Ahab's rolling sea : a natural history of Moby-Dick

Ahab's rolling sea : a natural history of Moby-Dick / Richard J. King.
King, Richard J.
Chicago : The University of Chicago Press, 2019.

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TextUse in libraryRequestJFE 20-1661Schwarzman Building - Main Reading Room 315


430 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), maps (some color); 24 cm
Alternative Title
Natural history of Moby-Dick
  • Literary criticism.
  • Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Bibliography (note)
  • Includes bibliographical references (pages 307-413) and index.
1. Herman Melville: whaleman, author, natural philosopher -- 2. Numerous fish documents -- 3. Cetology and evolution -- 4. White whales and natural theology -- 5. Whale migration -- 6. Wind -- 7. Gulls, sea-ravens, and albatrosses -- 8. Small harmless fish -- 9. Phosphorescence -- 10. Sword-fish and lively grounds -- 11. Brit and baleen -- 12. Giant squid -- 13. Sharks -- 14. Fresh fare -- 15. Barnacles and sea candies -- 16. Practical cetology: spout, senses, and the dissection of heads -- 17. Whale and human intelligence -- 18. Ambergris -- 19. Coral insects -- 20. Grandissimus -- 21. Whale skeletons and fossils -- 22. Does the whale diminish? -- 23. Mother Carey's chickens -- 24. Typhoons and corpusants -- 25. Navigation -- 26. Seals -- 27. The feminine air -- 28. noiseless nautilus -- 29. Sperm whale behavior -- 30. Sky-hawk -- 31. Ishmael: blue environmentalist and climate refugee.
Call Number
JFE 20-1661
  • 022651496X
  • 9780226514963
King, Richard J., author.
Ahab's rolling sea : a natural history of Moby-Dick / Richard J. King.
Chicago : The University of Chicago Press, 2019.
Type of Content
still image
Type of Medium
Type of Carrier
Includes bibliographical references (pages 307-413) and index.
"A revelation for Moby-Dick devotees and neophytes alike, Ahab's Rolling Sea is a chronological journey through the natural history of Melville's novel. From white whales to whale intelligence, giant squids, barnacles, albatrosses, and sharks, Richard J. King examines what Melville knew from his own experiences and the sources available to a reader in the mid-1800s, exploring how and why Melville might have twisted what was known to serve his fiction. King climbs to the crow's nest, setting Melville at the very start of the Industrial Revolution and just before the publication of On the Origin of Species. He compares Ahab's and Ishmael's worldviews to how we see the ocean today: an expanse still immortal and sublime, but also in crisis. And although the concept of stewardship of the sea would have been entirely foreign, if not absurd, to Melville, King argues that Ishmael reveals his own tendencies toward what we would now call environmentalism. Featuring a coffer of illustrations and an array of interviews with contemporary scientists, fishers, and whale watch operators, Ahab's Rolling Sea offers insight not only into a cherished masterwork and its author but also into our evolving relationship with the briny deep--from whale hunters to climate refugees."-- Dust jacket.
Chronological Term
Added Title
Natural history of Moby-Dick
Other Form:
ebook version : 9780226515014
Research Call Number
JFE 20-1661
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