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‘Look, look, what ails the ship, she is upsetting’

Peter Nichols: The ship ‘Essex’, 8 March 2001

The Loss of the Ship ‘Essex’, Sunk by a Whale 
by Thomas Nickerson and Owen Chase, edited by Nathaniel Philbrick and Thomas Philbrick et al.
Penguin, 231 pp., £7.99, June 2000, 0 14 043796 7
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... the Ship ‘Essex’, Sunk by a Whale is a collection of first and second-hand accounts, edited by Nathaniel Philbrick, with his father Thomas. Owen Chase’s narrative (which Philbrick and others before him, including Melville, have presumed was ghost-written) has long been the main source of the Essex story, but here ...

At the House of Mr Frog

Malcolm Gaskill: Puritanism, 18 March 2021

The Puritans: A Transatlantic History 
by David D. Hall.
Princeton, 517 pp., £20, May, 978 0 691 20337 9
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The Journey to the Mayflower: God’s Outlaws and the Invention of Freedom 
by Stephen Tomkins.
Hodder, 372 pp., £12.99, February, 978 1 4736 4911 8
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... the popular image of intransigence and cruelty. The scarlet letter worn by Hester Prynne in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel and the pointy reckonings of The Crucible are indelible stains; even the folk horror of H.P. Lovecraft assumes some evil resident in the land. The devil the puritans fought at Salem was in themselves; they became the monsters of ...

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