Tag Archives: Herman Melville

Crow’s Nests : Part 1 — Melville & Captain Scoresby

The first of a two-part post on crows nests. Who would have thought that a crow’s nest deserves such attention? A reader commented on the lack of a crow’s nest in the video of the Charles W. Morgan under sail … Continue reading

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Starbucks Returns to Sea on USS Boxer

There is virtually no place on earth beyond its reach. No, not the US Navy. Starbucks. The coffee seller is now even opening a store on a navy warship, the amphibious assault ship, USS Boxer. The “Starboxer” is the first … Continue reading

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Are There Whales Alive Today Who Were Born Before Moby Dick Was Written ?

A recent article in the Alaska Dispatch celebrated the recent population rebound of bowhead whales off Alaska’s North Slope.  The bowheads had been hunted to near extinction. A whale count in 1978 estimated that only 1,200 bowhead whales remained in the region. … Continue reading

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Melville’s Moby Dick – Contemporary Reviews and Sales Figures

Yesterday we posted about the Google Doodle honoring Herman Melville‘s Moby Dick on the anniversary of its publication.  The reviews of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick when it was published in 1851 were decidedly mixed. There were indeed positive reviews to balance the … Continue reading

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Moby Dick – The Masterpiece that Ruined Herman Melville’s Career Honored By Google Doodle

Today the Google Doodle honors Herman Melville‘s masterpiece, Moby Dick, on this the 161st anniversary of its publication.  Ironically, the book that has garnered Melville immortality also effectively ruined his career.   Known as a writer of semi-autobiographical stories, neither the critics … Continue reading

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Herman Melville Died One Hundred Twenty One Years Ago Today

Herman Melville died September 28, 1891.  He was indeed a great American writer, some would argue the great American writer. He was also the greatest failed writer of his day. When he died all of his books had been out … Continue reading

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Today in History – Herman Melville, Sailor’s Snug Harbor & Nelson at Aboukir Bay

Today is the birthday of Herman Melville, one of the greatest American writers. He was born in 1819 on Pearl Street in downtown Manhattan, almost directly across the Hudson from where I am now writing this post. He will always … Continue reading

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Moby Dick in Space ?

Herman Melville’s Moby Dick  was not a commercial success when published in 1851. Nevertheless, the story of the great white whale remains powerful and timeless, for good or ill.  Last December, we posted about the straight to DVD movie, 2010: Moby Dick, a “re-imagined” telling … Continue reading

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The Two Brothers and the Two Captains – Who was Unlucky?

The wreck of the whale ship Two Brothers, which sank 188 years ago on French Frigate Shoals, 600 miles northwest of Honolulu,  was recently located by divers.   The captain of the whale ship was George Pollard Jr., whose previous ship, … Continue reading

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Melville’s Leviathan

No, not Moby Dick.  Scientists have recently discovered the fossilized remains of an ancient whale with huge, fearsome teeth, which they have dubbed Leviathan melvillei,  in honor of Herman Melville.   The 12 million old whale was slightly smaller than a modern sperm whale but … Continue reading

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Moby, Mocha and the Whale Ship Essex

People are often surprised to hear that Herman Melville’s masterpiece, Moby Dick, was inspired, at least in part, by the sinking of the whale ship Essex by a sperm whale.  By all accounts the sinking of the Essex  haunted  Melville  and  unquestionably supplied him with … Continue reading

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