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The Natural History of the Sperm Whale

The Natural History of the Sperm Whale

ISBN 9781108081498
Edition 1
Publication Date
Publisher Cambridge
Author(s)
Overview
The ship's surgeon Thomas Beale (1807-49) wrote a short account in 1835 of his experiences in the 'whale fishery' and in particular of the natural history and ecology of the sperm whale. In 1839, he followed this up with a longer account of the anatomy and physiology of the whale, its habits and its food, and the valuable spermaceti and ambergris which made it one of the most prized catches in the industry. He added a detailed account of one whaling voyage in which he participated, roaming across the Pacific from Kamchatka to Hawaii. He encountered missionaries who he believed exercised tyranny over the native peoples, survived a typhoon, and came close to being shipwrecked on more than one occasion. This volume contains both works, providing a fascinating account of whaling in its heyday, including the gruesome task of flensing, or cutting up of the whale carcass.

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