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.
Thomas Philbrick is professor emeritus of English at the University of Pittsburgh. Nathaniel Philbrickis a leading authority on the history of Nantucket Island. His In the Heart of the Sea won the National Book Award. His latest book is Sea of Glory, about the epic U.S. Exploring Expedition of 1838 1842. His other books include Away off Shore: Nantucket Island and Its People, 1602-1890 (which Russell Baker called indispensable ) and Abram's Eyes: The Native American Legend of Nantucket Island ( a classic of historical truthtelling, according to Stuart Frank, director of the Kendall Whaling Museum). He has written an introduction to a new edition of Joseph Hart's Miriam Coffin, or The Whale Fisherman, a Nantucket novel (first published in 1834) that Melville relied upon for information about the island when writing Moby Dick.Philbrick, a champion sailboat racer, has also written extensively about sailing, including The Passionate Sailor (1987) and the forthcoming Second Wind: A Sunfish Sailor's Odyssey. He was editor in chief of the classic Yaahting: A Parody (1984).In his role as director of the Egan Institute of Maritime Studies, Philbrick, who is also a research fellow at the Nantucket Historical Association, gives frequent talks about Nantucket and sailing. He has appeared on NBC Today Weekend, A&E's Biography series, and National Public Radio and has served as a consultant for the movie Moby Dick, shown on the USA Network. He received a bachelor of Arts from Brown University and a Master of Arts in American Literature from Duke. He lives on Natucket with his wife and two children.