|Pages/Publication Date:||208 / 2013|
Before the coming of steamships with instruments of mechanized slaughter, the hunt for sperm whales was a relatively even contest between two wily mammals. A photographer and filmmaker as well as a blacksmith and sculptor, James McGuane here offers a spectacular visual exploration of the material culture of New England whaling in the age of sail through more than 250 color photos. Along with ships and equipment, many aspects of the sperm whale's unusual physiology are illustrated here, as are the whaler's personal belongings and scrimshaw carvings. Here too is a firsthand account of the hunt, from naturalist Robert Cushman Murphy's Logbook for Grace, a diary he kept of his time aboard the whaleship Daisy.