Wreck of the Essex

The story of a boy's survival after his ship was sunk by a sperm whale...
Based on a true story.

The last whaling ship- The Charles Morgan

Several years ago, Robert and I visited Mystic Seaport in Connecticut. Here we saw the last whaling ship as it was under renovation. She is a stout ship- 105 feet long- able to hold thousands of barrels of whale oil. The Charles Morgan was larger than the Essex, able to carry her 38 crew members on longer voyages to the off-shore grounds. In 2014, she set sail for the first time since 1941. She went on a tour of ports in southern New England.

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Who is this headless man? It is Herman Melville. This is the story of the day the lightbulb went off.

 I know you are wondering how Herman Melville came to know about the Essex tragedy. After surviving the ordeal, Owen Chase wrote an account. It had the catchy title, Narrative of the Most Extraordinary and Distressing Shipwreck of the Whale-ship Essex.

In 1841,Herman Melville was a young sailor aboard the whaling ship Acushnet which came within sight of a Nantucket ship. Aboard that ship was Owen Chase's sixteen year old son. Melville questioned him about his father's adventure. The boy went to his chest and handed him a complete copy of the Narrative. 

Melville wrote "the reading of this wondrous story upon the landless sea and close to the very latitude had a surprising effect upon me."

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Hide and go seek!

You can find the painting of the valiant mother whale on the facebook link, The Wreck of the Essex found on the home page. It is worth a peek!

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Mama whale saving baby!

This is an amazing painting done by an anonymous whaling man. It depicts a female whale trying to save her injured calf. I am sure he really witnessed this.

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Will the real Thomas Nickerson please stand up!

A reader commented on the Kindle version that The Wreck of the Essex was an actual eyewitness account and not a piece of literary work. Wow! When I wrote the book, I wanted to be invisible and make Tom's voice come shining through! I wanted it to sound like Tom's journal and not an author telling a story. Looks like I accomplished my goal. Pretty cool.

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A one-armed artist did this painting. Whaling was dangerous work.

Here is the paiting fromthe book. It appears on page 38.

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Dangerous Work!

Lost an arm at sea! That's what happened to the artist, Cornelius B. Hulsart, the whaling man who rendered the sketch I used in the book. Check out p. 38 and see the painting Capturing a Whale, circa 1830. This is what it really looked like to harpoon a whale at close range. Hulsart certainly knew from experience!

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Purchase at Amazon, too!

Hello Friends,

We are updating our paypal account. It will be up and running by Thursday. You may purchase The Wreck of the Essex at Amazon or through Kindle Books.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Thank You,

K.F. Griffin

 

 

 

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Race to the finish!

December 13th marks one month since my book, The Wreck of the Essex, was launched. What a race to the finish getting the Kindle and paperback versions in time for the release of the movie, In the Heart of the Sea. It happened! Just like Bilbo Baggins, the story is out of the Hobbit hole. Out of the dark cold mornings where I sat in front of the old computer and wrote the odyssey of Thomas Nickerson. It is tale of courage, hope, and friendship. Enjoy this inspiring story and please tell your friends and family.

 

 

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