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In the Heart of the Sea This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   Chancesare, if you know anything about literature, you've heard the story ofCaptain Ahab and his psychotic journey to capture and kill the greatWhite Whale that took his leg. But do you happen to know the true storybehind the legendary novel? You probably haven't heard about thewhaleship Essex. The story is all there in In the Heart of theSea.

The story begins in the 1800s on the island of Nantucket.The thriving economy there depends entirely on the whaleships, which goon two- to three-year journeys in search of the sperm whale, whichsupply them with the highest quality oil.

An ordinary crew boardsthe Essex to embark on a seemingly ordinary journey. But once they leaveport, they are hit by a terrible storm and lose a lifeboat. Things godownhill as they run out of supplies. Just as they begin to find whales,they suffer the greatest blow of all when an aggressive sperm whaleattacks their ship.

The Essex sinks, and the sailors live in asingle lifeboat without supplies. Eventually, they turn to cannibalism.

Nathaniel Philbrick is a historian on Nantucket and knowseverything about whaling and the incredible story of the Essex. Heresearched every aspect of the story, and put it all together in orderto create the best story about whaling since Moby-Dick was published.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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