7 - 8 April 2004
CHASE, Owen. Narrative of the most extraordinary and distressing Shipwreck of the Whale-Ship Essex, of Nantucket; which was attacked and finally destroyed by a large Spermaceti-Whale, in the Pacific Ocean; with An Account of the Unparalleled Sufferings of the captain and crew during a space of ninety-three days at sea, in open boats. In the Years 1819 & 1820. New York: W.B. Gilley, 1821.
12° (189 x 120mm). Uncut in original publisher's dark green boards, newly rebacked in green cloth preserving original endpapers, (some general staining, 1 leaf repaired), blue cloth slipcase and chemise. With a contemporary ownership inscription, Nantucket, on front paste-down and endpaper.
THE EXTREMELY RARE FIRST EDITION of the first authentic account of the ramming and sinking of a ship by a whale. The long ordeal in open boats during which twelve of the crew of twenty died included the horrors of cannibalism. Chase's account was taken up by Herman Melville who used the ramming and sinking of the 'Essex' as the climax to his novel "Moby Dick." Hill, p. 50. Sabin 12189. Huntress 107.
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