Classic novel of the search for vengeance by the maimed captain of a whaling vessel sailing from Nantucket on the east coast of the USA in the 1840’s. It interest for us is the view that Melville gives us below decks amongst the harpooners and sailors. This ‘motley crew’ consists of native Americans, Polynesians and West Africans, amongst others, all jammed together in the whaling ship ‘Pequod’ for a dangerous three year (!) voyage. Melville who worked on similar ships has an empathy with these ‘mariners, renegades and castaways’ and describes their relationships with cracking dialogue (BRHG).

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