Whaling in 19th Century American Literature

Selected Titles

Brown, Helen E. A good catch; or, Mrs. Emerson’s whaling-cruise. Philadelphia: Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1884.
Castlemon, Harry. Frank Nelson in the forecastle; or, the sportsman’s club among the whalers. Philadelphia: Porter and Coates; and Cincinnati: R. W. Carroll & Co., 1876.
[Comstock, William]. “Whaling in the Pacific,” The Boston pearl and Literary Gazette, vol. 4, nos. 47-52 (August 1-September 5, 1835), 377-9, 384-5, 392-3, 400-1, 408-9, 415
Cooper, James Fenimore. The Pilot: A Tale of the Sea. New York: W.A. Townsend and Company, 1859.
[Hart, Joseph C.] Miriam Coffin, or, The whale-fishermen: a tale. 2 vols. New York, G & C. & H. Carvill; Philadelphia, Cary & Hart; Boston, Allen & Ticknor, 1834.
Hammond, Thomas West. On Board A Whaler: An Adventurous Cruise through Southern Seas. Illustrated by Harry George Burgess. New York and London: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, the Knickerbocker Press, 1901.
Macy, Capt. W[illiam] H[ussey]. There she blows! Or, the log of the Arethusa. Boston: Lee & Shepard; and New York: Charles T. Dillingham, 1877.
________________ The whales we caught and how we did it. Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1899.
Melville, Herman. Typee: A peep at Polynesian life. During a four months’ residence among the natives of a valley of the Marquesas. New York: Wiley & Putnam, 1846.
________________Omoo: a narrative of adventure in the South Seas; being a sequel to the “Residence in the Marquesas Islands”. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1847.
________________Moby-Dick; or The whale. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1851.
Newell, C[harles] M[artin]. The Isle of Palms. Boston: DeWolfe, Fiske & Co., 1888
________________Péhe Nú-e, The Tiger Whale of the Pacific. Boston: D. Lothrop and Company. 1877.
________________The voyage of the Fleetwing: A narrative of love, wreck and whaling adventures. Boston: DeWolfe, Fiske and Co., 1866.
Poe, Edgar Allen. The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. Comprising the details of a mutiny and atrocious butchery on board the American brig Grampus, on her way to the South seas… with an account of the recapture of the vessel by the survivors; their shipwreck and subsequent horrible sufferings from famine… New York: Harper & Brothers, 1838.
Reynolds, J[eremiah]N. “Mocha Dick: or the white whale of the Pacific: a leaf from a manuscript journal”, The Knickerbocker, New York Monthly Magazine, vol. 13, no. 5 (May 1839), 377-92.
Thomes, Wm[William] H. The whaleman’s adventures in the Sandwich Islands and California. “Ocean Life” series. Boston: Lee & Shepard, 1871. 


A Few Basic Sources of Contemporary Literary Criticism

Bercaw, Mary K. Melville’s Sources. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1987.
Foulke, Robert. The sea voyage narrative. New York, Twayne; London, Prentice Hall, 1997.
Frank, Stuart M. Herman Melville’s Picture Gallery, Sources and Types of the “Pictorial” Chapters of Moby-Dick. Fairhaven, MA: Edward J. Lefkowicz, Inc., 1986.
Leyda, Jay. The Melville Log, A Documentary Life of Herman Melville, 1819-1891. 2 vols. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1951.
Miller, Perry, The Raven and the Whale: The War of Words and Wits in the Era of Poe and Melville. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, Inc., 1956.
Mumford, Lewis. Herman Melville. New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1929.
Olson, Charles. Call me Ishmael. New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, 1947.
Philbrick, Thomas. James Fenimore Cooper and the development of American sea fiction. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1961.
Sten, Christopher. Sounding the whale: Moby-Dick as epic novel. Kent, Ohio and London: Kent State University Press, 1996.
Vincent, Howard P. The Trying-out of Moby-Dick. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, the Riverside Press, 1949.