quaker pacifists could become tightfisted ship owners and brutal ships' officers, all because Mary Starbuck, a sort of matriarch of the island, was converted to Quakerism, is interesting and worthy of a book unto itself.

But then the book just got darker and more 'thrilling' and really challenging for me to read.

The quotes from Herman Melville's writing reveal that he was capable of some beautiful turns of phrase. I've read a bit of his work, but maybe I should read more, for example In the Galapagos Islands with Herman Melville, the Encantadas or Enchanted Isles.


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