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Goldsboro Books

316645958

In Search Of Moby Dick

In Search Of Moby Dick

by Tim Severin

Publisher Little Brown and Company

Released:

  • Signed by the Author
  • UK First Edition
  • First Printing
  • Hardcover


Regular price £100.00
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About the book

Melvilles classic novel Moby-Dick immortalized the idea of a mammoth, battling sperm whale roaming the seas, wreaking havoc on all that crossed its path. But could such a creature exist, then or now?

To find out, Severin travels to Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas Archipelago where the twenty-one-year-old Melville deserted his whaling ship in 1842 and began to cobble together the legends, tall tales, sea lore and first-hand accounts garnered from the whalers he encountered, filtering all this material through his own fertile imagination to create his monumental novel. It is here that Severin begins to perceive the lush weave of fact and fiction, actual experience and extravagant yarn, which became Moby-Dick.

The complex richness of Melvilles tapestry becomes even clearer as Severin sails on throughout the islands of the South Pacificthe Philippines, Tonga, Indonesiaall along the way asking the last surviving whale hunters of the great ocean if they have ever encountered a white whale. He introduces us to real-life characters who seemed to have stepped out of both literature and the distant past: hunters who still use Stone Age boats, hunt the sperm whale by hand and are firm believers in the Great Whale; hook-jumpers who earn their living by jumping on the backs of ten-ton whale sharks, killing them with large, iron, hand-held hooks; a harpooner and priest who re-enacts for Severin the mechanics and mysticism of a whale kill.

In this captivating and illuminating account of his voyage, Severin begins to understand not only the origins of Melvilles legendary literary creation, but also something of the spiritual relationship between the islanders and the creatures of the sea, the hunter and his prey. Even more intriguing is the tantalizing evidence Severin uncovers for the existence of a Great White Whale.

Superb travel writing combined with fascinating personal, cultural and historical anecdotes, this is an intriguing and enlightening exploration of one of the oceans enduring mysteries. In Search of Moby Dick is nearly as rich in engrossing lore and adventure as Melvilles classic novel itself.

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About the Author

Tim Severin

Tim Severin (1940 – 2020) was born in 1940 and educated at Tonbridge School and Oxford University. He sailed a leather boat across the Atlantic in the wake of Saint Brendan, captained an Arab sailing ship from Muscat to China, steered the replica of a Bronze Age galley to seek the landfalls of Jason and Ulysses, investigated the route of the First Crusade, travelled on  horseback with the nomads of Mongolia to explore the heritage of Genghis Khan, sailed the Pacific on a bamboo raft to test the theory that ancient Chinese mariners could have travelled to the Americas, and retraced the journeys of Alfred Russel Wallace, Victorian pioneer naturalist, through the Spice Islands of Indonesia. He wrote about all these adventures in award winning books.

Tim Severin held the Gold Medal of the Royal Geographical Society, the Livingstone Medal of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and received accolades for his writing including the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award. When not travelling he lived in Co. Cork, Ireland.

  • Professionally Packed

    All of our books that have a dust wrapper are covered in clear protective, removable film and are packed professionally in bubble wrap and a box for shipping so that they reach you in perfect condition.

  • Book Condition & Notes

    Fine first edition with some light bruising to the top and bottom of the spine. In a fine, unclipped dust jacket with similar bruising to the spine and along the top edges.

    This book is located in our Brighton store and may take longer for delivery.

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