The gripping first-hand story of the disaster that inspired Melville's Moby-Dick and is the basis for a major new feature film, In the Heart of the Sea.In 1820, the Nantucket whaleship Essex was sailing in the South Pacific when it was rammed by an angry sperm whale. The ship sank, leaving twenty crew members floating in three small boats for ninety days. By taking drastic measures, eight men survived to reveal their astonishing tale. This authoritative edition brings together the harrowing tales of the survivors, including Owen Chase's 'Narrative of the Wreck of Whaleship Essex' and an account by Thomas Nickerson, the 15-year old cabin boy who was steering the ship when the whale attacked.Thomas Nickerson and Owen Chase were two of the eight surviving crew members of the Ship Essex.Thomas Philbrick is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Pittsburg and has edited critical editions of the works of Joshua Slocum and Henry Dana Jr. Nathaniel Philbrick is the author of In the Heart of the Sea and director of the Egan Institute of Maritime Studies. He is also a research fellow at the Nantucket Historical Association.