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Mutiny on the Globe: The Fatal Voyage of Samuel Comstockby Thomas Heffernan
Synopses & Reviews
A bloody mutiny on a whaling journey, followed by an incredible tale of survival on land and sea.
Samuel Comstock knew he was born to do some great thing, but his only legacy was a reign of terror. Two years out of Nantucket on a whaling voyage in 1824, he organized a mutiny and murdered the officers of the Globe. It was a premeditated act; in his sea chest Comstock carried the seeds, tools, and weapons with which he would found his own island kingdom. He had often described these plans to one of his brothers, William. But the chief witness and chronicler of the mutiny was young George Comstock, who neither participated in nor approved of his brother's savage deed.
Within days of settling on Mili Atoll in the Marshall Islands, Comstock was murdered by his fellow mutineers. Six innocent seamen?George among them?seized the Globe and escaped; most of the rest were killed by natives. Two survivors lived for twenty-two months, half-prisoners and half-adoptees of the natives, until they were rescued in a bold and dangerous maneuver by a landing party from the U.S. schooner Dolphin.
The Globe's story is one of terror, adventure, endurance, and luck. It is also the story of one of the most bizarre and frightening minds that ever went to sea.
"But as attuned as Heffernan is to the stories of the Globe's poor captain and his men, and to those of Lay and Hussey, Mutiny on the Globe is written for us, the people who are alive to turn the pages. It could be read in a library or on a beach: Both settings are appropriate. And unlike so many well-intentioned historical accounts, it sharpens our faculties instead of wearing them down. When you turn the last page, you feel more alive than dead — which, crazy as it sounds, is the purpose of history in the first place." Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com (read the entire Salon review)
"Thomas Heffernan's Mutiny on the Globe is a searching, impeccably researched account of one of the most horrifying and fascinating events in Nantucket's whaling history."?Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Heart of the Sea
Book News Annotation:
This historical thriller recounts the savage ambitions of whale ship crewman Samuel Comstock, who murdered the officers of the Globe at sea in 1822. Comstock's plans to finish off the crew and establish his own South Seas island kingdom were foiled when he was murdered by his fellow mutineers on Mili Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Heffernan, an expert on whaling history and former president of the Melville Society, gathers historical research and eyewitness accounts from Comstock's younger brother George, a crewman on the Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
Thomas Farel Heffernan is the author of Stove by a Whale: Owen Chase and the Essex and former president of the Melville Society. He lives in Garden City, New York.
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