“RANKS NEXT TO MELVILLE’S MOBY DICK AMONG THE CLASSIC WORKS ON WHALING”
BULLEN, Frank T. The Cruise of the 'Cachalot.' Round the World after Sperm Whales. London: Smith, Elder, 1898. Octavo, original blue cloth gilt, uncut. $950.
First edition of Bullen’s dramatic record of life aboard a whaling ship, including his account of “the death-struggles between a whale and a giant squid” (Hill), with folding map and eight full-page illustrations.
"Frank Bullen, an English sailor and adventurer who took to the sea when he was 13, signed articles on an American whaling ship out of New Bedford in 1875. The ship sailed east to the Pacific Ocean, passing the Cape Verde Islands, Tristan de Cunha, the Aldabra Islands, the Bonin Islands, Hawaii, Christmas Island, Vava'u in Tonga and New Zeland. Bullen descibes a violent cyclone at sea, gives extremely detailed accounts of the extraction of whale oil from blubber, and recounts the death-struggles between a whale and a giant squid. Cruise of the 'Cachalot' ranks next to Melville's Moby Dick among the classic works on whaling" (Hill 212). Kipling wrote of this work in a letter cited herein, "It is immense—there is no other word. I've never read anything that equals it in its deep-sea wonder and mystery." With frontispiece, folding map and seven full-page illustrations.
Text and plates fine, inner paper hinges split, binding firm; only minor wear to cloth extremities, gilt bright. A near-fine copy.