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Owen Chase

 



Owen Chase (1798 - 1869) of Nantucket sought a traditional career as a whaling captain. However, at age 22, while serving as first mate of the Essex, his ship was sunk in a horrific, unprecedented attack by a sperm whale. Chase's short account of the attack (thought by some to be ghost-written) captivated the nation and inspired Melville, forming the basis of Moby Dick.


Books by Owen Chase on Riapress.com

Narrative of the Wreck of the Whale-ship Essex

By: Owen Chase


The true story that inspired Melville's Moby Dick, sensational in its time and still a mortal tale of the sea.


download or read online

Related Books on Riapress.com

Moby Dick

By: Herman Melville


Ishmael signs onto the whaler Pequod, led by Ahab, who turns the voyage into an obsessive quest for revenge against the whale who took his leg.


download or read online

A Voyage to the South Sea

By: William Bligh


Muntineers interrupt a breadfruit voyage, in a classic true tale of temptation, seamanship, and leadership.


download or read online

Author Web Sites of Interest

Owen Chase websites of interest:
Nantucket Historical Association
New Bedford Whaling Museum
Nantucket Atheneum
Sperm whale info
PBS page on the Essex


Author Bibliography

Short Owen Chase bibliography:
Nathaniel Philbrick, In the Heart of the Sea. 2001.
Thomas F. Heffernan, Stove by a Whale. 1981.
Herman Melville, Moby Dick. 1851.
Richard Ellis, The Book of Whales. 1985.
Paul Schneider, The Enduring Shore: A Hisory of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. 2000.