Etchings of a Whaling Cruise, with Notes of a Sojourn on the Island of Zanzibar. to which is appended a Brief History of the Whale Fishery, Its Past and Present Condition.

By: Browne, J. Ross

Price: $350.00

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Fair


First edition. Sabin 8658. Howes B877. Rebacked some time ago with new end sheets and facsimiles of frontispiece and title/copyright page supplied. Original marbled boards rubbed, margins lightly stained, moderately foxed throughout. 1846 Hard Cover. xiii, 580 pp. An illustrated account of time spent on a whaler, illustrated throughout with steel and wood engravings. Browne joined the crew of a whaling ship in 1842, and used the experience as the basis for this, his second book (following Confessions of a Quack). It established Browne as a writer, and it is now widely believed that Herman Melville referred to Browne's work as a primary source while he wrote his famous 1851 novel Moby Dick. Especially important to Browne was travel. He would spend a quarter-century of his prime in this activity. He started out before he was seventeen by making a 600-mile ramble by land, followed by one of 1,600 miles by water, working as a deckhand on a flatboat between Louisville and New Orleans. After three years as a police reporter for the Louisville Advertiser and as a correspondent for Cincinnati and Columbus papers, Browne became determined to have a career that would permit him to travel in reasonable comfort. He chose stenography and shorthand and worked as a reporter in Washington (1841-1842) for the Congressional Globe. He also contributed a few stories to Graham's Lady's and Gentleman's Magazine, edited by Edgar Allan Poe. Browne planned to sail to Europe but, lacking funds, had to ship out instead as an ordinary seaman on a New Bedford whaler. His passage to the Indian Ocean was ruined by the bark's bully of a captain, and Browne bought his freedom on the island of Zanzibar. Browne used humor to expose the abuses of whaleship crews and illustrated his account with his own sketches. The articles were published in Harper's Monthly Magazine and later became chapters of his book Etchings of a Whaling Cruise (1846), a sequence that would be repeated several times in his long association with the magazine and Harper & Bros. Reviews were flattering and that of the American Review compared Browne favorably with Richard Henry Dana of Two Years Before the Mast. Herman Melville reviewed Etchings for Literary World in 1847, and the book influenced his writing of Moby Dick... Out of... travels [to Europe and the Near East] came his book Yusef (1853). Joaquin Miller wrote of it, 'If there had been no Yusef, there would have been no Innocents Abroad' by Mark Twain. (American National Biography) Given his depth of personal experiences and his skill as a writer, it seems strange that Browne's works are not more well known today.

Title: Etchings of a Whaling Cruise, with Notes of a Sojourn on the Island of Zanzibar. to which is appended a Brief History of the Whale Fishery, Its Past and Present Condition.

Author: Browne, J. Ross

Categories: Biography, Nautical & Exploration,

Edition: First Edition

Publisher: Harper & Brothers: 1846

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: Fair

Jacket Condition: No Jacket

Seller ID: 2206796

Keywords: WHALING WHALE HUNTING WHALER ZANZIBAR,