Shopping Cart Link


University Press of New England







Sign up for our newsletter







Bookmark and Share
Cart
Cart link
Hardcover add to cart
Paperback add to cart


For Educators
View cart
Add exam ebook
Cover image Click for larger image

Surviving the Essex
The Afterlife of America's Most Storied Shipwreck
David O. Dowling



Seafaring America

ForeEdge
2016 • 240 pp. 16 illus. 6 x 9"
American History - 19th Century / Maritime History & Piracy / Disasters & Disaster Relief

$24.95 Paperback, 978-1-61168-907-5
$85.00 Hardcover, 978-1-61168-941-9

$21.99 Ebook, 978-1-61168-942-6

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

(Hardcover is un-jacketed.
Cover illustration is for paperback edition only)



“As many readers know, Moby-Dick was inspired by the shipwreck of the whaling ship Essex in 1820. As David O. Dowling discusses in Surviving... [continued in Reviews below]”—The Washington Post

Do cannibals get second acts?

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.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“As many readers know, Moby-Dick was inspired by the shipwreck of the whaling ship Essex in 1820. As David O. Dowling discusses in Surviving the Essex, the wreck of the Essex was an early example of prurient tabloid scandal, capturing the imagination of readers eager, then as now, for stories of heroism and villainy in the face of moral dilemmas.”—The Washington Post

“Die-hard fans who cannot get enough of the Essex tragedy are the best audience for this book and the readers most likely to appreciate its various insights.
New England Quarterly

“With glistening prose and a detective’s eye for detail and acts of deception, David Dowling investigates one of the most famous and harrowing events in maritime history. By carefully dissecting contending narratives of the sinking of the Essex, Dowling illuminates issues diverse and fascinating: cannibalism, ghostwriting, the literary marketplace, reputations, and even the culpability of the whale in sinking the ship.”—George Cotkin, author of Dive Deeper: Journeys with Moby-Dick



Author Photo

DAVID O. DOWLING is an associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Iowa. He has written numerous books on the intersection of business and literature.



Wed, 18 Oct 2017 13:36:59 -0500