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Acton, William, A WHALING CAPTAIN'S LIFE: The Exciting True Account by William Acton for His Son, William.

. NEW copy, trade PAPERBACK. (Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2008). Over 110 black & white plates, 128 pages.

~~~ This little volume, originally published in 1838, was penned by a whaling captain for his son. Irresistibly collectable, this edition- featuring 112 original black-and-white plates -retains all the charm of the original, including descriptions of successful voyages, whale hunting advice and sailing superstitions.


Ash, Christopher, WHALER'S EYE.

VG/VG. Minor tears & creases along top & corners of price-clipped jacket, which is in a mylar protector. (NY: The MacMillan Company, 1962). First Printing. 7.5x10. Profusely illustrated with b&w photographs, index, 245 pages.

"The on-board story of modern whaling ... the hunt and the kill ... the nature, temperament, habits and biology of whales... "



click to enlarge Braginton-Smith and Duncan Oliver, CAPE COD SHORE WHALING: America's First Whalemen.

. NEW copy, trade PAPERBACK. (Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2008). Over 35 black & white photographs, 128 pages.

Drawing on rare documents never before published, whaling journals and diaries, Oliver and Braginton-Smith recreate a bygone age when men fought one another for rights to the sea.


click to enlarge Chase, Owen, First Mate, THE WRECK OF THE WHALESHIP ESSEX: A First-hand Account of One of History's Most Extraordinary Maritime Disasters.

NEW copy. (London: Headline Book Publishing, 1999). Hardcover with pictorial dust jacket. Illustrated with plates, headers & tailpieces. Decorated endpages, glossary, 208 pages. Introduction by Gary Kinder.

"The incredible adventure that inspired Moby Dick, as told by one of its few survivors. On the morning of November 20, 1820, in the Pacific Ocean, an enraged sperm whale rammed the Nantucket whaler Essex. As the boat began to sink, her crew of thirty had time only to collect some bread and water before pulling away in three frail open boats. Without charts, alone on the open seas, and thousands of miles from any known land, the sailors began their terrifying journey of survival. Ninety days later, after much suffering and death by starvation, intense heat, and dehydration, only eight men survived to reach land. One of them was Owen Chase, first mate of the ill-fated ship, whose account of the long and perilous journey has become a classic of endurance and human courage. The elements of his tale inspired Herman Melville (who was born the year the Essex sank) to write the classic Moby Dick".

"On 12 August, 1819, Owen Chase, a Yankee seaman, became the first mate of the whaleship Essex. A survivor of one of the most chilling maritime disasters of the nineteenth century, his account of the ship's long and dangerous voyage has become a classic. Captain Chase's Narrative of the Most Extraordinary and Distressing Shipwreck of the Whale-Ship Essex was published in New York in 1821 and has been regarded as a work of great historical and literary value ever since."

British import. This hardcover edition OUT OF PRINT.


click to enlarge Donovan, Frank, THE ODYSSEY OF THE ESSEX: The Dramatic Account of One of the Epic Voyages of the American Navy.

VG/VG--. Some light chipping and a two-inch closed tear to jacket (front panel bottom). Book in nice condition except for very slight glue bleed-through along bottom edge of covers and end pages. (NY: David McKay Company, Inc, 1969). Endpages decorated with map. 215 pages.

Story of the small U.S. frigate which, pursued by larger British war vessels, fled around Cape Horn and into the South Pacific where it captured 12 British whalers, created a new American fleet, and sailed into a series of remarkable adventures in the Galapagos and Marquesas.

British import. This hardcover edition OUT OF PRINT.


click to enlarge Druett, Joan., IN THE WAKE OF MADNESS: The Murderious Voyage of the Whaleship Sharon.

. NF/NF. New condition. (Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books, 2003). Appendices, notes, bibliography, index, 292 pages.

On May 25, 1841, the whaleship Sharon of Fairhaven, Massachusetts, set out for the whaling grounds of the northwestern Pacific under the command of Captain Howes Norris. A year later, while most of the crew was out on the hunt, Norris remained at the helm with four crew members-three of them natives from the Pacific Islands. When the men in the whaleboats spied the Sharon's flag flying at half-mast-a signal of distress-they rowed toward the ship to discover their Captain had been hacked to pieces. His murderers, the Pacific Islanders, were covered in blood and brandishing weapons. Unless the crew could retake the Sharon, their prospects of survival were slim. The nearest land was seven hundred miles away.

In an astonishing single-handed recapture, the third officer, Benjamin Clough, swam through shark-infested waters in the dead of night, slipped through one of the cabin windows, and launched a surprise attack on the mutineers, killing two of them and overtaking the other. Though news of Clough's courageous act spread quickly through ports around the globe, an American investigation into the shipboard crimes was never conducted- even when the Sharon returned home three years later, with only four of the original twenty-nine crew on board. The true story of what happened aboard the Sharon remained buried for over 150 years.

Hardcover originally published at $24.95, now OUT OF PRINT.


Gibson, Arrell Morgan, YANKEES IN PARADISE: The Pacific Basin Frontier .

NEW copy. Still in shrinkwrap. (University of New Mexico Press, 1993). First Edition. Bibliography, index, 502 pages.

From Library Journal: This book "...views America's expansion in the Pacific Basin from 1784 to1861 as part of the nation's frontier experience. . . . [The book] argues that the same agents were at work on this maritime frontier as on the frontier onland. Explorers, hunters and fur traders, merchants, miners, farmers, missionaries, military men, and writers added to American knowledge of the Pacific Basin, established and enlarged the American presence, drew government attention to the region, leading to the Americanization of the area."

~~~ From Choice: "Gibson's book is devoted to a rather forgotten area of US involvement, the Pacific Basin. Because this was a commercial rather than a settlement frontier, it remained overshadowed by the epic continental expansion of the 19th century. . . . Gibson narrates the story of Americans searching for whales and markets and marketable commodities, such as hides or guano. This is also the story of missionaries, naval men, island paradise seekers, and even of popular authors, whose writings about the Pacific caught the public eye. . . . An excellent resource for readers at all levels seeking to learn more about the role Americans played in the Pacific".



click to enlarge Haley, Nelson Cole (Harpooner in the Ship Charles W. Morgan), WHALE HUNT: The Narrative of a Voyage.

VG/Good. Some chipping to jacket, which is in a mylar protector. Decorated endpages (antique map), contemporary whaleman's drawings, introduction, 304 pages. Previous owner of book has written a page of whaling-related bibliographic entries in neat hand on rear flyleaf; book otherwise clean.

A narrative by the harpooner in the ship Charles W. Morgan, during the years 1849-1853. The Charles W. Morgan is America's last surviving wooden sailing whaleship. To celebrate her 150th anniversary and 50th year on exhibit at Mystic Seaport, the museum reissued this exciting firsthand account of the Morgan's third voyage to the South Pacific. As harpooner, Haley faced the whale and drove his iron into the leviathan. As author, he recaptures the high drama of the whale hunt, the character of his shipmates, and their adventures ashore on the exotic islands of the South Pacific. Haley's narrative is vividly illustrated by unusual action drawings rendered by a fellow whaleman. The manuscript of this spirited memoir, like the Morgan herself, is preserved at Mystic Seaport.



Heffernan, Thomas Farel, MUTINY ON THE GLOBE: The Fatal Voyage of Samuel Comstock. . NEW copy, hardcover with dust jacket. (WW Norton,, 2002). 280 pages.

~~~ Samuel Comstock knew he was born to do some great thing, but his only legacy was a reign of terror. Two years out of Nantucket on a whaling voyage, he organized a mutiny & murdered the officers of the Globe. It was a premeditated act: in his sea chest Comstock carried the seeds & tools with which he would found his own island kingdom. Witness & chronicler of the mutiny was Comstock's horrified brother. Within days of settling on Mili Atoll in the Marshall Islands, Comstock was murdered by his fellow mutineers. Six innocent seamen, including Comstock's brother, seized the Globe & escaped; most of the rest were killed by natives. Two survivors lived for twenty-two months, half-prisoners & half-adoptees of the islanders, until they were rescued by a landing party from the U.S. schooner Dolphin. The Globe's story is one of terror, adventure, endurance, & luck. It is also the story of one of the most bizarre & frightening minds that ever went to sea.


Martin, Kenneth R., DELAWARE GOES WHALING: 1833-1845 . VG. Staple-bound booklet. (Greenville, Delaware: The Hagley Museum, 1974). Illustrated, 64 pages.

Table of contents: Introduction; The Growth of American Whaling; Whaling Fever Comes to Wilmington, 1833; Delaware Whalemen Put to Sea, 1834; The Growth of the Wilmington Whaling company, 1835-1840; Life Aboard the Wilmington Whaleships; Hard Luck and Disappointment, 1840-1846; Selected Bibliography.


click to enlarge Mawer, Granville Allen., AHAB'S TRADE: The Saga of South Seas Whaling.

. VG/VG. Slight crimp to head of jacket. (NY: St Martin's Press, 1999). Illustrations, photographs, glossary, Weights & Measures, notes, bibliography, index, 393 pages.

Gladiator one minute, galley slave the next. Danger, abuse, excitement and tedium, these were the lot of open boat whalemen in the South Seas for two centuries. The Nantucketers, the first and the best, taught the world how whaling should be done. Ahab's Trade tracks the rise and fall of this first global industry and tells the story of the men who made it. Although they whaled in American, British, French, Australian and New Zealand ships, their calling made them citizens of a closed and isolated world unlike that of other seamen. The good, the mad and the ugly: they are all here to tell their stories and describe a way of life so strange that its survival into our century is almost incomprehensible.

Originally published at $29.95, now OUT OF PRINT.


click to enlarge McManus, Michael, A TREASURY OF AMERICAN SCRIMSHAW.

NEW copy: hardcover with dust jacket. (NY: Penguin Studio, 1997). 8.5x11. Lavishly illustrated with color plates, bibliography, 150 pages.



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Ommanney, F.D., LOST LEVIATHAN: Whales and Whaling.

VG/VG--. Jacket mildly chipped at head & foot of spine; front flap price-clipped; front & rear flap creased. Head of book spine bumped but intact. Book otherwise clean & tight. (NY: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1971). Charts, diagrams, photograms, appendix, bibliography, index, 280 pages.

Discusses both biology of whales & history or whaling. Author former whaling inspector on a factory ship. .



Robotti, Frances Diane, WHALING AND OLD SALEM.

VG/VG. First printing. Slight bump to top edge of front cover; previous owner's bookplate on front endpaper. Jacket price-clipped, very slightly chipped at extremities, and in mylar protector. All in all a nice copy. (NY: Fountainhead Publishers, 1962). Drawings, diagrams, plates, photographs, manuscript facsimiles, bibliography, appendix, index, 292 pages.



Rothenberg, David, THOUSAND MILE SONG: Whale Music in a Sea of Sound. . NEW copy, hardcover with dust jacket. (Basic Books,, 2008). 304 pages.

Whale song is an astonishing world of sound whose existence no one suspected before the 1960s. Its discovery has forced us to confront the possibility of alien intelligence-not in outer space but right here on earth. Thoughtful, richly detailed, and deeply entertaining, Thousand Mile Song uses the enigma of whale sounds to open up whales’ underwater world of sonic mystery. In observing and talking with leading researchers from around the globe as they attempt to decipher undersea music, Rothenberg tells the story of scientists and musicians confronting an unknown as vast as the ocean. His search culminates in a grand attempt to make interspecies music the likes of which no one has ever heard (until, that is, they listen to the accompanying CD), by playing his clarinet with whales in their native habitats, from Russia to Canada to Hawaii.


click to enlarge Spence, Bill, HARPOONED: The Story of Whaling.

VG/VG+. Bookplate of former owner on front flyleaf, otherwise a very nice copy all round. Jacket in mylar protector. (NY: Crescent Books, 1980). 8.5x10.5. Maps, diagrams, drawings, plates, photographs, index, 192 pages.



Stackpole, Edouard A., THE SEA-HUNTERS: The New England Whalemen during Two Centuries 1635-1835.




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