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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The Adventurous Life of the Late William Scoresby

Memorials of the Sea : My Father: Being Records of the Adventurous Life of the Late William Scoresby, Esq. of Whitby by his son, the Rev. William Scoresby, D.D., is now available on Project Gutenberg.

Third in the author's Memorials of the Sea, the volume does seem to cover a remarkable career, as outlined by the table of contents:

Chapter I.—Early Life and Progress as a Seaman 3
Sect. 1. My Father’s early Life 3
2. His First Year’s Apprenticeship 12
3. His Progress as a Seaman, with Incidents of Sea-life 20
4. Capture by the Enemy, and Escape from a Spanish Prison 26
5. Rewards of Masterly Seamanship 31
6. Entrance on, and Progress in Training in, the Greenland Whale-fishery 36
Chapter II.—Commencement and Progress in Whale-fishing Enterprise as Commander 42
Sect. 1. Disappointment in his First Command 42
2. His Second Adventure and commencing Prosperity 52
3. Further Successes, with their comparative Relations, in the Ship Henrietta 55
4. Episodical Incident—the Rescue of endangered Pleasurers 65
5. The Greenland Doctor 71
6. Taming of a Bear—interesting Recognition 78
Chapter III.—The Ship Dundee, of London 86
Sect. 1. Entrance on, and general Results of, this new Command 86
2. Dangerous Accident—admirable Tact 89
3. The Dandy Sailor, or “Fine Tommy” 92
4. Unfortunate Voyage, and Adventure in the Greenland Ices 96
5. Successful Stratagem in War 103
6. Extraordinary Exploit in “cutting in,” single-handed, a moderately-grown young Whale 108
Chapter IV.—The Ship Resolution, of Whitby 116
Sect. 1. Continued Prosperity; the Results, comparatively and generally, of this fresh Enterprise 116
2. Treatment and Recovery of a half-frozen Seaman 126
3. Judicious Treatment of Men having suffered from severe Exposure 129
4. The Crow’s Nest 135
5. Extraordinary Celerity in preparing an empty Boat for the Fishery 139
6. Tact and Bravery in attacking and killing a dangerously-resisting Whale 144
7. Remarkable Enterprise: the nearest Approach to the North Pole 152
8. Devotional Habits, at Sea and on Shore 164
Chapter V.—Further Enterprises: General Results 171
Sect. 1. The Greenock Whale-fishing Company 171
2. “Cum au greim a gheibhthu” 174
3. Subsequent and concluding Enterprises 178
4. General Results of his entire Whale-fishing Adventures 185
5. Unusual Capture of Walruses 189
Chapter VI.—General Characteristics, and Miscellaneous Notices 195
Sect. 1. Superiority as an Arctic Navigator 195
2. Natural Science 203
3. Improvements and Inventions 215
4. Miscellaneous and concluding Notices 224

The book also includes interesting statistics about whaling activities and the vessels' finances--it's wonderful to see this book become widely available from Project Gutenberg, like all their titles, in such a nice electronic edition, in so many formats.

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