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 point of view 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.
Author: David O. Dowling
Title: Surviving the Essex: The Afterlife of America's Most Storied Shipwreck
First Published by: ForeEdge
Date: 12 April 2016