The View from the Masthead: Maritime Imagination and Antebellum American Sea Narratives.


As much literary history as exploration narratives, this fascinating study examines both several classics of American fiction and the reading habits of sailors. Blum has gathered a great deal of information about the working-class forecastle men and their interest in reading. For transcripts of their reading reactions, their dealing with ennui, and the production of literature for their use see entries in these anthologies for Cheever, Colnett, Dana, Delano, Little, Mercier, Porter, and several other whalemen.